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Thank Your Vicar Week encourages congregations to show gratitude
All over the country, parishes and schools are being encouraged to think of ways to thank their vicar for the annual 'Thank Your Vicar Week'.
The week celebrates the vital contribution clergy make to their communities, and gives parishes the opportunity to say a big thank you to their vicar and/or curate.
Rt Rev Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley, told Premier why the position can be quite challenging.
He said: "We're basically now giving clergy two jobs.
"On one hand, they've got keeping the show on the road; they've got regular stuff of weekly services, teaching, school assemblies, worrying about buildings and worrying about money.
"But then we also say we've got to grow this parish, we've got to make new Christians; we've got to reach out and serve the community in new an imaginative ways.
"It's an area of work which many clergy have not been trained when they were in college some years ago.
"It means many of our clergy are working tremendous hours. It can put a great deal of stress on family life. People very often appreciate their priest but forget to say thank you."
The week has been promoted by St Luke's Healthcare for the Clergy, a charity which cares for the health and wellbeing of Anglican clergy and their families.
Schools are invited to hold a special Thank Your Vicar assembly, using free downloadable resources from the St Luke's website. The resources have also been designed to enhance the primary RE curriculum.
Rev North told Premier there are several ways to show appreciation to a church leader.
He said: "Someone standing up in the service saying 'can we this week say thank you to our priest?', or baking a cake, or keeping an extra eye on the family. I think simple gestures can be very powerful ones."
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