“What does a Parish Assistant at St Chrysostom’s Church do? ”
What doesn’t a Parish Assistant do would perhaps be an easier question to answer! If variety is the spice of life, working at St Chrysostom’s certainly gives a flavoursome diet… here’s a taster!
“It really is true that no 2 days are alike. Amid general admin and day to day work around the church, including welcoming visitors, there are different foci throughout the year; September – welcoming students, December – Advent outreach etc. There are opportunities to assist and lead in preparing worship with good space for creativity in events like the World Day of Prayer, LGBT Communion, and student/teenage worship.
Work at both of our parish schools has been a highlight – leading ‘Munamato’, a time of prayers before school at St Chrysostom’s and working in the classrooms one day per week. Children come along to activity days in half terms which are hard work but good fun.
Its a privilege to have been so welcoming in the community, at church and in the local area. There are many opportunities to engage with different institutions and groups of people locally, encouraging links with the church, offering a smile and a chat or just being visible in the community. Its a huge encouragement to find that on bad days and good, there is always a friendly face to bump into and have a cup of tea (lots of tea!) with. And all is this is fed by the daily pattern of worship and prayer which itself opens new doors and experiences…”
“A working week at St Chrysostom’s is a busy and varied one. I feel that the week really begins at Sunday Mass; it’s the time when we come together as a Church for worship, with the opportunity after to catch up with everyone’s news. Five months in I’m starting to feel very much part of the place, and I certainly value this chance for fellowship. The week days are often taken up with routine tasks, and these often afford opportunities to meet and talk with people, on pastoral visits or when Church is open on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.
Being at the centre of the life of the Church, shows you how much the Church does outside Sunday mornings, and it’s been a real joy to be a part of all the different areas of community life the Church has contact with. This may be attending dinners at a Halls of Residence, or delivering the Parish Magazine to the Chinese consulate (!) all are areas where dialogue, in whatever small or large way, happens. It’s a busy and incredibly rewarding job, and it has certainly clarified many grey areas for me on my own vocational journey.”