I often think about the distinction made [was it Robert Runcie] between the degrees of busyness.  To be ‘obviously not busy’ seems undesirable.  So does ‘obviously busy’.  Best is ‘not obviously busy’ – because it suggests some element of control and also of space to deal with the unexpected.  I’ve been reading Abbot Christopher Jamison’s [of ‘The Monastery] book ‘Finding Sanctuary’  He, of course, hits the busyness thing where it hurts by suggesting that it is an option which we choose.  And of course it has the effect of closing off the option of exploring stillness and silence.  Guilty as charged, I think.  Part of me fights back and says, ‘Well, it’s all very well for him in his monastery …. ‘   I have a feeling that part of the answer lies in attempting to work in bursts of very intense activity.  Clergy tend not to have clearly-defined work/not work boundaries.  So the danger is that we sort of pick at it all the time.  So sometimes it may feel like busyness but it is actually a lack of discipline about when and how we work


  1. As a CofE curate (30 years ago) I worked for two vicars. One reminded me repeatedly how busy he was. The other never complained about such things. Which one do you think got through more work and was more available to colleagues and parishioners in a crisis?

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