Having a Break from Church

KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
Those bored of the painfully introspective self-indulgence of KarlLB can look away now.

Has anyone ever just given up on church, if only for a time?

We (not the royal we, Mrs KarlLB and I) found ourself at our idiosyncratic little congregation because of all sorts of problems with church in the first place, and now it's gone we find those problems are still there.

They're made worse by the Covid restrictions further dessicating a dry format, but we both realised that we were agonising about finding somewhere to go purely out of a sense that we somehow "should".

The whole thing leaves me - us - completely cold. It drags on. Nothing in it appeals. I can think of a dozen things I'd rather do on a Sunday morning and even "bugger all" ranks in there.

So we're leaving it until Advent. We used to love Advent anr Christmas in the church. If returning then doesn't spark us into life, then I really don't think anything will.

The hands in the air crowd are obviously off limits for reasons given many times before.

Those of you who believe it can possibly make the slightest difference are welcome to pray.
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Comments

  • Well, I sympathise.

    I left The Church Of My Yoof in 1988, when my first marriage broke up. For some years, I made sporadic, but fairly frequent, visits to more congenial local churches. In 1994, having married a Heathen, I gave up on church altogether until that marriage failed in 2002 (if anyone asks me *Are you married?*, I reply *Sometimes*...).

    From 2002 until 2006, I was a regular at the Cathedral, where it was possible to be fairly anonymous - which suited me fine. For various reasons, I gravitated to Our Place, an Anglo-Catholic backstreet parish, where I became Lay Reader in 2008 (I was previously Reader at The Church Of My Yoof, so was re-licensed to the office, rather than admitted IYSWIM).

    The pandemic, and increasing disability, mean that I haven't been to church since last November. Do I miss it? A little - but not enough, I'm afraid, to make me rush back, even though singing is now permitted again!

    The sheer amount of verbiage at each service was putting me off before Ye Plague struck, and with things getting back to *normal*, I can't see that changing much. I just can't handle it all, quite apart from an increasing doubt about the Stuff I'm asked to believe in...

    My Reader's licence expires next month, when I reach a Significant Age With A Nought In It, so taking a back seat is now a viable option. I shall continue to support Our Place with £££s and looking after the website, but don't feel any compulsion to put in an appearance at services.

    All very subjective and personal, but each one of us sees and feels things differently from the next person, I'm sure.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I hear you, Karl. I haven't been to church since I moved back to Scotland, and I'm not sure whether I will once things get back to normal (if they ever do).

    It's not that I don't want to; I've become used to having Sundays to myself, and because my working day is so elongated because of commuting, I really feel the need of two days to rest and do all the little necessary things like laundry, cleaning, cooking ahead for the next week and so on.

    I'm rather taken with your Advent idea; the Advent Procession was always my favourite service of the whole year, so maybe it would be a good time to go back (assuming that the emotional connotations don't get to me).
  • I have had a few gaps over the years, difficult to explain really. Anyway, this is a long one, about 5 years. I don't know if it's permanent. But I was/am a Catholic, and I miss the pomp and ceremony. But the church is also a horrorshow, re gays, etc. About 30 years ago, I had a period of great numinous experience, well, now is the dry salvages.
  • We bunked off church this morning, as we were under the impression that the preacher would be someone we struggle to listen to (in the end it wasn't, but it was too late by then)

    I think online church has made us less tolerant; being able to go and make a cup of tea if you don't fancy one of the songs, or the prayers are going on too long, or, indeed, if the speaker is rambling, or slow, or just not what you're in the mood for - well, it doesn't help your tolerance for a live service, particularly when there is always something up with the sound, or the projection (see what I mean about intolerance?)

    Sitting for an hour in a mask has been very difficult for Mr S, and when the services straggle on over an hour it's painful. No hugging anyone; not nearly as much friendly chat; (officially) no singing...

    Maybe when things settle down and we get back into the swing, all this will improve, but I'm not volunteering to do the PA again as even the professionals seem to struggle at the moment *sigh*
  • I suspect that a lot of people will feel the same as @The Intrepid Mrs S, and it may well take quite some time for them to return to church, if they ever do.

    I think I might give Our Place a try later in the year - Advent sounds a good time - but it's more than likely that if I go anywhere at all, it'll be the Cathedral, or my Local Place (handy parking at the latter!).
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Thing about Advent and Christmas is I actually like the music rather than just being relieved it doesn't involve a guitar and over-enthusiastic "worship leader"
  • Mutters darkly: We have ways of ruining "Veni, veni Emmanuel".
  • I have been in and out of church too:
    • brought up in church as a child,
    • avoided HTB as a student and got out of the habit - for 13 years,
    • started attending again with young child;
    • kept attending until she rebelled and didn't want to go any more (not church, she quite liked that, it was Sunday School she hated with a passion, and it was a battle every week to try and keep her in church);
    • returned when she was old enough to be left;
    • got hugely involved, including working for the local church and when I stopped (long story), walked away for a break.

    That was 9 years ago and I haven't been back, other than the occasional service. I don't want to be a member of a church that continues to be this discriminatory as a body, so I am reluctant to return and see how the local church is now.
  • I didn't mention it earlier, but the attitude of some parts of the C of E to certain Dead Horse issues is another of the things putting me off being an *active* member.
  • Join the URC!
  • DiomedesDiomedes Shipmate
    Can I join the 'Out of Church' club too? I was at a Church of England College for four year and found the chapel services interesting, intellectually challenging and spiritually encouraging. I then attended a Cathedral where the sublime music and dignified liturgy gave me everything I needed, even if congregational participation was almost nil and the preaching patchy to say the least! I moved to a town with a lively Quaker meeting and felt equally at home - lots of challenging ideas to think on and a real commitment to social justice that made up for the lack of music. Since then - nothing. I feel shallow for being put off by poor music, trite sermons and wishy-washy theology but that's how it is. I remain convinced there's somewhere for me out there but perhaps that's the triumph of hope over experience!
  • Raptor EyeRaptor Eye Shipmate
    It’s interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. Perhaps ‘Church’ as a floor show or social event has had its day, and everyone will stop gathering for worship. It’s a lot of work for people to do, preparing sermons and music and keeping buildings going, etc, only to have nothing but criticism in return.

    I didn’t want to start going to church in the first place, weekends were full and I got the shivers in church buildings with all those memorials to the dead. I was persuaded that it is what God wants, to have Christians meet and worship and work together side by side in service. I still feel this in my heart, so I’ll probably be one of the last to leave. I’ll close the door on my way out.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    My natural inclination would be to Cathedral worship (as it's all I've known for the last forty-something years and I love it), but it would mean yet another commute (currently rendered almost impossible because the trains are on strike on Sundays).

    Because nobody has to be anywhere on Sundays, do they? [/snark]
  • Lowly_WormLowly_Worm Shipmate
    I have taken several multi-year breaks from church over my life. I figure God won't let me go. The most recent was about a 10-year gap when I moved to the city I'm currently in and I got tired of trying new churches every week, only to be disappointed by either lack of community or lack of theology. I used the Ship as my church community for part of that time.

    I returned to church about 4 years ago when I realized I desperately needed real-life, flesh and bones community and the Anglican church in my area had settled down substantially regarding divisive issues.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    It's not that I don't want to; I've become used to having Sundays to myself,

    I think that's the experience of a lot of our congregation. When we went in to lockdown, we had good turnout for our Sunday zoom services, but as the months dragged on, numbers dwindled a bit.

    I suspect that when church is something you do from home, it becomes something that you do when you've got nothing else on, so people don't block out their Sunday mornings for church any more.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens in September: lots of people are usually absent in the summer for one reason or another.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    The trains are on strike on Sundays).

    Because nobody has to be anywhere on Sundays, do they? [/snark]
    Clearly run by the Sabbatarian Free Presbyterians.

  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    I have had three main fallow periods in my life, church- wise.
    The reason for the first was small children and a non- childfriendly church , mainly because of the building.
    The second was because I was overcommitted. I needed to visit my elderly parents more frequently, I had just been promoted at work and needed to catch up with life on Saturdays, and prepare for school on Sundays. I was heavily involved at church( PCC secretary, choir etc) so I gave it all up for a few years. Then I found another church where I was nourished and welcomed, with no expectations of me.

    Thirdly, more recently, I hung on until I could bear it no more after a new incumbent wreaked havoc, finally making my break during the pandemic, to settle happily, singing in the choir in a church where order and good music are appreciated, and no further demands are made of me.
  • Join the URC!

    The local URC had a creationist minister last time I looked, much though I liked him otherwise. He has moved on since.

    I was hugely involved, both through being involved with the local church and as secretary of the local Churches Together so I knew most of the other ministers from joint projects and meetings and was far more aware of views and foibles than most.
  • We had a break from church during the rather traumatic church split in the parish church we were attending (one of the more infamous ones; the pcc used an ecclesiastical tribunal to evict the vicar and it managed to feature in the broadsheets and on ‘have I got news for you.’). Our leaving didn’t happen purposely though, we kind of crept into it. We spent several months finding excuses for not going to church. At the end of August we went to Greenbelt and it was there we gave a sigh of relief and asked ourselves whether we still belonged in a church with a congregation behaving in such an unChristian way. We never went back. We thought it would be hard what with it being the village church and bumping into people but so many people had left by then that nobody asked you why you weren’t coming to church.
    Soon afterwards we found our current church, where we walked in and knew that they were a friendly, open community straight away. We’ve been here 17 years.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    (if anyone asks me *Are you married?*, I reply *Sometimes*...).
    :lol:

    I relate to a lot of what's been said here. I haven't been to a real life service at Our Place since before the first lockdown and appreciate watching online with the opportunity for fast-forwarding. I'm in no hurry at all to go back and worries about being in crowded places are a legitimate excuse. In reality the issues go deeper, and further back, than that; I disagree with Our Place's official line on certain Dead Horse issues and don't know whether I should stay in order to try to change views from within or leave in order to show solidarity with those who wouldn't be affirmed by the congregation. The flip side is that Our Place does a huge amount of good in the community and there are people in it I care about.

    If I lived in or near a city, or somewhere with an abbey or minster, that would definitely be part of my worship pattern.

    We're in the habit now of meeting friends for coffee on a Sunday morning and that's part of church for us in terms of relationships and meaningful conversation. We also have a group that meets on a Sunday afternoon and that's part of church for us too.

    I don't know how long this will go on for, or how and whether things will change.
  • Nenya wrote: »
    (if anyone asks me *Are you married?*, I reply *Sometimes*...).
    :lol:

    I relate to a lot of what's been said here. I haven't been to a real life service at Our Place since before the first lockdown and appreciate watching online with the opportunity for fast-forwarding. I'm in no hurry at all to go back and worries about being in crowded places are a legitimate excuse. In reality the issues go deeper, and further back, than that; I disagree with Our Place's official line on certain Dead Horse issues and don't know whether I should stay in order to try to change views from within or leave in order to show solidarity with those who wouldn't be affirmed by the congregation. The flip side is that Our Place does a huge amount of good in the community and there are people in it I care about.
    <snip>

    My quip about marriage actually comes from the film Jurassic Park, IIRC, and is said by the character played by Jeff Goldblum.

    As to the rest of what @Nenya says, I feel much the same about Our Place...

  • The local URC had a creationist minister last time I looked, much though I liked him otherwise.
    Wow - he must be unique!

  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    I had a ten year break when Benedict was pope, and we got a particularly unpalatable priest. I've been back for 12 years now as parish organist and various things make me sense another break is about to start - from the parish certainly, maybe not from the Church. I've had breaks in the past so this will/might be nothing new.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    Ms. C and I stopped attending the church about 3 years ago. Boring repetitive liturgy, boring repetitive songs. Sexist (gender exclusive language) etc. Our sons (19 and 24), however, are still actively involved.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 26
    Hmm. I quite like repetitive liturgy, in the sense that the structure is the same each week, although some of the content (hymns, readings, intercessions) are different each time. I wonder if the fact that I'm some way up the autistic spectrum has something to do with this?

    What I can no longer cope with are the constant interpolations, mini-sermons before each Bible reading, off-the-cuff remarks, invitations to sing *Happy Birthday* to Jesus, or Mary (I kid you not!), and so on...

    Coupled with this is the realisation, having watched many online organ recitals from the Netherlands, and having previously visited some of the light, austere churches of that country, of how much I hate, loathe, and detest the cheap and nasty Anglo-Catholic tat at Our Place! We do have a few antique items worth keeping, but I would love to clear the church of most of it, and apply yet more whitewash to the walls.

    Alas, previous generations have NOT looked after some of the images, pictures etc., but even so, they add nothing IMHO to the worship...
  • Waiting and seeing is a reasonable option. Church community is nice but not essential for everyone all the time. Having had church failure to respond with even a modicum of anything after a terrible life event we distanced and worked through hurt and anger at both the incident and church, determining that we'd try to engage in a wider community of non-doctrinaire people. Helping others, community improvement of supports, and mostly 'whatever' re the salvationism things. Not sure after more than a decade if we'll re-engage in other than a church-o-tainmemt way. Lots of church people here are insufferable, conservative, self centred.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    I'm gently easing my way into the only Catholic church in my new town. In my previous place the parish church looked beautiful, being a rare example of an Italianate Victorian Catholic Church in the UK, and the sound system was great. That's important when you're as deaf as me. What wasn't so great was how flipping traditional it was. I kept on feeling I'd fallen into Brideshead Revisited. The new church is modern, and before I'd even stepped over the threshold the local Quakers had told me how much they liked the priest. Still not keen on going to Mass (far too packed) on a Sunday, but I've been turning up on random weekdays, and so far so good.
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    Another one who is not at all certain if or when I return…
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited July 26
    This is so heart-rending. The congregation that died was made up of people who felt unable to go to mainstream churches, either because their neurodivergence, their subculture, their gender identity or their sexuality put them on the periphery (at best), or because it simply didn't work for them; for us it was having the only children in a church that seemed to not even know what a child was, in a place where the only places that did have children in the congregation would have been unbearable for us and quite possibly entirely impossible for our particular children.*

    They moved away, moved on, moved out, and we didn't get new people to replace them.

    And yet I'm hearing the same voices here from the de-churched.

    *Before now we've walked into a wedding reception or birthday bash at a pub and I've had to take one or more of them straight home because they cannot bear the noise. To this day if a TV programme has a scene at a night club or noisy pub Boy #1's response is "what fresh new Hell is this!?!"

    And they think all young people like loud music. Mine would crawl naked over broken glass to escape it.
  • I’ve never really had a long break since I became a Christian 30 years ago. I think about leaving often. During semi-lockdown when churches were open but we had to pre-book, I mentioned to a friend that I hadn’t been for 6 months, had watched almost none of the online services and I’d hardly missed it. “You know what this means, don’t you?” he said. “You only need to go to church once in 6 months”.

    I see people at church I wouldn’t see otherwise, which is a definite joy. Sometimes I think I can learn something from the discipline of having to get on with people I wouldn’t do otherwise. But the church as a whole - I’m tired of being treated like a naughty child or difficult employee, the Dead Horses issues are just ridiculous and the top level planning seems so far removed from reality eg the 10,000 new ventures.

    I’m currently in the “hoping to improve things from the inside” camp mentioned above, but if I feel that becomes hopeless then who knows.
    But still, there’s something, something that keeps me coming back. Maybe it’s the rumour of God that the wonderful PTO vicar who led our book group used to talk about. Or maybe it’s more like picking a scab.
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    edited July 26
    Even if I didn’t go to the church I was supposed to be going to…… I went to another instead!

    For sixty years I have rocked up at a public act of worship, somewhere. So why am I not queuing up to return?

    Dead Horses issues feature highly; I dislike flinching on a very regular basis - the casual assumption that everyone agrees with bigoted attitudes is very draining.

    But right now?
    It is really sad to have to admit this (and I don’t know whether I hope no one from our church is reading this, or everyone is), but last time I set foot in the building The Person Wot Led The Service & Preached was flippant In The Extreme concerning the virus , mocked official guidance then stood bang in the middle of the doorway on the way out and said
    “you are not afraid to shake my hand, are you?”

    Do I want to return to a place where I cannot safely take my friends or family?
    Possibly not.

    Do I want to return to a place that give public space to what a friend calls Magical Thinking in regard to the virus?
    Possibly not.

    Do I have any patience left?
    Possibly not.



    Do I miss being surrounded by rumours of God and shared hope?
    Yes.
    Yes I do.


  • I'm following this discussion and thinking about it, as I have been for a long time. I love church and like to be there. I enjoy stirring music and stimulating preaching. Our own church is evolving and keeps drawing in more and younger people with the band and the invariable 'God loves you' message. It seems that every service is a 'seeker' service, planned for people who have never been in a church before and careful not to challenge them by facing what are still difficult topics for some people. I've stopped watching the online services, as they all follow the same formula - no discernible liturgy, superficial prayers, a pre-packaged talking-head sermon. If there has been a natural or unnatural disaster in the preceding week it may be slipped into a prayer. From my point of view, it is altogether like the valley of dry bones waiting for new life to be breathed into it. I am neither contributing to it nor taking anything from it. There is much more, of course, but the basic issue, participation in worship, has almost ceased for me.
  • DiomedesDiomedes Shipmate
    Me too Ethne Alba - 'rumours of God and shared hope' is what has kept me on SoF for many years, even though I post so rarely.
  • Ethne Alba wrote: »
    last time I set foot in the building The Person Wot Led The Service & Preached was flippant In The Extreme concerning the virus , mocked official guidance then stood bang in the middle of the doorway on the way out and said
    “you are not afraid to shake my hand, are you?”

    Oh, goodness.

    We all know that the world has stupid people, but it's hard to have them inflicted on us like that, particularly occupying some kind of position of authority.

    It's very much not a question of "fear". I'm not afraid of germs in general, but I still wash my hands on a regular basis. I'm not afraid of being in a car accident, but I wear a seatbelt. And what's more, I'm willing to bet that all the "fath not fear" people routinely wear seatbelts. They're not trusting in God to mystically prevent them from having an accident, or from coming to harm if they have an accident: they're just automatically wearing the seatbelt.

    God acts, for the most part, through us. We are His hands. And we do things like inventing seatbelts, and car crumple zones, and other things to make driving cars safer, and we invent vaccines to make living in proximity to a virus safer. There's no fundamental difference between a vaccine and one of the many other safety precautions that we routinely take on a daily basis. But I will bet anything you like that the "faith not fear" idiots don't shun those other sensible precautions.
  • Some of the Persons Wot Lead Services & Preach are enough to put anyone off church.

    Having been absent from church for a week, I mentioned to Fr F**kwit that I'd had a bout of depression.

    *O a True Christian™ should never be depressed* was his reply.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Some of the Persons Wot Lead Services & Preach are enough to put anyone off church.

    Having been absent from church for a week, I mentioned to Fr F**kwit that I'd had a bout of depression.

    *O a True Christian™ should never be depressed* was his reply.

    Too stupid to live. What twat thought he was suitable for ordained ministry. Or any ministry?
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    Thank you @Jemima the 9th for that comment concerning rumours of God….
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited July 26
    Perhaps someone should suggest to him that a True Christian* might have some empathy, or sympathy at least, for the experiences of others and would listen instead of spouting rubbish.
    *Obvs I don't usually judge what a True Christian might be, but neither should he.
  • Perhaps someone should suggest to him that a True Christian might have some empathy, or sympathy at least, for the experiences of others and would listen instead of spouting rubbish.

    Ironically, soon after that exchange I had to have an involuntary break from church whilst I waited to go into hospital for brain surgery...

    That break lasted until such time as Fr F had to retire, after which I felt comfortable again at being at church, even though I was unable to do much of the Stuff I'd been doing before.

  • ThunderBunkThunderBunk Shipmate
    edited July 26
    "Living in Love and Faith" (pause for some kind of expectoration) has nearly killed my faith in the church. Its insistence on what I see as Peter and Jane theology and a narrow conservatism which has nothing to do with my life or my experience of God has me hovering even closer to the edge than usual. Being a sacrament-addict, I will probably stay in my inclusive niche, but I am deeply dismayed, and happy to be no closer to the centre of things, which would be a hostile, arid place for me to be.

    ETA: yes I know that all sounds very egotistical, but the fact is that a break is about the individual's relationship, or lack thereof, with the church as community and/or institution. In my case, community is just about winning over institution but it's a close run thing.
  • (I don't know if this will be at all helpful - and I put it in brackets in case it is not useful at all - but my experience is that I sometimes find comfort and challenge and change in personal bible reading and contemplation, and sometimes in a small Christian men's group where I am a kind of guest. And being in church is quite a lot like being in work, and I go because I feel I ought, and this is OK. I don't really expect to 'get' anything from it, and when I do, that's great. Some people may see my presence as an encouragement, sometimes. When preachers say things I don't agree with, I may be able to raise an eyebrow with someone else who feels the same. I think I am trying to say it is OK not to find a 'home' - 'foxes have dens' etc. It may be that a 'home' does not really exist, in the sense of such a thing in community with other people - but we may still be called to meet. I think.)
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    edited July 26
    Meeting is good.

    Continually listening to nonsense?
    Less so.




  • Ethne Alba wrote: »
    Thank you @Jemima the 9th for that comment concerning rumours of God….

    My pleasure!

    @Bishops Finger I was lost for words at Fr F*****t’s reply to you. How….deeply unhelpful.

    @ThunderBunk I don’t think your post sounded egotistical in the slightest. Why stay somewhere which causes so much grief? (Poor typing and autocorrect made that so much Frieda, which amuses me. Who is Frieda, and why are her effects so bad?) A fairly brief chat with some lovely people has shown me that many of them share your views of the theology of LLF.
  • (I don't know if this will be at all helpful - and I put it in brackets in case it is not useful at all - but my experience is that I sometimes find comfort and challenge and change in personal bible reading and contemplation, and sometimes in a small Christian men's group where I am a kind of guest. And being in church is quite a lot like being in work, and I go because I feel I ought, and this is OK. I don't really expect to 'get' anything from it, and when I do, that's great. Some people may see my presence as an encouragement, sometimes. When preachers say things I don't agree with, I may be able to raise an eyebrow with someone else who feels the same. I think I am trying to say it is OK not to find a 'home' - 'foxes have dens' etc. It may be that a 'home' does not really exist, in the sense of such a thing in community with other people - but we may still be called to meet. I think.)

    This is more or less what has kept us engaged with our host congregation in spite of (never mind). We were hoping we could be on the receiving end, which was something we badly needed, but it became clear that we were going to end up being the ministers again. Which isn't bad--you need to consider both what you're getting and what you're giving, and hopefully there's some of both. But it's been mostly giving up till now (like looking after their people who fall through the cracks--elderly, shut-in, disaffected, etc), though there is a possible crack of light that things might change. We'll see.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    *Obvs I don't usually judge what a True Christian might be, but neither should he.
    Thank you for that; a much more worthy response than my initial one which was to travel to Kent immediately and punch Fr F*****t on the nose. *gives @Bishops Finger a virtual hug.

    There are some beautiful and thought-provoking posts here. I love "rumours of God and shared hope." And @mark_in_manchester I find your post very helpful indeed and have read it a number of times. Mr Nen and I were talking about the subject of this thread in the pub garden last night, discussing when we would or might go back to in-church services and our future walk with Our Place. No real conclusions yet, just living with the questions.

    *Also hugs @Lamb Chopped and @ThunderBunk*

    What is a PTO vicar, please?
  • "Permission To Officiate" - "Permission to Officiate (PTO) is the way in which clergy who are not incumbents or licensed by the Bishop are authorised to exercise their ministry as deacons and priests. Many of those holding Permission to Officiate have retired from licensed ministry. Others are licensed in another diocese or are for some reason currently without an ecclesiastical office." (Diocese of Blackburn).
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    "Permission To Officiate" - "Permission to Officiate (PTO) is the way in which clergy who are not incumbents or licensed by the Bishop are authorised to exercise their ministry as deacons and priests. Many of those holding Permission to Officiate have retired from licensed ministry. Others are licensed in another diocese or are for some reason currently without an ecclesiastical office." (Diocese of Blackburn).

    Aka Rentavic.

  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    "Permission To Officiate" - "Permission to Officiate (PTO) is the way in which clergy who are not incumbents or licensed by the Bishop are authorised to exercise their ministry as deacons and priests. Many of those holding Permission to Officiate have retired from licensed ministry. Others are licensed in another diocese or are for some reason currently without an ecclesiastical office." (Diocese of Blackburn).

    Ah - thank you.

    @KarlLB - :lol:
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    "Permission To Officiate" - "Permission to Officiate (PTO) is the way in which clergy who are not incumbents or licensed by the Bishop are authorised to exercise their ministry as deacons and priests. Many of those holding Permission to Officiate have retired from licensed ministry. Others are licensed in another diocese or are for some reason currently without an ecclesiastical office." (Diocese of Blackburn).

    Aka Rentavic.

    Hehe. FatherHelpingUsOut is a PTO priest, and I think he has PTO in the other diocese, down the road, having been a beneficed clergyman in the said diocese.
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