A few weeks ago someone from New College (Uni of Edin) emailed our Bishop encouraging Piskie priests and lay readers to apply for the MTh and to say that Bursaries are available. It has been on my mind for some time – to do a Masters – and this seemed like the prompt I needed. Of course, coming as it did the week before Holy Week, I was only able to express interest at that point and then speak to the Vestry for approval which they did (not quite unanimously!).
With encouragement from New College, this week I have spent hours wrestling with the online application form. They wanted my dissertation ( lost long ago in a defunct computer and hard copy borrowed but never returned) and my proposal for research. Didn’t realise you had to know quite so soon what you wanted to study. then they wanted 2 academic references – who would remember me after 9 years? It did say that if you have been away for some time one academic and one line manager would do. Contacted the person who supervised my dissertation and he rememered me but not my work so had to supply him with the said dissertation and my marks from every year of study! Found them all but one, amazingly, but that’s not enough. Took me two days in all and then discovered that there may not be Bursaries after all so it was probably all in vain. Bah.
Then I have spent the last two days filling in an 8 page form for my first Ministerial Review with the Bishop. How do I describe my ministry? Most and least enjoy? Balance of work commitment/family/friends? What theology have I read in past year? Impact on ministry? How do I pray? And so it goes on.
So, in answer to ‘what do I least enjoy?’ I think the answer this week is – filling in forms.