*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Pastors preferred?

by
29 June 2011

iStock

From Miss Barbara Shailes

Sir, — I hope that it was an over­sight that there was no mention of continuing vocation, development of spirituality, and pastoralia in the article about the course at Salisbury (Features, 24 June).

Senior posts in the Church need managerial skills, but for the layman they need pastors also, as do priests in — quite often — lonely posts in their diocese. As one who was a woman church worker (and how old-fashioned that sounds now!) for most of her working life, I spent 80 per cent of my time caring for people.

It is sad that an ageing population of faithful churchgoers who are no longer able to get to church are often forgotten and end their days in care homes with very little contact with the Church. The clergy have to spend so much of their time on administration, often with seven parishes to look after, that it is inevitable that this part of their vocation is put to one side.

I hope that the pilot scheme to develop skills and confidence will encourage the Church to look for the hidden depths of leadership in spiritual matters, too.

BARBARA SHAILES
60 Broad Street, Ely CB7 4AH

From the Revd Anthony Buckley

Sir, — Your article about preparation given to women who may be called to particular posts in the Church of England was let down by the cover line “coaching women for the top”.

There are many in the Church of England, including members of the episcopate and, indeed, clearly the women mentioned, who work hard to affirm all ministries: lay, ordained, stipendiary, and self-supporting. We all, including the Church Times, need to be part of this affirmation, and thus need to be careful about language.

If a Church gives the impression that status is more important than service, then it will cease to be a Christlike Church, and will carry in it the seeds of its own decline.

If some of those you mention are called to episcopacy, there, no doubt, will be rejoicing; there needs to be equal rejoicing for those called to minister in parish, workplace, home, or elsewhere. All this is as true for men as for women.

ANTHONY BUCKLEY
Alleyn’s School, London SE22 8SU

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

Forthcoming Events

6-7 September 2022
Preaching as Pilgrimage conference
From the College of Preachers.

26 September 2022
What am I living for? God
Sam Wells and Lucy Winkett begin the St Martin-in-the-Fields autumn lecture series in partnership with Church Times.

27-28 September 2022
humbler church Bigger God conference
The HeartEdge Conference in Manchester includes the Theology Slam Live Final.

More events

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)