Here at New Directions we always try to have our fingers firmly on the pulse of all that takes place in the modern Church of England. With the introduction of Common Tenure your parish priest will be dashing off to dig out his Continuing Ministerial Education (CME) Handbook in order to find out what courses he should be going on. We wondered what training our clergy might be likely to receive in the current climate.

We assumed that there would be courses on financial management and not on basket weaving – how wrong we were! Courses also included your parish priest being taught by a stand-up comic to improve his sermons, knit your own vestments, the power of pebbles (and no not Fred Flinstone’s daughter), flower arranging for beginners and dealing with the disgruntled – it is little wonder that people feel disgruntled given what their quota is being spent on.

Still there is hope for the future, it is unlikely that there will be any money left in the diocesan pots for painting by numbers, what to do when you’ve run out of knitting patterns and `now you’ve retired what next? Priesthood?!’ Let us all hope they don’t simply give up with priesthood all together!

So support your theological colleges they are a rare breed and support your priests and all they endure in the name of training! ND

The basket weaving class was full