Ordained to be a …?

I’m often asked what I love about my job. And I often reply, ‘How long have you got?’  There are so many things I love about my job, but listening to peoples’ stories must be up there. Those often take place around the big rituals in our lives: birth, marriage and death. Worship is pretty cool too, and playing with it is even better. You know, making it more visual or thought-provoking. I’m a people-person, in case you hadn’t guessed, and I get my energy from being with people so there is plenty of that too.

However, when I was first ordained as a Deacon I did think that I had been ordained to be a janitor. Being a Curate in a cathedral involved a lot of ‘opening up’ and rearranging chairs. These past few weeks have seen a bit more of janitor-work as we have had big problems in the church and rectory with gas and plumbing. In fact, I have pretty much been housebound for practically a fortnight waiting in for various tradesmen. I’ve opened up bits of the church and boiler house and found things I never knew existed. The amount of coffee and tea I’ve made on an hourly basis must qualify me for any job going in the finest hotels. (Jaffa Cakes are a firm favourite with Scottish Gas.) I’ve discussed churchy matters while peering into sewers and listened to tales of lapsed churchgoers while watching the tree roots grow into pipes.  I’ve shared my downstairs loo with men on water pills (which involved long medical conversations) and now I need to mop the floor badly.  (That’s due to mucky boots by the way, not poor aim.)

I’ve quite enjoyed it actually. They have all been very pleasant and helpful and one DynoRod man even gave my oily drive a good high pressure skoosh with his hose. I’ve had great theological discussions and the mission opportunities have been many and various. But it made me think that if I didn’t live next door to the church how different it might have been. In fact, it would have been a pain in the neck I reckon.

My own little flock have not been visited for a good while now and although phoning is fine it is not quite the same. I’m hoping that by next week it will all be back to normal and I can cut back on my milk and sugar and biscuit purchasing. Thanks be to God.

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