Monday, 18 March 2013

The Knicker Thief - new life in the rectory

Our feet have not touched the ground since The Rector@6's installation last week. It was as if someone had opened the flood gates to the email and phone call rivers and in they poured - on the next day. This was supposed to be The Day Off but obviously it wasn't going to be this week. He resisted opening or answering many as we were busy seeing off visiting family who had come to stay for his licensing - but later in the evening it seemed as if messages were still coming in faster than he could open them. What a start!
" So how is it?", " Are you settled in yet?" we are asked by everyone. We have managed to empty all but three boxes but that is only to get rid of the boxes. Not much is in its final resting place. Life has been incredibly busy hence the reduced blogging. Last Sunday, The Rector@6 had three church services and I accompanied him to these so I could meet as many people as possible in a short space of time. We went from a very cold church and BCP service to a warmer church with a music band and a lot of youth input and finally in the evening we went to evensong in another rather cold church. All are beautiful places but I shall have to invest in some thick socks as the cold seeps up from floor level and reminds me of the need for a vest rather than more spiritual things!

It wasn't me!
Living in a rectory was always going to be challenging for me as I never liked married quarters when The Rector@6 was in the RN and I have discovered I'm not keen my space being invaded. You would think that after living in two church owned houses I would have got used to people popping in. But we have moved dioceses and so have a different property department. In both the last houses, the family space was respected - effectively the minister could have meetings in his space and the family could live in their space. Things are different here - people are used to coming into the kitchen and have been using the back door (partly because the front door was so difficult to close!) This is causing us some difficulty in training the dogs who are supposed to go to the kitchen when the doorbell rings ('supposed' I said!). I am also having to keep a tidier kitchen (which is probably not a bad thing ). It is the lack of understanding that I am not actually employed by the church that I find difficult. I am just me - the same as I was before the Rector became church property - I have not had a conversion course on being Mrs Rector. If I have piles of washing lying on the floor waiting for the washing machine, I don't really want people coming in the back door. Tess the pup has decided that knickers are the best items to snatch from the wash pile and, if the doors are left open, will run off round the house and then leave them in the front porch or hallway. I suppose people will politely learn to turn a blind eye to the goings on in this Rectory (I hope!).

I actually have had an excellent first week of being Mrs Rector - I have been with horses three days - just mucking out and helping with a foal. I have also had my first morning helping at a Riding for The disabled Group. It was such a lovely morning so I am now signed up to help once a week. I have my first task for a creative writing course that meets in the local library once a month. I keen to build up my own life because, if this week is anything to go by, The Rector@6 is going to be out quite a bit and meetings are often in the evening. He has been surprised by the number of Trustee responsibilities and committees that he is apparently expected to be on and that had not been mentioned before. He is busy carefully sifting these.

We are finding time to walk the dogs but only in our immediate area - it is a great way to meet people. Our world was magically transformed by a heavy fall of snow on Sunday. As The Rector@6 had his first service in the local church, we could enjoy the transformation that occurred. Had it been a little colder and the snow a little firmer, I could see the advantage of our sloping back garden. It has potential as an excellent sledging slope - so long as you can stop before the back door!


  1. Busy times ahead I see. It is lovely that you are finding 'things for you to do' in your new location ... not sure that picking knickers up from the front door falls into that category though! With the warmer weather on its way [that snow was just a final farewell to winter?!] the need for woollen underwear and socks will fade. Enjoy your writing course!

  2. That sounds like par for the course for a newly-fledged Rector and wife, Harriet, except for the "coming into the kitchen" bit. That I couldn't have coped with, but it probably explains why no-one has yet summoned the property department to deal with the recalcitrant front door.

    It's amazing how many extra responsibilities fall to your lot once you're in charge of parishes and yes, they never seem to be mentioned in the parish profile or job description. Luckily most of them don't take an undue amount of time or work.

    I'm glad to hear about your own interests and activities beyond the parishes. The two you mention sound very rewarding.

    1. We are getting a new door! The plastic bag stuck in the hole might have promoted the urgency. We have now had the quinqu...(5 year inspection)and it was picked up - along with lots of other work - so we are being invaded by builders again.

    2. Ah, the joys of the quinquennial. :-) I'd have thought they could have done that on the vicarage before you moved in. Has The Rector has the inspections on all his churches too? I used to dread that - waiting to see what expensive bit of repair work would be needed this time....

  3. What a lovely blog - I've also read some of your posts on your other blogs to gain an understanding of the bigger picture...! My father's best friend worked as a vicar in Essex, East London and Brighton through his time in the church. I remember his wife chatting about all these challenges to my Mum - especially when they moved to East London. She always maintained her own career - as a PA in a big London company - but it was never that easy for them. Sending 'bloggy' best wishes, Jx

  4. Hello Jan - thanks for your kind comments - my blog is a bit of an on going saga - I think it is really therapy for me! Actually it is really iseful to see how I have changed - or not!