This title offers an exploration of the nature of vocation, in particular how clergy may need to move out of parish life to remain true to their calling. Theological colleges and courses are full of eager, fresh-faced ordinands, training to serve God and the Church. What pressures will they face, and how can they remain true to their vocation if they find themselves ill equipped for parish ministry, or feeling that they've given it all they can and it's now time to exercise their ministry outside the parish framework? What will they actually do if they feel God is calling them to a different type of ministry? Through interviews and discussions with those in authority in the Church, those who've already jumped the vicarage wall and those who've chosen to remain in parish ministry, this book examines the shifting shape of vocation and the pressures on parish clergy. In particular, it looks at the factors that can lead to personal breakdown, and makes recommendations for changing the nature of clergy training to better equip clergy for the stresses of the task.
Ronni Lamont was in parish ministry for 16 years, and has worked extensively for the training departments in the dioceses of Rochester and St. Albans. She specialises in creativity and innovation, children's spirituality and pastoral training. Her books include Understanding Children Understanding God (SPCK 2008), and Work Life Balance (Sheldon Press 2001).
Introduction; 1 My personal journey; 2 Parish Life examined; 3 The impact of personality indicators within ministry; 4 Theological training; 5 Support for clergy; 6 Career structures in the Church; 7 Listening to those who have left the parish; 8 Where do we go from here?