Friday 20 May 2011

Spoof (and yet Serious) Parish Profile

Thanks to Lesley's blog entry structure I've done this near pinch. Be aware that this is entirely fictional and bears no relation to anything real.

A Unitarian Church Somewhere in England

Ministerial post available without gender or sexuality discrimination offering creative potential and a congregation wishing to grow in quantity and quality of spiritual life. There is no doctrinal test but the congregation spans the range from religious humanism to liberal Christianity.

(Are there any candidates who'd want to come to the far out coast at the end of a railway line?)

The Regional Union would support such a ministry and offer fellowship with other Unitarians.

(It's lonely out there and if we chip in we want some of our own services taken.)


We are looking for someone with strategic vision. The minister would be expected to get busy in city life and represent the church as an attractive place to attend. The minister should join in with local interfaith meetings and be as ecumenical as welcomed. As well as the expected pastoral visiting, the Minister would do some administration and the church would double up as an office. It would be useful to be ICT competent and publish materials on religious faith and Unitarianism in particular especially with a local aspect.

(In other words, the church needs a manager as well as a minister, and given a small congregation do some other jobs for the money.)

We like the worship as we have developed it and would hope the Minister would facilitate this and assist in its quality.

(Here's something - we already take our own services and want to carry on doing so. You're not even going to take a service every week! So instead of hearing your voice over and over again, you can tell us how to make our worship better. It's not like an Anglican service where you just pick up a book and read it out.)

Person Specification

We want a Minister who will bring in people and help to keep them.

(Because this is hard going and difficult to achieve.)

We want a Minister with a warm personality that attracts people.

(Too many Unitarian ministers end up being grumpy, having to deal with the same awkward squads on committee month after month.)

The Minister should be pastoral and visit the church members. Counselling experience is useful.

(But don't come round too often and give us some space).

The Minister should be or become skilled in website maintenance, blogging, Desk Top Publishing, Spreadsheets, Word Processing, with artistic skills, writing music by computer, operating sound systems and understand teaching methods and administrative processes.

(The more the better including what we've not thought about.)


You can change it but don't mess around with the seats. Do light a chalice to start the service and don't forget to blow it out at the end. You should show our service takers how to do it better and institute regular training and can people please use the microphone properly.

(I know you might want the seats in a semi-circle but people are really funny about where they sit).


The congregation is modest in size but dedicated.

(We will rate you according to how many people you add or lose. So you and us make it all attractive.)

The Church Building

Now the forebears built a big steepled monster in what was a well off suburb after they left the Old Town. But now it is a low maintenance city centre church (with a wopping big new Tesco around the corner) and small enough to make a few people look like many. But that's no excuse to mumble or gabble at the pulpit.

(It's nothing much to look at and it can get too hot inside.)


Surely there are some students interested in a liberal faith? How is it we get only one or two at times and then from abroad?

(Don't kid yourself that Unitarianism attracts intellectuals.)


No problem. You'd be amazed.

(Thanks, forebears: you were the urban wealthy.)


It will be provided, and can be something new or you might even be unlucky and become a near neighbour of Adrian. Your accommodation can be your own; you can hold all meetings in the church if you want.

(The one time large enough manse was sold off.)


Louise said...

Why do you want a minister? It seems that if you just put your job description and person specification together and advertise without the criteria of ministerial training and qualification that you may have a broader pool to choose from. We have yet to grasp this nettle nationally - looking at how congregations function and what they actually need rather than what we are told that we need.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Or, alternatively, have a more flexible way of making ministers. In one sense that is what we are doing without a minister: what jobs need doing, and who does them. Like I do the music.