GOOD NEWS FOR CLARA OUR ASSISTANT CURATE
“Curate” is an English term for the ordained person responsible for the “cure of souls” in a parish church. This means worship and education, pastoral care and administrative oversight. Ordinarily this is the “rector” or “vicar” of the parish, otherwise known as the “incumbent”. An assistant curate is a priest or deacon who assists in this ministry.
In Canada the role of an assistant curate is that of an apprentice, a newly ordained deacon or priest learning the tools of the trade and gaining experience in his or her new vocation. This is usually a two- to three-year placement that culminates in the assistant curate moving on to a parish of his or her own.
The good news is that, instead of moving on, Clara is being appointed here through 2015 as Associate Priest. This is a recognition that her training days have ended and that she takes her place alongside the Rector in the “cure of souls” at St. Stephen’s.
The bad news (for us … though it is good news for her) is that Clara will be devoting only half her time to St. Stephen’s in the coming year, while taking on a new diocesan ministry of resourcing and supporting rural ministry. It is a wonderful opportunity for Clara, though it means we will be seeing less of her ourselves.