In 2006 I was asked to join the PCC of my local church. I fostered memories of my parents returning home from such meetings and the frustration they experienced. I declined the offer. By 2007 I had accepted and in a random loss of rationality also took on the secretary position.
In 2010 the same vicar asked me to be warden. I declined. He also asked me to talk in church. I declined that too. By April 2011 I had given in to the requests and stood as warden. A few months later I also gave a talk in church.
It flew by the seat of my pants as churchwarden. I had no idea of the role and was a duck out of water. The first real test was three back to back weddings on consecutive days. The vicar turned up at the first one looking like death warmed up. He got through the service but with less than 24hrs notice I had to arrange a stand in vicar for the other two. My fellow warden was on holiday so it was down to me.
The second test came later in 2011 when the vicar announced his retirement at the end of the year. My pant flying was about to become a trial by fire! Suddenly my fellow warden and I were to become responsible for sorting out every single service, wedding or baptism at the church. You quickly come to realise how little you know! We divided up the tasks and got on with it.
On Friday just gone our new vicar was inducted and installed into the parish. This was a culmination of a lot of hard work and the skills and talents of many people.
It was not an easy road to get to this point. There have been many phone calls 100’s perhaps 1000’s of emails and countless meetings. It was very much a full time job just managing the vacancy and recruitment processes. But on top of that we had weddings. Keeping couples informed, attending to their special requests, making sure the banns are done and legally sound and 100’s more emails.
I hold a full time job that as many of you will know is quite demanding. On my days off I manage a home, three children and a wife who works full time also. The despair of getting home after a 12 hour day and finding 20 emails about services and weddings all needing a reply is indescribable. The temptation to throw in the towel was huge.
However, having coordinated so many weddings I also had the pleasure of attending to them and getting the church prepared. The satisfaction of seeing a happy couple enjoying a perfect day obliterates any previous anguish during the preceding months. I stuck with it.
There have been some dark times and my wife has occasionally been concerned about how much time church duties were taking from me but we’ve got through it.
In the last few weeks the in the run up to the induction the pressure became intense.