Erica Ansell writes: I have been asked to put together “ a day in the life of a Churchwarden”. My face must have been a picture: “ Who me” “ No way”, along with numerous flashbacks over the last 6 years – some good, and could be better days!
Well where do I begin, probably best to list some of the “Responsibilities & Duties of the Churchwarden”. As the Bishops’ Officer I have legal responsibilities, which includes day to day functioning of the parish, with administration, personnel and maintenance of the church building, working closely with the priest and congregation, where the worship of God must in every respect be of the highest standards.
It is difficult to chose a “normal day”, as as in life itself, no day is the same. I am looking in my church diary at what this coming week will bring. Mother Nicol and myself work closely together to ensure all forthcoming events / service / weddings / baptisms / funerals are covered. I have a wonderful team of sides people and helpers, who when asked are always willing to step in at a moment’s notice.
So, today Monday- I shall be contacting a couple who have requested a reserved burial plot, to say that their Faculty (agreement with the Diocese) has been granted. Their paperwork will be filed securely for future reference.
Tuesday – I shall be opening and closing the church, due to Mother Nicol having other commitments.
Wednesday – A reflective Holy Communion service in the morning. In the evening is our new Praise Aloud service, with music and readings.
Thursday – Is preparation for the coming Sunday services, with the readings for the day, and a gentle reminder via email to the readers and intercessors. Finding replacements if necessary.
Friday – West Hoathly Primary School end of year service, where bibles are handed out to the leavers, wishing them well for the future
Saturday – Setting up for the Sunday service: Holy Communion elements to prepare, necessary bibles, books, refreshment table,water and crockery, and anything which will help our sides people when they arrive early to get the church ready for the 10 am service.
Sunday – Our Patronal Festival ( St Margaret’s Church birthday) I will arrive early to ensure that the designated people on duty are setting up, and in place, meeting and greeting our congregation for the 10 am service, and support Mother Nicol on arrival prior to the service beginning.
Sunday – Hymns & Pimms Service and informal celebration with music and readings.
Hardly a service goes by without sustenance of the occasional food and drink: as many of you may know we are blessed with great bakers and cooks!
There have been more “eventful” weeks where everything seems to come at the same time. Not so good – but we cope, as we do in life. It can be challenging and exhausting, even sometimes you may see me running around resembling a headless chicken, but it all gets done, and in a strange way enjoyable!
I can honestly say – hand on heart- that I am privileged to be the Churchwarden at St Margaret’s, and “the icing on the cake” is working alongside an inspired, spiritual Mother Nicol, who will always lend a hand, setting up, clearing away, never leaving me to do it on my own.