Why a curate for St Clement’s?
As many of you know, I have been looking for a new curate for quite a while now. St Clement’s is a church which is more of a shrine church than a parish church. By this I mean that people choose to come here from quite a distance around, usually because they like the traditional Anglo-Catholic liturgy or the classical music sung by a superb choir.
One of our main tasks is, therefore, to maintain the best standard of ceremonial and music, especially at the High Mass. This cannot be done with just one priest, but requires at least a priest and a deacon or, in practice, two priests.
But another reason for finding a curate is that many of our elderly, faithful members have moved into assisted living. Some of them can still get to church; others are house-bound. They have come to St Clement’s almost every week (and some of them almost every day) for decades, and it is only right that St Clement’s should go to them with the Bread of Life as often as possible. Of course, some churches have chosen to use lay ministers to do this, but this would not do here, especially with our more traditional elderly members. They want to see a priest!
And a third reason for having a curate is that, over the years, St Clement’s has sent out quite a number of younger priests, fully trained in the disciplines of the Daily Office and the traditional Mass, (including the ability to sing it), the hearing of Confessions, the anointing of the sick etc, as well as the ability to teach the Catholic Faith both in the pulpit and in classes. Those fleeing to the various schisms or to the RC Church have left a vacuum in the Episcopal Church which must be filled with healthy, confident Anglican Catholics. St Clement’s, and churches like ours, have the duty to continue providing places for such young priests to be trained.
So, even though it is an expensive business these days to employ two priests, I am still looking hard for the right man to come here as curate. He will have to be single and willing to live in the Clergy House (though in a nice apartment of his own); he will have to unlearn a lot of the nonsense that passes for doctrine, Church history and liturgy in some of our seminaries; and most of all he will have to have a sense of humour if he is to survive the modern Church (and even bits of it in St Clement’s!)