This post isn’t perfect, it’s undoubtedly clumsy and both my argument and views poorly articulated, but I hope you’ll be understanding – I was juggling clearing up multiple piles of sick provided by my poorly son with doing several loads of washing, ferrying my daughter between school and music lessons, picking up my wife from her job and trying to study as part of my Ordination Training. My excuse: I’m just not very good at multi-tasking.
On 9th December 2019, @manwhohasitall posted a question on Twitter:
@manwhohasitall: I’m interviewing a male priest about what it’s like to be a priest at the same time as being a man. What should I ask him?
Click on the image of this tweet above, and all those below, to view them and other replies on Twitter
In the blur between what is fake and what is real on social media and in the news it isn’t immediately apparent that @Manwhohasitall is a parody account (see this article in The Independent from 2016). The account, and many of the responses to it’s tweets, point towards the sexism directed towards women by highlighting attitudes that are all too real. The responses below show it well by rephrasing the questions posed to women as questions to pose to men.
The sexism and double standards the responses pointed towards are wrong, but was there anything wrong in the question that was asked? Continue reading
More tea, Ordinand?
Tea. Testing. Transformational. Three words which capture the essence of my first year of Ordination Training. This post, the first of 3 blog posts reviewing the year, is all about the power of a cup of tea. Well, partly. It’s also about self-awareness and mental health.
A travelling tea set I found in the French town of Périgueux seemed just the thing for a trainee vicar who would often be away from home at a theological college. Contained within hinged cylindrical metal case, held closed by 2 leather straps, were a trinity of tea caddies and an infuser. It played up to the stereotype of “More Tea Vicar”, but did so on my terms: the blends of tea inside were drinkable. Just as I don’t like instant coffee but love coffee brewed from the bean, I love lots of varieties of tea but can’t stand the crowds’ favourite of English Breakfast Tea or ‘Builder’s Tea’. This, I know, is potentially problematic for someone who may be doing pastoral visits in England, but there is always the simplicity of a glass of water!
What was brought as a piece of amusement proved to teach me an important lessons that carried me through the year: the need for solitude and reflection, and to care for my mental health. Continue reading
Walking the tightrope
Over recent years we have seen an increased awareness about mental health issues but how honest can we be when talking about them? How certain can we be that as well as more people talking about mental health issues more people understand them?
In a blog committed to being open and honest about what it can be like to discern whether I should be ordained it is perhaps strange to question the degree of honesty, but every disclosure brings with it a consequence. People disclosing their struggles with mental health can get sidelined and loose jobs. I fear they might find routes towards ordination blocked too because of misunderstanding speaking louder than God’s will.
It isn’t easy being green
There sat Kermit, all alone. Blending into the background, feeling overlooked. Everyone, everything, seemed so much more attractive than he felt. He felt anything but special. But…
But Kermit realised that there were some wonderful things that were a bit like him. They were big, they were friendly and important. The thought perks up Kermit, he rises to a brief high before coming down to a level where he is able to accept that he is who he is. He’s not jumping for joy but he’s not in the depths of despair. Kermit feels okay.
Kermit had had the Big D. Continue reading