Thursday, 24 March 2011

A Census Dilemma for Clergy

It seems that Clergy have no ‘office-holder’ option when they fill in their census forms.
According to an announcement from St Albans diocese (scroll down), and no doubt others:

The Archbishops’ Council says:

(a) We very much regret that The Office for National Statistics has not provided a box that allows non-employee office holders to respond accurately.

(b) Clergy will have to decide whether to tick employee or self-employed, neither of which is accurate.

Considering all the fuss that has been made about the status of clergy as office-holders, this has to count as a #fail for the Archbishops’ Council.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 5:55pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

Not really a #fail for the Archbishops' Council: they weren't the ones designing the Census. More of a #fail for Lockheed Martin and their ilk, as "office-holder" is not a category limited to clergy of the established church.

See "Working out your employment status" (!) at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Understandingyourworkstatus/Workersemployeesandselfemployment/DG_183505

Posted by: Justin Lewis-Anthony on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 6:45pm GMT

and how do we describe what we actually do in 34 characters - I look forward to the suggestions flowing below!

Posted by: Ian Black on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 7:14pm GMT

Iofferthespotlesssacrificeofthemass.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 9:28pm GMT

At least one of my twitter pals has filled in the job description as "The cure of souls" - says it all in 17 characters!

Posted by: Richard Gillin on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 10:02pm GMT

In box 26 (employment status) we are asked to tick all that apply - so clergy could hedge their bets and tick employee, self-employed and "none of the above"!

but perhaps the computer would just spit the form out......

Posted by: Rosalind on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 11:17pm GMT

Richard said: "At least one of my twitter pals has filled in the job description as "The cure of souls" - says it all in 17 characters!"

Yes, but that would have to be recorded as a job-share with the Bishop because at the induction the mandate is given "receive the cure of souls which is both mine and thine"

Posted by: Anglican observer on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 11:47pm GMT

I simply put "Ministry" - says it all in 8 characters! Beat that!

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 25 March 2011 at 6:48am GMT

'ministry' is unbeatable ! Thanks David.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 25 March 2011 at 6:54pm GMT

"Announce the kingdom of heaven" 31 characters

Posted by: Murray on Friday, 25 March 2011 at 8:39pm GMT

"Proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven" - 30 characters, and I like "proclaim" better than "announce."

Posted by: Malcolm French on Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 1:27pm GMT

Although this story relates to a Methodist minister, it would appear to have wider implications:

http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/court/Church-minister-wins-employment-rights/article-3351906-detail/article.html

Posted by: Laurence C. on Sunday, 27 March 2011 at 6:42pm BST

Laurence
Possibly. I am going to report on this in a new article quite soon.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 27 March 2011 at 11:09pm BST
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