The Interim process …… what does that mean for St. Clement's?!?
The Diocesan handbook for Interim Ministry starts with the following statement:
The moment that a rector or vicar, in consultation with the bishop, announces their resignation or retirement, a period of transition begins in the parish. This transition period is a time of many different emotions, ideas, hopes, and concerns and practical things that need attention. These all naturally emerge as individuals and a community anticipate saying goodbye to their current clergy leader, and as they anticipate going through the process of seeking a new clergy leader, deciding who they wish to recommend for the bishop’s appointment and beginning a new phase of life together with their new incumbent.
Broadly speaking, interim ministry, besides supporting the parish in its life as a parish in many normal ways, is meant to give the parish an opportunity to do some intentional reflecting on i) where it is now, ii) where it has been, and iii) where it wants to go.
Through such things as conversational round-tables, parish town-hall meetings, surveys followed by discussion of survey results, consulting with groups, guilds and individuals, information is gathered, stories are told, dreams are cast and discernment undertaken. This process is led by the Interim Priest-in-Charge in consultation with the Churchwardens and others appointed by the Parish Council. Most parishes find using a diocesan consultant or outside facilitator also useful. The data generated during the interim process will be useful to the Canonical Committee’s work on the profile when this work begins.
So, what does this mean to us?
Well, so far, I’ve been in place for a month.
I’ve planned and led worship, helped with bulletins, looked at wobbly pews, sat through a Parish Council meeting and a Worship Committee meeting, visited folks at home, had long chats with the deacons, been to Senior Link, judged a mocktail competition, written a few sermons and generally had a good nosy around the church and local community.
All of this is seen as part of the initial process of data gathering. My hope is to spend the summer getting to know the congregation, so I can better understand how the parish works and we can start evaluating where we need to go! I’m open to conversations with as many people as possible, so feel to drop me a line and invite me for coffee!
We will be arranging a few more structured events to look at how to gather information and to give opportunities for folks to ask questions, so watch this space!
In the meantime there is document produced by the Diocese that helps to explain the process and timelines. Just click on the button below to download a copy, and please contact me or either of the wardens if it raises any further questions for you.