Thursday, 26 April 2012

Us non Stipendiaries

I got up feeling tired and a bit flat until the flowers arrived....It is really wonderful what a gesture like that can do to restore your faith in all sorts of things.
I was asked yesterday to get my expenses claim in as soon as possible.....What expenses form?  My stock answer to anyone offering me an expenses form is to say, "I don't do that"
It then occurred to me that almost certainly no one actually understands the nature of being a priest in the Church of England if you were already an old woman when you were ordained.
There are a lot of us about.....all those of us who got our call into the Church when we were young were only allowed in during the 1990's.  We have all had other jobs, teaching and writing being mine. We often have pensions from previous jobs and are financially secure.
We don't need to be paid. We do what we do  with joy, being at last allowed to exercise our vocations and it makes me very happy to be able to do it all. But I do what I do for the love of God, the love of the Church and for the love of His people.
It gives the Church a bit of a problem though....we all own our own homes. The church does not have to provide us with accommodation but that in itself creates a problem. In the old days once a spell in any parish was over, the incumbent of that parish had to move on and leave the parish.  There were good and valid reasons for this but it can no longer be enforced.
I have moved from one parish close by to this one but hopefully this is where I shall in due course pop my clogs!
I love everything I do but I  have my other jobs to fall back on....particularly writing....
When the time comes that I can  no longer dash around, sometimes  working long hours , I shall still be a very happy woman, writing, gardening, and dog walking.....God has been amazingly good to expense claim would be to ask for a bit of Spring sunshine to bring forth the apple blossom. And you can't get that onto a balance sheet!

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