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Out of the Question

by
25 April 2014

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Your answers

What happens in a parish when both churchwardens are not standing for re-election and no one can be found who is prepared to stand for election? [Answers, 28 March]

I read with sadness the response from the PCC treasurer John Hewlett, who wrote that all the tasks around the church had been left to the previous churchwarden. No wonder nobody wanted to hold office if this was the expectation. Had no one read what the duties of a churchwarden are?

Now that the work is shared by a good number of gallant folk, they are all "caretakers", and the office of churchwarden can be looked at:

(a) to be the Bishop's representative in the parish;

(b) support of the clergy;

(c) spokesperson for the congregation to the Bishop or Archdeacon, should a dispute arise, and present the annual inquiry when the report of the parish's current situation is made;

(d) by virtue of annual election of as churchwarden, hold a vital place on the PCC; and

(e) care of the building.

Note that (e) does not have to be hands-on. The office-holder could be elderly or disabled and be well placed and respected in other roles, and arrange for the practical jobs to be done. Buildings and grounds need a team, from people with mops and vacuum cleaners to people who can climb ladders, but also professional craftsmen; and never forget when the church architect is needed. He and the diocesan advisory committee (DAC) need to be your friends.

I was a churchwarden for six years, and my successor has made chanages to the way things are managed, besides incorporating changes that I made. Times change; the needs of the building change; vicars change; volunteers change.

Churchwardens are willing people, but the parish needs to work with them, and everyone needs to make a contribution. Holton Parish, look again at electing a churchwarden or two. My prayers are with you.

Janice Mills
Cradley Heath, West Midlands
 

Your questions

New Testament writers quote the scriptures with commendable accuracy. Given that they had no text in front of them, and heard the scriptures read only on the sabbath, how did they manage it?
H. R.

Would it be appropriate to suggest to the Bishop the name of a retired priest who has had, and still maintains, an outstanding ministry for possible appointment as a prebendary or honorary canon, orwould the fact that he is retired and over 70 make him ineligible? If the latter, could his outstanding ministry be recognised in any other way?
J. F.

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.

questions@churchtimes.co.uk

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