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