I was asked today if I had any tips about ordination/starting a curacy. Having had a little think here they are:
- get to know the people who are responsible for your house - we have had a terrible time sorting out the building and it really needed careful negotiation
- set boundaries about answering the door/phone asap...I live in a vicarage and get a lot of cold calls...I wish I had been clearer about when I would answer, what I would have ready for people (food parcels etc) and how I would deal with emergencies (don't assume your parish/incumbent has a policy)
- find a spiritual adviser or someone outside of the parish to speak to about stuff (concerns, spiritual blockages, irritating situations etc etc)
- be prepared to be as flexible as possible over as much as possible - choose to 'debate' only things that are really important to you...
- when you first start it might feel a bit slow - enjoy the slow bit because it gets busy!
- finals, finishing essays, finishing college, leaving college friends, moving, getting family settled, sorting the house, meeting new people, getting ready for retreat, doing retreat, the ordination service etc is all very very tiring - a roller-coaster you have to get on and just hold on tight . There is a period of time when you feel very special (and you are, we all are in God's sight!) but it is important to know that that feeling is not going to last and not to give yourself a hard time when it calms down and (possibly) you don't feel so great about yourself for a bit - it happened to me about 3 days after ordination. It does pass but it was quite painful - I actually felt bereaved. It is ok to have a little cry and a large g&t (or cake or whatever)!
- try to keep in touch with a few theological college friends and keep the network going - great for mutual support and a sounding board
- be very very loving to your family, friends and supporters because they are as exhausted as you but don't get all the attention at ordination.
- if people say 'what would you like as an ordination present' say 'book tokens'.
- make sure you go for a wee before the ordination service starts - it's a long service and you'll be wearing strange clothes for the first time.
I have lived in Liverpool since I was 18years old. I came here to study drama, pop music and be an actor. I spent a couple of years in a theatre company in Leeds during the mid 1990's returning to start an academic career at Edge Hill University in 1998. In 2001 I started to explore the possibility of full time ministry in the church of England. After a long period of discernment I started at Trinity College, Bristol in 2006 and trained be a vicar.
I was ordained as a Deacon in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral in June 2008 and ordained priest in June 2009. I am serving as the assistant curate at St John Chrysostom and St Peter's churches, Everton.