The Church of England with all its various layers is difficult for those who are in it to understand. For people looking in from the outside it seems almost impossible. How to differentiate between curate and priest...how to understand the difference between licensed paid clergy from non stipendiary clergy. To those outside the church they are all vicars! I am actually an assistant priest.
Which is fine for the most part.
Its when you get someone who tells you that as he is paying your wages then its your job to do as he wants you to that I get a little stroppy! Pay? Wages? You have got to be joking!
And here its important to understand that I am not complaining about not getting paid. This is the job I signed up to when I joined. I am fortunate in having two pensions already. I don't need to be paid for doing what I do. I work a fairly full week most of the time and I do everything from love. Love of the church, love of God, love of people.
I recently did a funeral and was amazed to find in my thank you card a twenty pound note.
I joked that I didn't do money and it went into the collection the next Sunday.
People just don't actually believe me when I tell them I don't get paid or indeed claim expenses..
That is not true really. My pay comes in the form of knowing that I am useful and that I am privileged to be able to preach, to marry, christen and bury people.
It's just that when I may have not done quite as much as some people would like me too, and I am only a fairly ancient human whose energy levels are not as good as they used to be...its when someone outside the church then tries to make me do something because thats what I get paid for! Thats what grieves me!
But now I've blogged it all Im still smiling! Thank you God.