Ancient structure.

Author:Phillips, Hugh
Position::LETTERS - Letter to the editor

Dear editor,

Re: Clergy struggling with identity and feelings of loneliness, exhaustion (December Journal).

I am hardly surprised that the clergy feel a crisis of identity, as they are being asked to cope with an impossible job. The managerial structure of a parish is based on pre-industrial revolution England. It assumes that the clergy are the centre of an intimate, stable society, with recognized roles and defined duties (plus stable finances); in other words, a world and a couple of centuries away from the modern reality.

We then compound this by the fact that we do not (and probably should not) recruit clergy for their management ability. A recent survey has shown that the criteria for selecting ordinands are quite the opposite. Plus, we do not train them in management. They are also supported at the parish level by a vague...

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