Interim Vicars? The article in the Church Times http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=45643 about whether interim vicars are a good idea has drawn together, for me, threads which we hear from those appointing and those being appointed. It is time to recognise that short term appointments in the church can be a good thing - for the parish and the person. It's interesting to notice that the subject is now reqularly coming up in our Moving On days with clergy changing jobs.
This brings up another interesting question. In almost every other sector of the workplace and public life, it is normal to have five careers in a lifetime. Five careers - not five jobs with different employers. All these can be vocational, or purposeful, or however you chose to describe them. That means it's not one right move and four mistakes, but a journey of developing skills and expertise which can be used in different contexts. So why, for clergy, does moving out of a ministerial job into a job in another sector of the economy look or feel like they've done something terribly wrong and they have to leave? This myth is causing some great people who might pursue a fulfilling vocation in another sector shy away from the move because of what others might say.