Today began, as most days do, with the daily office's morning prayer. That done it quickly moved through a variety of encounters and engagements which dealt with funeral arrangements and the church's Autumn Fair before moving onto again to more stuff. The reason for writing this is to help some of those I'm engaged with in exploring vocations to understand that Saturday is never to be regarded as 'a day off' (even when some of my colleagues most foolishly bill it as such).
In the same way that some people tell me that having meetings on an evening means that they have to attend having, 'Already worked during the day,' the same is true of Saturday if you're going to take the King's shilling and head into ministry. My warning is simple (a bit like me) in that unless you're willing to do the job, don't take the bob (a reference to the King's shilling as paid when entering military service)!
This is how it goes (officially):
We work on a Sunday - but it is not the only day, despite the many jokes (which you will have to smile at for the rest of your life).
We have a day off during the week(Although some diocesan guidelines now apparently give you on two day off period a month).
The other days are working days where one-third of the day is yours and the rest is work time.
So there you have it - you can take a morning or afternoon off if you're going to be working in the evening but the bottom line is that it's five days and a Sunday as the normal working week.
I hope this gives those of you contemplating a call to ministry something to think about and explains my raised eyebrows over it, 'Just being Sunday and a 'bit' of time during the week!' comment - you know who you are ;-).
For those of you who are not exploring a vocation, I hope what you've just read above fills in some of the gaps and helps you to value the work hours that so many of the clergy put in to build, maintain and bless the church and those whom they seek to serve in the communities around them.
Perhaps you might like to pray for those who are exploring their own vocations to ministry and pray also for all those faithful men and women who minister in the Church - lay and ordained, paid and unpaid - for we are all co-workers and family.
*An ordinary day filled, as are each and every day in this wonderful life of ministering in the light and life of Christ, with extraordinary people.