Christ the King and counting

Every year, on the Feast of Christ the King, we count. We count how many people we have in church and that is recorded for all to see as a snapshot of our little flocks. It is a day when clergy pray that all will turn up, even those once-a-monthers. For these numbers are recorded for all to see in years to come in the Annual Report of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Some clergy (including myself in the past) resort to ‘dirty tricks’ such as holding a baptism on that day. That’s always good to boost the numbers. I’ve heard that some even hold three baptisms on that day, but I fear this is only a myth. Who would do such a thing?

In many churches the Feast of Christ the King coincides with the AGM.  Now, in our little flocks, people are not known to make a point of putting such a date in their diaries as one ‘not to be missed.’  Unless you have a beef with your local priest and want to complain about her/his choice of hymns then you are more likely to put the alarm on snooze, turn over and decide to give church a miss this week. This appears to be the tradition here in Christ Church. Of course, it may be that when I announced there was to be a shortened service with no sermon, that may be why they stayed away. And to make matters worse, in terms of the statistics, here we combine both services and move the time.

Ah, but I have a cunning plan. Numbers may be down this year, my first, but next year I think we should move the AGM date and plan a Baptism, Confirmation and a party on the Feast of Christ the King. That should get them in.


Managed to get to church yesterday for our AGM. It was hard not being in control of it but Ian, the Vestry Secy, did a very good job and there were no questions, just thanks. Our report book ran into 24 pages this year so there is a lot going on at St Mark’s, and our giving has gone up by £10,000 (with another £7-8,000 to be claimed in tax through Gift Aid) which is just amazing really.

Son #1 has been staying with me supposedly looking after me, but I fear it has been the other way round. His essay is due today so I may get back to normal after that.

Dinner last night was spent at Raspberry Rabbit‘s who came and picked me up, despite the most horrendous traffic diversions, took me to Penicuik and brought me home again replete. It was a veritable feast and what a Christian thing to do! Oh, and the Bishop phoned to see if I was okay too which was a nice pastoral thing to have happen.

So, how are the eyes? Well they are still a bit bloodshot and today I am managing so far without the sunglasses. (But its only 7.30am!) The biggest problem is that I have no reading glasses to wear until I can get my eyes tested later this week. So this message was brought to you by a vivid pink sparkly pair of ready-readers and my nose 3 inches from the screen. But I can see perfectly as far as the eye can see. And all in glorious technicolour. A miracle!


I wonder if our little flocks realise what angst we clergy go through at AGM time.

First, there’s that whole remembering who to thank thing. If you forget someone you know you will never recover that relationship.

And AOB can strike terror in our hearts too. Some even insist is has to be done in writing the week before so they have time to prepare the answer. We like flying by the seat of our pants in St M’s so we accepted AOB at the beginning of the meeting, reckoning that the length of an AGM would give time to think up a suitable reposte.

And about AOB… what might it be? What might they challenge us on? What have we done that they didn’t like? Because you know AOB ain’t gonna be praise for the priest, oh no!  It could be the choice of music, the liturgy, the version of the Lord’s Prayer… oh, I’ve heard it all.

So after all that, how did our AGM fare yesterday? Just fine, thanks. All over in 20 minutes and everybody happy, I think.  Phew! And we had an election too.

And for those of you wondering how it can be so quick, you should do what we do and get all the reports in a booklet the week before so they are all read and only questions need to be taken on the day. (And there were none.)

Busy bees

Very busy weekend at church. On Saturday it was our Annual Advent Fair, then on Sunday it was our AGM. Needless to say, fate decreed that I should get a stinky cold and sore throat just to see me through it all.

The Sale went well I thought and we raised nearly £1200. I won a car-wash kit in the Tombola which may find its way back into a future Tombola. I also won 2 bottles of wine in the Raffle which will not be going back. Sadly I did not win the luxury food hamper but it went to a good home.

The AGM went well too and lasted only 32 minutes which I believe is a record. But we cleverly tabled all our reports beforehand so that cut down a lot of time. And I was asked no questions at all which was nothing short of a miracle.

Thanks to all who helped this weekend. We couldn’t have done it without you, as I wasn’t much use at all. Now, I am going back to bed to suffer noisily with a box of tissues and copious quantities of Olbas products.

And relax…

Two AGMs over and done with now. One at St P’s last week, and then St C’s today, and they both went very well – and very rapidly. I was saying that people probably have no idea of the angst that clergy go through before an AGM. Will someone stand up and complain about the liturgy or preaching or how much we spent on candles? We had a trial period of changing the service times around which seemed to bring a lot of discontent, but not a peep even about that. So I can breathe a sigh of relief now that it is all over.

Until next year and a new church… of course!