Frustrations she could do without, on top of all the demands of leading a church.
I've been reflecting on her situation, and the fact that in some tough areas most of the vicars are women. It's one of the emerging patterns that the Dean of Leicester, Viv Faull, noted in a lecture in 2006. But why should this be?
Kilpin gives 4 options:
- women have more guts than men
- women are less worried about money than men
- inner city churches are more liberal
- inner city churches are more desperate
I wonder which one you would go for? Kilpin's paper is definitely worth reading, though from my own experience I would want to add 'outer estate' to 'inner city': many of the challenges are similar.
Ministry is about service, but it does sometimes seem puzzling to me that some tough parishes can be hard to fill, whereas clergy flock to apply to those in leafy suburbia.
In fact I guess this is the flip side of that other big question, why there are so few women larger churches? One answer might be that numbers of them, whether out of choice or necessity, are following a diffent path.