The Vicar

The historic hub of Holy Island is the Church of England parish church of St. Mary. Only this church has a full-time resident priest. This priest is known as The Vicar. The word Vicar - which is like the English word vicarious - implies that the priest acts on behalf of Christ, and lives out his spirit.

Since Christmas there has been a vacancy for a new vicar. The process of finding the right person to fill this vacancy is taking a long time. One of our island representatives on the interview panel said 'We need someone who understands the island'. Applicants, of course, come with their own agendas, but unless they understand the patterns and possibilities of the island and the mind-set of islanders (as well as the needs of pilgrims) they are doomed to disappointment.

The news that no one has yet been appointed co-incided with St. James' Day. The apostle James once wanted the top job. Jesus told him the job would involve suffering. 'The job' of following Christ changed James. He ended his life as a martyr. In a homily on the Gospel account of James our locum priest, John Wylam, reminded us that Jesus does not look for 'good' people, because 'good' people can look down on others. He looks for people who are at the bottom, who are ground level people. At that level there is no one to look down upon. Someone like that would make a good vicar of Holy Island.

Posted at 00:57am on 26th July 2010
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