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Out of the Question

10 April 2015


Your answers

Members of our PCC are anxious over the behaviour of our incumbent, who demonstrates what appear to be symptoms of early dementia. This might simply be tiredness or depression, but is there any way this matter could be resolved?

If the PCC members are anxious about their incumbent's health, then they need to be organised and helpful, not critical or gossipy. Let the most suitable person - i.e. someone on the best/most trusted terms with the incumbent - talk to the incumbent as well as his or her spouse or other close friend/relative and any other members of the "clergy team". It needs to be very clear from the outset that this is from concern for the incumbent's welfare, and with no ulterior motive.

This may be all that's needed for the person to seek medical advice and help, but, if not, then the Archdeacon should be consulted, probably preferably by the churchwardens. Alongside this, it's surely important that the PCC works on ways of supporting the incumbent, especially in areas where his or her gifts don't lie (e.g. perhaps admin or organisation) and with the day-to-day slog of a parish and a busy family, or the potential loneliness of a single person. "What can we do to help?" should be the regular question, not "Why wasn't x done?" (This will also help if, in fact, the incumbent needs some time off or reduced duties for a time.)

Cathy Thornton,  Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales

The churchwardens should share the PCC's concerns with the incumbent's GP, and inform the Bishop.

(Canon) John Goodchild, Liverpool

Surely the churchwardens should contact the Archdeacon.

Michael Robinson,  Berkhamsted, Herts


Your questions

In none of my two dozen hymn books, prayer books, etc., is Easter Day "Easter Sunday". Yet it is increasingly referred to as such. Why?

R. W. C.


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