Monday, April 21, 2008

So much to say...yet

Over this past week my mind has been buzzing with issues, ideas, thoughts, concerns, hopes and dreams, yet I don't seem to have been able to get them into coherent enough form to actually write them down in any comprehensible way. I am taking some time over the next couple of hours to tidy up my study and finish some of the filing and sorting I have been doing over the past week or two, so I may well find that some ideas come to mind which I blog on in this time!

Last week was a busy week, and its the time of year when my personal energy levels ebb somewhat, in other words its 'APCM' time. An APCM is an Annual Parochial Church Meeting, the opportunity to share reports about all the different aspects of Church life and activity in the previous year, the presentation of Church accounts and the election of Church representatives for bodies such as the Team Council and Deanery Synod, as well as those who will serve the Church as Churchwardens and PCC (Parochial Church Council) members for the coming year. Now, in itself an APCM may not be the most dynamic of meetings, and there is a fair amount of 'statutory' business we have to deal with, but on the whole most APCMs are relatively encouraging and informative.

But I have six of them

It takes a lot of energy to chair six Annual meetings, with very different concerns, and a whole host of hidden and not-so-hidden agendas amongst those who attend. (These meetings are open to any member of the Church, and anyone who is on the Church roll can vote in them). Though predominantly a 'reports' meeting, some folk use them as a chance to have a moan about the fact that we don't do things one way, or that we do do things another way. This is fair enough, perhaps we don't give enough chance to people to air their grievances (and encouragements) in public meetings - but we do have a broadly democratic system in operation where PCCs are made up of elected representatives to discuss issues important to the Church. People should, on the whole, make more use of these representatives if they have issues they want decisions made on. Anyway, these APCMs can go on a bit if they turn into a 'talking shop' meeting.

So I am four meetings into the schedule for this year, with two more to go in the coming seven days. It means that among all the other business my mind is quite often elsewhere as I prepare my reports and look forward (ahem) to chairing them all.

So, I'm tired. Not disheartened (far from it), nor depressed, just a bit weary. I will be glad when they are all over.


quilly said...

I always dreaded our annual church meetings because of the people one only hears from at that time of the year. They'd sit and watch, take notes, do nothing to help -- including make suggestions -- then arrive at the church meeting to critique all they saw and heard, leaving a trail of hurt feelings and broken-hearts behind -- unitl our current (and retiring!) District Superintendent came along. He was very good at asking such people what they did to help, which generally sat them down.

Naomi said...

Sounds like you'll be very busy with those meetings Alastair. It's not surprising you're weary. I'm sure a lot of people forget that apart from the usual day to day ministerial duties, Vicars have to do an awful lot of admin work too. Best of luck!