Some clergy have Really Useful collateral skills — playing the guitar, journalism, fundraising, stage magic for school assemblies.
Second Last Thing
My second piece of advice is for people who believe there may be a capability issue with their vicar. For this to go anywhere formally, it should normally relate to what incumbents are actually there to do. A hymn writing, guitar playing or beekeeping fail is bad news. But it’s unlikely to support capability proceedings.
Canon C24 of the Church of England. Such is the variety of circumstances in which clergy work that these norms are indicative, taken in context, not exhaustive and literally applied. Bear in mind that nobody scores 100% in any or all areas, but these are their core functions.
Maintaining a pattern of prayer in the parish, traditionally understood as drawn from the Daily Office — the prayers of the whole Church provided for in Prayer Book and Common Worship.
- Celebration of Holy Communion
They should provide for the regular celebration of Holy Communion, especially on Sundays and Holy Days.
Clergy should provide for regular preaching in the Churches for which they are responsible.
Clergy should teach, both adults and children, being willing to visit schools when invited
- Present candidates for Confirmation
having prepared them for discipleship within the life of the Church.
both the sick and housebound, and make themselves available for spiritual counsel and advice.
- Consult with a Parochial Church Council
about matters of general concern and importance to the parish. This should meet at least four times a year.
- Arrange substitutes
when unable to perform their basic duties themselves
You might react to this list in various ways — where are the targets? Where are Performance Indicators? You may indeed see praying, leading Sacraments, preaching and teaching as less than vital functions for the Church compared to other things. Yet these are still the primary activities clergy are there to enable in the Parish. Why no KPI’s? Well one reason is that clergy do have tremendous liberty to approach these tasks according to conscience and personal conviction. Imposing on the consciences of clergy is likely to induce more losses than gains. The breadth of the working space clergy have is not always ideally used. The besetting sin of clergy, however, is far more often overwork than laziness.So, secondly...
If you are thinking of Capability, relate your concerns to what Vicars are actually there to do.