Villagers advertise for new vicar on YouTube
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
ESSEX, ENGLAND (ANS) – Churchgoers in Essex, England, who have been without a vicar for 16 months are hoping that a video on YouTube will bring them a replacement.
According to a story by Britain’s Telegraph Newspaper, the parish’s two busy churches, St. Andrew’s in Bicknacre and St. Mary’s in Woodham Ferrers currently “borrow” retired clergy and vicars from neighboring parishes.
They have made repeated attempts to recruit a new vicar since Rev. Mary Cottee retired in June 2011.
The Telegraph reported that villagers have made a video appealing for suitable candidates – using a cardboard cut-out to show exactly where the new clergyman will fit in.
The video – featuring almost the whole village – opens with one parishioner being told off by the director for making jokes about the graveyard being the “dead center of the village.”
In his second take he says, “Here we are in St. Mary’s churchyard. It’s a beautiful churchyard as you can see, but we have a grave situation – we have no vicar.”
The Telegraph reported that villagers felt they were left with no option when they realized they had received no applications for the position after an entire year.
According to The Telegraph, the position is for a “house for duty” associate minister who would not get paid. However, he would be given use of a four-bedroom church house in return for working two days a week, plus Sundays. Only five people have downloaded an application form for the job, but nobody has formally applied for it.
The Telegraph reported that Churchwarden Nick Kitchen said, “We’re looking for somebody with enthusiasm who is flexible and willing to get involved in the community.”
He added, “For the people running the church it’s hard work. I’m in a full-time job and it’s difficult to juggle. People end up doing too much.”
The Telegraph said parishioners decided to make the video, which has now been viewed almost 8,000 times, after a meeting between church wardens, the rural dean and the Bishop of Bradwell.
To view the video go to www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9609711/Villagers-advertise-for-new-vicar-on-YouTube.html