Saints need not apply


Yesterday, the Reverend Ian Paul began his admirable blog “Psephizo” with an advert for the Principal ofScreen Shot 2016-10-18 at 18.39.04.png a Theological College. Ian Paul thought it asked a bit much. Up here in North Wales we’re used to obscurity and obfuscation when it comes to anything of a remotely theological nature. Here are some bits of the sample advert for a Mission Area Leader in the St Asaph Diocesan 2020 Vision Toolkit. Part 2.



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I was very relieved to see that this was the first priority because much prayer, worship and discipleship can be done on one’s knees and that is definitely where the prospective MAL will be by the time he or she has worked his or her way through the rest of what’s expected.

The list of verbs—the doing words— that are expected of the MA  are what impressed me most. How many of these could you do? Develop, implement, enable, provide, encourage, discern, manage, seek, co-operate, support, encompass, access, ensure, evaluate, action, convey, consult, work, discharge.

That’s what the MA has to do. Then we come to what the MA has to be. A person of faith (faith in what not specified), a leader, an enabler, a challenger, articulate, empathetic, compassionate, an effective administrator, an empowerer, have a deep and resilient spirituality, commitment, demonstrate reflectiveness and be willing to be challenged.


There are also some arresting phrases among all this verbiage of what is required. I’ll share some examples with you: ‘catalyst for mission’, ‘recognising seeds of mission’, ‘encompassing a vision’, ‘dynamic structure for strategy’, ‘accountability and action’, ‘concerns and initiatives are received, evaluated and actioned’, ‘the necessary balance of skills, gender and expertise’, ‘a servant approach to leadership’—and so on and so forth! I’m sure you get the picture.

Two bullet points call for special mention.

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Personally, I think there has been far too much experimentation in the Church in Wales over the last decade, from constantly tinkering with the liturgy to the pressure for SSM. It’s obvious that the Welsh Bishops have no fear of failure, even when it’s staring them in the face.

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And that sentence tells you plainly that if you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman don’t bother to apply.

Let me remind you that this is a suggested advert, not for the next Archbishop of Wales, not even for the Principal of a Theological College, just for a Mission Area Leader in one Mission Area in one North Wales diocese.




Would either of these tick enough boxes?


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