There are some things that I learnt at theological college: important things like ethics and the stages of grief and how to preach.
There are other things I learnt from the Vicar who trained me: important things, like how to juggle the pressures of work and family life, how to take a good funeral, how to be approachable and normal despite the dog collar.
There are other things that I have had to figure out for myself. Some of them I have learnt, others I am still trying to figure out. These are some of them.
- If you are going to get the giggles during a solemn service, turn your microphone off first so the whole congregation don’t hear you.
- Every church will tell you, “We just do things in the usual way here”, but each church has it’s own unique and unexpected quirks and it’s own personality.
- If your hands get too cold in church, you can’t pick up the communion wafers.
- It is impossible to predict how many people will come to a funeral service. It is also impossible to predict which brides will be late and by how much, and which babies will cry when you baptise them.
- Just because you are very frightened about doing something doesn’t mean you will do it badly. God is amazing and faithful and does know what he was doing when he calls us to a particular place and role.
- A church near a river needs a good pump in the boiler house. And the vicar needs good wellies.