Dot Gosling is a former University chaplain who also graduated from the University with a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education in 2004. Dot is now parish priest for three church communities near Prestatyn and also the mission area leader. She looks after ten parishes in total, has three colleagues to care for, and facilitates missions alongside her colleagues.
In today’s blog post, Dot tells us what a day in the life of a parish priest is like…
“So what does a day look like for me?”
“This morning started as usual, with breakfast and prayer. Taking a look at my diary, I could see I had two appointments, then the rest of my day was going to be admin type things and trying to get some notes down for the sermon on Sunday. However, that is not quite what my day ended up looking like…
10.00am: I had my first visitor, a mum whose little boy is being baptised in two weeks. We had a good conversation and she left, I went back to my computer and was about to start doing some work when the phone rang!
10.20am: It was one of my church wardens talking about an issue we have with lighting in one of the church buildings… that led on to a conversation about the closed church in another of the villages… that led onto another conversation about stoles!
10.35am: When that conversation finished, I had to phone the personal assistant to our bishop, who gave me two more names to call about the closed church.
10.40am: Phoned the first of the two names and we may be slightly nearer to knowing what the next steps are to making the church redundant in order to dispose of some the items in there.
10.50am: Phone call finished, I started to read emails and the doorbell went. It was the church warden who had been on the phone earlier. She had been to the closed church and brought round some vestments for me to look at, including stoles. We had a conversation about my phone calls and then she left.
11.10am: Finally started to deal with emails and various other admin tasks (including putting some washing in the machine!).
12.45pm: I began to gather the things I needed for a meeting I was going to in order to plan for an away day for the newly formed mission area. Luckily I managed to get my washing out as well, then I needed to set off for the meeting.
The meeting was a good one, but I didn’t leave there until 4.35pm and my next appointment was at 5.30pm – 50 minutes away!
5.25pm: I arrived at Gyrn castle just in time. I was greeted by the owner and immediately asked if I was ok with heights and taken up to the top of the castle outside! We then went down the scaffolding and went inside to a lovely warm kitchen where we conversed for 90 minutes – a wide ranging conversation, some of which will be great if it happens!
7.00pm: Arrived home and made dinner before sitting down to finish writing this. Although I should be able to relax, as I have done more than a full day, I now have to put together a short Morning Prayer order of service for tomorrow. My three colleagues will be here at 9.15am to pray and talk together for an hour or so.
No day is the same in my week! There are a few constants, such as the time we meet for prayer on Friday mornings, or a Wednesday morning Eucharist. Some weeks I have school collective worship, and obviously Sunday services, but the rest is different every week. That’s what I like so much about the job, the variety and different conversations I have mean I don’t ever have time to be bored. I also know I have been called here by God, for now, but it won’t be forever… watch this space!”