Thursday, 6 April 2017

So tell me again - what does a cleric do?

As promised, I've been looking at my first quarter's work a little more closely than usual to see what happens in an average week, and here are the result for the first quarter of this year:

In order of time spent, we have:

1. Funerals (18.1%) - Visits, research and conducting services at church, Crematorium', graveside,
entering ashes and dedicating and memorials and the like.
15 hrs per week

2. Administration (15.5%) - Just what it says on the label: paperwork.
13 hrs per week

3. Misc' Parish work (14.6%) - Working in and around the patch, looking after a couple of churches and doing stuff further afield.  
12 hrs per week

4. Services (10.2%) - Time spent doing the Sunday and midweek services and the like.
8 hrs per week

=5. Pastoral (9.5%) - Supporting people in times of need.
8 hrs per week

=5. Prayer (9.5%) - Time spent on the knees praying, doing my daily office, etc.  
8 hrs per week

6. Home Communion and visits (8.7%) - What it says on the label. Care homes, private homes, etc.
7 hrs per week

7. Missional (7.3%) - Missioner stuff: Mission shaped Introduction and Ministry, Fresh Expressions, Bishops Certificate and other stuff wherever the opportunity arises.
6 hrs per week

8. Study (4%) - Yep, this is stuff I don't really do much of because I'm doing other stuff instead!
I guess this will have to change as:
i. I miss doing it,
ii. I'm supposed to do it as part of my discipline of being a cleric,
iii. It's essential to keep the theology ticking.  
3 hrs per week

9. Vocations (2.5%) -Working with people to test their vocations and get them to a place where, being confident that there is a calling, they can move on to whatever lay or drained path they feel called to explore. It's a 'feast or famine' area so no surprise it's light at the moment.
2 hrs per week

What is  interesting is the time the average week takes! What is sad is the fact that I've effectively doing less prayer, study and stuff that I love and yet, because I'm clocking up the funeral hours and the home visits and pastoral stuff, I'm having a whale of a time and loving every minute.

BUT the down side is that I've managed only three weeks where I have taken a day off* and this will have to change because, as our organist keeps telling me, "It's not hard work but long hours that gets you in the end!"

So watch this space and see how the bloke who taught time management does when it comes to taking his own medicine :-)

* Apparently the day off needs to be a full 24 hrs away from the workplace and the role. When doing my area dean course we were told that we needed to stop at 18:00 the night before the day off, have the full day off and return the next day at 09:00. Better still they said that once every month or so, this need to be increased by an additional 24 hrs. Think I'm going to be hard pressed to square that away.

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