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The Cushy Life of a Curate

As we eagerly await the arrival of a new curate, I thought I’ll write a post on Curates.

It is only in England that I have become familiar with the term Curate.  In the Presbyterian church in Scotland, we have no curates.  You are just thrown into the deep end!

Over the years, I have gotten to know a few curates.  In fact, I have known some of them since they were ordinands!  Of course they don’t always remain a Curate.  After  3 years or so they are able to look for an incumbent position.

I would describe a Curacy as on the job training.

However, I have observed that the Curates I know lead a cushy life.  They don’t seem to have the pressures of an incumbent and for some strange reason they appear to get more holidays than their training incumbent for they are often on holiday especially on Sundays!  I am here referring to a full stipendary Curate.

Once I was at Morning/Evening prayer as part of the Thy Kingdom come initiative.  The Curate who was to lead the prayers simply didn’t turn up and sadly it was repeated a few times that week!

Could this be a reason for clergy stress? For if as a Curate one is molly coddled, then going into an incumbent post will be a shock to the system.

I also know that breakdown in relationship between the training incumbent and Curate is a very common problem.