Sebastian talks about….
a week in the life of a pastoral assistant! In short no two weeks are the same and the variety of ministry is something which keeps it exciting and engaging!
The bookends of a pastoral assistant’s life are the daily offices: morning and evening prayer which give some structure to a day. As well, there is a daily holy communion service. Usual things within a week consist of keeping church tidy; preparing the weekly pew sheet and emailing readers with daily readings; visiting people in Ash Court (the parish nursing home) and helping at the weekly holy communion service there; visiting the sick and housebound; monthly messy church and monthly pastoral/spiritual seminars.
Arguably the bulk of ministry is the unexpected stuff which can range from being asked to distribute posters about an event to painting lines for new parking spaces! This week includes sending off standing orders for the new 100 club, which is an excellent opportunity both to donate money to the church and be in for a chance to win a cash prize each month (which would more than pay for a year’s subscription)!
Discerning a vocation
For many people, including me, the motivation for being a pastoral assistant is to discern whether God might be calling them to priestly ministry, and this forms part of a pastoral assistant’s life. To this end, I see a ‘director of ordinands’ one a month as I work towards sitting a ‘Bishop’s Advisory Panel’ in June which will determine whether the Church of England considers me a suitable candidate for priestly ministry! So my free time is spent reading books and preparing myself for this final hurdle to a process which has lasted several years!