Thursday, 25 February 2010

How long does it take to get to know you?

Vicar "plans to visit all 9000 homes in his new parish during Lent to get to know his new flock."  Church Times
 This is a tricky post to write as I am fully supportive of the concept of getting to know parishioners (note - not congregation - though I don't mind getting to know them too).  But, and I am afraid it is a but, I don't think this is the way to do it.  After all, with 9,000 homes it averages 6 minutes per home, and that assumes working 24 hour days for the 40 days of lent (I figure he needs to take services on Sunday).  If we get a bit more realistic and assume he can spend 8 hours a day for the 40 days then simple maths says that it becomes 2 minutes each - and that is ignoring time between houses - lets hope he doesn't have any of those large houses where it would take 2 minutes to walk down the drive!

If we get a little more realistic then not everyone will want to talk to him!  (I was talking to a priest one day about wearing a clerical collar - I assumed that wearing one on the train might lead to more space around me.  Not at all - she described it as a "nutter magnet").  And in the hours available, assuming that he gets away in 30 seconds from those who are out or not interested, it gives 250 hour long conversations.

When I started writing this post my assumption was that it was an impossible thing to do, and having read "If you meet...", which among other things suggested to me that the days of mass clergy visiting were over because of other priorities, I wasn't sure it was realistic.  Having crunched the numbers it now seems a better idea, but one which would realistically take a little longer than lent to carry out properly.  One for my kit bag when I move on methinks.  It feels like the kind of thing that you can do when you are new, before the congregation realise the interregnum is over!

Just found that it might be 10,000 parishioners, not 9,000 homes!  Makes it more conceivable still.


  1. I just hope he is going to remember all their 9000 names and everything they have told him.

  2. Yeah, we get special training at vicar school on how to do that (not).



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