Here’s a question to test how hard you were concentrating at your other half’s (OH’s) ordination service. Hands up if you heard the bit where they agreed to this:
‘to fashion your own life and that of your household according to the way of Christ, that you may be a pattern and example to Christ’s people.’
There is no prize (sorry) but if you did register this vow you are doing better than me. If I did notice it at the time I certainly did not remember it for long. It was only when I revisited the ordination service when I was trying to discover the Church of England’s view on clergy spouses (CSs) that I became properly aware of it. It surprised me to find it because I felt that generally as a CS I was invisible to the wider church. Yet here was this vow declaring publicly that I would be part of my husband living his life as an example to everyone else. No pressure people, we’re just supposed to be living ‘according to the way of Christ’ in such a way as to be a pattern for every other Christian you encounter – easy peasy right? Continue reading
Eight days on from my last post I confess I have been amazed at the amount of views it has had. Clearly Angela Tilby’s comments have stirred up much interest in this area. I was equally surprised to find my blog referred to by Ian Paul in his own blog post on the topic http://www.psephizo.com/life-ministry/should-clergy-have-christmas-day-off/. The whole post is worth reading as it raises many important questions about Christmas and the wider topic of clergy work and marriage.
His comments on my post did leave me feeling that on some points he was arguing against something which I had not said. I realise that my writing may have lacked clarity in some areas and is perhaps open to being misunderstood so I wish to respond to his comments to (hopefully!) make sure that no one misunderstands what I am trying to say. Ian’s comments were as follows: Continue reading
If you read the Church Times you may have seen Angela Tilby’s column from the 9th December issue urging clergy to avoid family-olatry this Christmas. It would have caught my eye at any time but I was particularly struck by her words as I have lately been putting much thought into my understanding of marriage and ministry and how a couple balances these two demanding callings. Rev Tilby argues that ‘Clergy and ministers today often seem to buy into a view of the family which is difficult to justify from the Gospels.’ I totally agree but would suggest that this is far more likely to be in the direction of neglecting the family due to idolatry of the ordained ministry than the other way around. Rev Tilby claims that thirty years ago the parish came before family at Christmas; I can imagine many clergy spouses thinking that the parish only coming first at Christmas would be a marked improvement on their clergy partner’s current working practice. Continue reading