Our parishes are due a quinquenial visit. This occurs in the Church of Scotland , on a similar basis, I would imagine ,to the Bishop or Archdeacon visiting parishes in the Cof E. Thats a guess, if any of you are in the know, feel free to comment.
Anyway, we are due ours, and the Rev. came into the living room the other night with a swathe of paper. This is a questionaire. First question , paraphrased by me, “How many hours do you spend in Ministry?” We sat down together and tried to work it out. I thought it better to put, “I am not working when I am asleep.” Although after a difficult meeting, he may sit bolt upright and come up with a solution to something that has been bothering him.
Second question “How do you see your role as a Minister?” The answer to this is an endless list which encompasses SO many roles. I won’t even try to put them down.
And the questions went on and on. I knew this would get his clerical knickers in a knot, and was thankful when both session clerks offered to lend a hand and the treasurer offered to help make it look nice on paper.
As an experiment, the Rev. took his “Garmin” with him on his parish visits. This is a bit of technology that he uses when running and swimming, it maps where you’ve been, tells you how fast you went, how many calories you used up and how long you spent at each place. It’s small enough to wear on your wrist, so folk would think it was a watch.
He came home very pleased and uploaded it all onto the computer. We were able to see how long he spent at each visit and how far he had travelled. An excellent piece of time and motion study.
Later in the evening he went off to his swimming master class, and was relating this to a friend. He added, ” and do you know I burned off an amazing 1,800 calories! ” His friend looked at him, he said ” Yes, C, if you had been running at over 35 miles an hour you would have done, but you were driving!” .