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Source: (consider it) Thread: OLMs in the C of E
sebby
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Indeed batshit crazy and half-invented.

The 'Army 2020' programme incorporating the reduction in troops from 102,000 to 82, 000 (the wiseness of this is a separate issue) includes the abolition of the term 'TA' in favour of a One Army concept. All will be members of the army full stop. Personnel will be interchangeable. There will be no first class, second class and so on in terms of regular and reserve.

Given that this was largely driven by economics and the need for bods, perhaps there is a lesson for the CofE: end the anomoly that creates tiers of priesthood, and make one sort that can be deployed wherever, either stipendary or non-stipendary, and a method of moving between these areas.

This will probably happen in time, but as usual, a few decades after other areas of society have woken up to it.

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sebhyatt

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by *Leon*:
The other really silly thing about the current situation is the gap between OLMs being completely local and NSMs being completely deployable. Which means in practice that someone considering these 2 paths has to immediately chose between never leaving their current parish or never returning. As far as I can work out, that's usually the big decision, and people put up with the level of selection, training and respect that flows from that decision.

Didn't there used to be Local Non-stipendiary Ministers - LNSMs? I haven't heard of them since shortly after about 2000. Where they phased out?
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*Leon*
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quote:
Originally posted by sebby:

Given that this was largely driven by economics and the need for bods, perhaps there is a lesson for the CofE: end the anomoly that creates tiers of priesthood, and make one sort that can be deployed wherever, either stipendary or non-stipendary, and a method of moving between these areas.

That was the situation until recently (and it remains the case that it's easy to move between being a NSM and a stipendary priest). The problem is that the masses are crying out for a 2 tier priesthood.

Or to be more accurate: The masses (in some places) are crying out for priests who are either unable or unwilling to meet the standard that the church requires as the normal standard. The church either has to lower the standard, tell the masses that they can't have what they want or invent a 2 tier arrangement. The church has, of course, done a bad job of implementing all 3 strategies.

Anselmina:
I'm going to guess that LNSMs are the same as OLMs. Presumably OLMs have the right to equality with NSMs in terms of the number of different acronyms used to describe their role.

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Curiosity killed ...

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LNSMs was an idea that didn't seem to get off the ground, certainly in Salisbury - they existed on paper, but there was no training available. I had a friend get accepted at ABBAM for LNSM and then get told there was nothing available for her to train.

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Raptor Eye
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quote:
Originally posted by *Leon*:
Or to be more accurate: The masses (in some places) are crying out for priests who are either unable or unwilling to meet the standard that the church requires as the normal standard. The church either has to lower the standard, tell the masses that they can't have what they want or invent a 2 tier arrangement. The church has, of course, done a bad job of implementing all 3 strategies.


I'm bemused as I'm reading this thread. [Ultra confused]

2 tiers of priest? Lower the standard? In what sense? Who are the 'masses' wanting inferior priests? Where do 'Readers' fit in to this inferior/superior structure?

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Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46.10

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Enoch
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I think there's a profound mismatch between the clerical and lay view on this.

The clergy see the distinction as between the ordained and the unordained, a matter of orders and theology. To the rest of the church, the distinction is not about orders, but between those that are paid from church funds to enable them to exercise a ministry, and those that are not.

So the clergy get very anxious about priests they think might not be adequately intellectually trained to exercise their sacred ministry. Most of the laity have no problem with unpaid priests that the senior clergy might regard as only part trained, as long as they are living holy lives and take services competently. Such priests are more like the rest of us.

What the laity though does expect from full time paid church staff, whether ordained or not, is that if the church pays them a stipend not to have to earn their living, that they don't just live holy lives and take services competently, but also have abilities commensurate with their stipend, and are fully committed to what they are being 'stipended' to do.

One may condemn the rules for being chiroptercoprophiloid but if so, IMHO the reason is that many clergy either can't get their heads round this stipend point, or haven't noticed it.

I suppose part of the question is whether you think it is more important that the the sacraments are readily accessible even if from a subedar priest, or that they are much less accessible because the church has such high academic standards for its clergy that it can't afford to have very many of them.

By the way, Sebby, I think the idea of making up the shortfall in army numbers by using non-stipendiary or part-stipendiary soldiers is far more chiroptercoprophiloid than anything the CofE does.

I thought people joined the TA so as to earn some pocket money and be available when the homeland was attacked, not so as to be expected to put their lives on the line on bizarre foreign ventures, without the back support, career structure, pensions etc that go with being a proper soldier.

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justlooking
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Any church with an OLM will have had to show that it meets certain standards for collaborative ministry. So it will be a church where shared leadership is operating and where an OLM will be supported by lay ministry. If, for example, a church has an OLM, a Church Army or other licensed evangelist plus one or two Readers, along with competent churchwardens and PCC, why would they need a full-time stipendiary cleric?
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sebby
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There seems to be almost a consensus that the OLM idea is an anomaly that might changed in time as the good bits survive and the rest fall by the wayside. And batshit crazy.

Perhaps an increase in the number of NSMs; better deployment of highly competent Readers; perhaps even greater use of Extended Commnuion powers?

One might claim that to lower standards - certainly academic ones - in a more professi onal and educated age is completely ludicrous. Low educational standards of the clergy (if this is indeed the case despite the fact that I noticed an OLM recently in possession of a PhD), was one of the pre-Reformation complaints later addressed by many protestant churches, and the RC church after the Council of Trent and the subsequent creation of the diocesan seminaries.

The creation of a class of what appears to be 'mass priests' by rhe CofE appears a retrograde step.

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sebhyatt

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Pyx_e

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The criteria for OLM and SSM are public knowledge. In short an SSM would not be discerned to have a strong/proven leadership gift and hence could not function at incumbent status level. Further to that an OLM (coming from a particular context) is not expected to be able to fulfil all the criterion regarding Ministry in the Church of England (Which an SSM should being deployable).

We do not have lower standards or tiers of priests. A priest is a priest. We do have an acknowledgement of differing levels of giftedness. The greater the range and depth of gifts the greater the level of responsibility.

It is not rocket science. It breaks down in many areas, my two bug bears are those who have a very functional model of priesthood and cannot understand why a OLM should not go 3 miles down the road to a church that have no experience of leading worship in and function well. Secondly they insane idea that any leadership is better than no leadership. Most Churches are perfectly capable of looking after themselves until they (with their Diocese and Deanery) find a suitable priest to lead them in Mission. Putting someone in who has been ordained SSM or OLM who has been discerned as NOT having a leadership gift is the act of blithering idiocy.

Again, there are no levels/tiers of priest. There are degrees of giftedness and responsibility should be given to reflect that gift.

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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sebby
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The last post seems to ignore the fact that ALL ordained ministry involves leadership to an extent. Not the best example, but a young 23 year old Second Lietentant is expected to have the leadership skills required in leading people. So are generals. At the more junior level, it might be argued, it is even more important. Different gifts certainly, but the same rigorous amd exacting skills required by BOTH without diminution

More importantly still in the ecclesiastical context, is the public perception OUTSIDE the walls of St Mungo's. There will be expectations from the non-church-not-particuarly-religious in the pubs, for example. They see a collar; they expect a priest/vicar as it were. Indeed that is what they get. But is it then explained 'oh I am not gifted like the one next door'? 'I'm sorry I can't do my sisters wedding despite her parish incumbent inviting me because I am for St Mungo's, and she is in the parish of St Ethel's?

As posted before, time will render this particular restriced licence unworkable and it will almost certainly change. I heard that from the principal of a theological college very recently.

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sebhyatt

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Alogon
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quote:
Originally posted by Zacchaeus:
A friend's church is in conflict at the moment, because the OLM cannot accept that the new Rector, is the one with the authority to lead the church.

Wouldn't this problem become a very common one?

A long-time rector and his wife who chose to stay in the parish after retirement nearly killed off the small congregation that my parents joined after their own retirement. Over several years, three young successors left, considerably disillusioned. At one point the bishop threatened to excommunicate them both if they didn't stop trying to interfere and usurp. Finally a man took the helm who was strong enough to hang onto it while spreading oil on the waters.

The tendency of anyone already in place who has built a "power base" of admirers to thwart a newcomer in making changes is one reason why U.S. rectors have traditionally had the right to choose their entire staff, and everyone hired by his predecessor is expected to resign. One does't necessarily approve of this high-handedness, either. An utter lack of job security discourages various competent professionals from working for the church. But surely, creating a class of subordinate clery who are *expected* to stay in one place indefinitely is asking for trouble.

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justlooking
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AIUI the criteria for selection is the same for all candidates for ordained ministry but with additional requirements for those planning for stipendiary ministry. It doesn't mean that NSM/OLM candidates don't possess those additional skills or gifts, just that they don't need to prove it. Which isn't the same as being discerned as not having leadership skills.
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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by sebby:
The last post seems to ignore the fact that ALL ordained ministry involves leadership to an extent. Not the best example, but a young 23 year old Second Lietentant is expected to have the leadership skills required in leading people. So are generals. At the more junior level, it might be argued, it is even more important. Different gifts certainly, but the same rigorous amd exacting skills required by BOTH without diminution


I think that last post actually acknowledges different levels of leadership. Not everyone who is a priest is going to make a good bishop. Not everyone who is a Bishop will make a good Archbishop. Not everyone who is a priest will make a good incumbent. Not everyone who is an incumbent will make a good team rector etc.

An OLM certainly has a very important role of leadership. Some more than others, some in different areas than others. One OLM pal of mine is a great leader when it comes to his particular field of clerical work. But he has no intention of leading a parish, or a PCC etc.

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Spike

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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
Didn't there used to be Local Non-stipendiary Ministers - LNSMs? I haven't heard of them since shortly after about 2000. Where they phased out?

In Southwark, LNSM was the original name for OLM. They changed the title, but the role was identical.

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"May you get to heaven before the devil knows you're dead" - Irish blessing

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Spike

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Sorry for the double post.
quote:
Originally posted by *Leon*:
Someone needs to work out the rules for OLMs moving parishes, and no-one's done this. I fail to understand why this is difficult since there are perfectly good rules for people moving a local ministry between parishes, namely the rules for readers.

That's a very interesting point.In the past, there were two tiers of Reader ministry - Diocesan Readers and Parish Readers. Dioesan Readers were licensed to a parish but entitled to excercise their ministry anywhere in the diocese. Parish Readers were only permitted to function in the parish to which they were licensed. The level of training was different and the Diocesan Readers were regarded as having a higher standard of training the the Parish Readers.

The distinction was done away with in most dioceses a long time ago, partly because of the complications that arose if a Parish Reader moved and wanted to continue his/her ministry in another parish.

The same problems appear to have arisen with OLMs. You'd have thought the PTB would have learned by now!

[ 25. July 2012, 07:13: Message edited by: Spike ]

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"May you get to heaven before the devil knows you're dead" - Irish blessing

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Zacchaeus
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quote:
Originally posted by Alogon:
quote:
Originally posted by Zacchaeus:
A friend's church is in conflict at the moment, because the OLM cannot accept that the new Rector, is the one with the authority to lead the church.

Wouldn't this problem become a very common one?

A long-time rector and his wife who chose to stay in the parish after retirement nearly killed off the small congregation that my parents joined after their own retirement. Over several years, three young successors left, considerably disillusioned. At one point the bishop threatened to excommunicate them both if they didn't stop trying to interfere and usurp. Finally a man took the helm who was strong enough to hang onto it while spreading oil on the waters.

The tendency of anyone already in place who has built a "power base" of admirers to thwart a newcomer in making changes is one reason why U.S. rectors have traditionally had the right to choose their entire staff, and everyone hired by his predecessor is expected to resign. One does't necessarily approve of this high-handedness, either. An utter lack of job security discourages various competent professionals from working for the church. But surely, creating a class of subordinate clery who are *expected* to stay in one place indefinitely is asking for trouble.

Actually there is a protocol in the CofE which says that a retiring incumbent cannot live int he parish where they ministered.

Of course there are some who stick to the letter of the rule but ignore the spirit. I knew one who moved away but kept close contact with many in the parish stirring things when anythign new was suggested. Another case where he stayed away from the church but his wife and family remained worshipping there and interfering and causing trouble left right and centre every time the new vicar tried to do anything. They were open about not lettign anybody 'spoil' the ministry they had ahd there by making changes.

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Oscar the Grouch

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The idea that someone is ordained but can only exercise their ministry in a single parish is barmy, especially in today's world where there is crying need for increasingly pressured and scarce "human resources" to be utilised wisely.

ISTM that there is a strong case for all Readers, OLMs and NSMs to be licensed across a whole deanery (or even diocese). If someone is felt to have a ministry exclusively to their home church - fine. And in many cases, Readers and OLMs will spend most of their time in their home parishes. But many such people will be happy to be available for wider use if needed - and will often appreciate and benefit from experiencing other styles of church.

In a previous post, my neighbouring parish (with whom my parishes were supposed to be in a group with) ended up with 2 Readers and 3 OLMs. Inevitably, these people began to feel a little under-utilised as there simply wasn't enough to keep them all satisfied. But whilst I could "borrow" a Reader for a Sunday if I wanted/needed to be away, I couldn't have an OLM. It was stupid and defies theological reasoning.

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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Pyx_e

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# 57

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quote:
Originally posted by sebby:
The last post seems to ignore the fact that ALL ordained ministry involves leadership to an extent. Not the best example, but a young 23 year old Second Lietentant is expected to have the leadership skills required in leading people. So are generals. At the more junior level, it might be argued, it is even more important. Different gifts certainly, but the same rigorous amd exacting skills required by BOTH without diminution

More importantly still in the ecclesiastical context, is the public perception OUTSIDE the walls of St Mungo's. There will be expectations from the non-church-not-particuarly-religious in the pubs, for example. They see a collar; they expect a priest/vicar as it were. Indeed that is what they get. But is it then explained 'oh I am not gifted like the one next door'? 'I'm sorry I can't do my sisters wedding despite her parish incumbent inviting me because I am for St Mungo's, and she is in the parish of St Ethel's?

As posted before, time will render this particular restriced licence unworkable and it will almost certainly change. I heard that from the principal of a theological college very recently.

I take your point.

I shall make myself clearer, to lead a parish to be of “incumbent status” demands a breadth and depth of gift. In my ten years of experience of recruitment and selection in the C of E I have never seen any confusion over this. My experience in parish, deanery and diocesan life only serves to reinforce the need for that gift at incumbent level.

Pastorally challenging and often internally conflicted parishes are incapable of mission and need the best leadership to both heal and move into a mission footing.

I agree with the general tone of this thread that the current OLM is proving unworkable but only because diocesan senior staff keep breaking it. I also worry because generally those who do not come from a “middle class” background and come late in life to their vocation have often found the OLM route to be a way in, the most gifted of those should come back to Ministry Division to be re-panelled.

To be clear, ordination brings obvious leadership demands which I did not feel the need to state (as they were obvious). The ability to lead worship, prayer and certain projects within the context of the parish vision. OLMs and SSMs also need to be “leadable” as they do not share the cure of souls which is the incumbents and the bishops. They do not have overall oversight, they either do not have the gift or that gift has not been discerned and authorised. To ask or to just give them responsibility beyond their call is hugely damaging.

Sorry if I sound down on OLMs and SSMs, trust me I am as down on Incumbent Status clergy who do not function in their giftedness too. As I minister in a growing Diocese I feel I am able to make this comment: The parishes that are growing have good leadership (defining good leadership is another thread), those that are struggling don’t. Therefore our task is to get good leadership in place. Not in the context of this thread put some poor soul in who can’t do the job. Again.

AtB, Pyx_e

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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*Leon*
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quote:
Originally posted by Raptor Eye:
quote:
Originally posted by *Leon*:
Or to be more accurate: The masses (in some places) are crying out for priests who are either unable or unwilling to meet the standard that the church requires as the normal standard. The church either has to lower the standard, tell the masses that they can't have what they want or invent a 2 tier arrangement. The church has, of course, done a bad job of implementing all 3 strategies.


I'm bemused as I'm reading this thread. [Ultra confused]

2 tiers of priest? Lower the standard? In what sense? Who are the 'masses' wanting inferior priests? Where do 'Readers' fit in to this inferior/superior structure?

Sorry. I was being excessively sarcastic.

As I understand it, all this makes most sense in rural areas where there are loads of village churches with tiny congregations. We're talking about situations where, given the available money and NSMs, it's not practical to do a service at a sensible time every week.

A slightly evangelical parish might persuade someone in the village to become a reader, figuring that a service at a predictable sensible time is better than random services lead by someone with a more thorough theological education.

A slightly more high church parish would be unhappy about not having a mass every week. However the rules look like they're saying that this reader is only allowed to preach (and can't get ordained) because they don't have time to learn how to preach properly. Hence they demand that some mechanism is invented for ordaining people who'd otherwise become readers.

And in a lot of rural areas this works well (in the sense that it keeps a lot of village parishes moderately happy).

Of course, in a lot of rural areas, people are very happy with the idea of local priests for local people. That doesn't prove the wider church should indulge them.

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*Leon*
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And another general comment:

To become an NSM, you need to go through a selection process that takes a couple of years and is designed to determine if you're suitable to be the full-time leader of a parish. After that, you do a 3 year training course that's nominally an evening class, but most people find they need to drop at least a day a week from their paid job to find time for it. After that, there's often an explicit expectation that you'll do about 12 hours parish work a week (the implicit expectation is often higher).

There are people who feel called to combining priesthood with a secular job, but feel that they need to conform to society's views on how much time is put into a 'hobby'. If these people are wrong to want that, the church needs to do a better job of explaining why.

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Shire Dweller
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# 16631

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Just throwing this out there:

Q: Is the elephant in the room with all non-stipendiary clergy, Control & Discipline? And how that is applied?

Eg. Stipendiary clergy (mostly) are immersed in Church life and are dependent on the Stipend for their livelihood. This can mean they are less likely to get into trouble by 'going off on one' whether organisationally within a Parish or theologically in what they teach.

Whilst non-stipendiary clergy by virtue of not being dependent for their livelihood have much more flexibility to 'go off on one' regardless of what Parishioners or the Diocese say*.

But if there is only Carrot to keep non-stipendiary Clergy on the straight and narrow with no Stick of 'consequences' for disregarding Church positions/teaching there could be real issues for what the Church puts out.

I know that the Ship is often a place to let off steam, but there are several examples (one a recent sock-puppet) who self-identify as Clergy and fancy themselves “Reformers” and other examples cited by Shipmates of people who just want Anglican orders to get authority over a congregation – Carrot but no Stick for this lot, whether non-stipendiary or stipendiary seems like a recipe for chaos IMHO.

Though I do agree with the general view of the thread that a more coherent and flexible licensing and deployment system needs sorting out for OLM in particular.

*The caveat being that 'standing up to the bishop' can be good (wanting to stick to the Gospel and mission) or bad (wanting to keep the Parish as 'their territory' so no-one else 'spoils it')

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Right around the Wrekin

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Raptor Eye
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quote:
Originally posted by *Leon*:
quote:
Originally posted by Raptor Eye:
I'm bemused as I'm reading this thread. [Ultra confused]

2 tiers of priest? Lower the standard? In what sense? Who are the 'masses' wanting inferior priests? Where do 'Readers' fit in to this inferior/superior structure?

Sorry. I was being excessively sarcastic.

As I understand it, all this makes most sense in rural areas where there are loads of village churches with tiny congregations. We're talking about situations where, given the available money and NSMs, it's not practical to do a service at a sensible time every week.

A slightly evangelical parish might persuade someone in the village to become a reader, figuring that a service at a predictable sensible time is better than random services lead by someone with a more thorough theological education.

A slightly more high church parish would be unhappy about not having a mass every week. However the rules look like they're saying that this reader is only allowed to preach (and can't get ordained) because they don't have time to learn how to preach properly. Hence they demand that some mechanism is invented for ordaining people who'd otherwise become readers.

And in a lot of rural areas this works well (in the sense that it keeps a lot of village parishes moderately happy).

Of course, in a lot of rural areas, people are very happy with the idea of local priests for local people. That doesn't prove the wider church should indulge them.

Thank you for your explanation. I remain bemused, however. You paint a picture of an intellectual hierarchy in which priests hold a superior position to OLM's and Readers. The latter are inferior as preachers in any case due to lack of time and lack of thorough training, and as such they cannot be ordained (You're assuming that they would be if they had the capability?). OLM's are better educated than Readers, and more useful as they can be ordained and therefore may also preside at the Eucharist, but they remain inferior to paid clergy?

I'd be interested to hear what others think of this. My understanding was that there was no difference between the theological training or intellectual prowess of a priest, OLM or Reader.

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Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46.10

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Ender's Shadow
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quote:
Originally posted by *Leon*:
As I understand it, all this makes most sense in rural areas where there are loads of village churches with tiny congregations. We're talking about situations where, given the available money and NSMs, it's not practical to do a service at a sensible time every week.

A slightly evangelical parish might persuade someone in the village to become a reader, figuring that a service at a predictable sensible time is better than random services lead by someone with a more thorough theological education.

A slightly more high church parish would be unhappy about not having a mass every week. However the rules look like they're saying that this reader is only allowed to preach (and can't get ordained) because they don't have time to learn how to preach properly. Hence they demand that some mechanism is invented for ordaining people who'd otherwise become readers.

And in a lot of rural areas this works well (in the sense that it keeps a lot of village parishes moderately happy).

Of course, in a lot of rural areas, people are very happy with the idea of local priests for local people. That doesn't prove the wider church should indulge them.

Of course since the CofE doesn't know what it believes being a priest is about, it is fairly inevitable that it will have no idea what it should do with OLMs. If the purpose of being ordained is to 'do the magic bits', then we end up going one way. If it is about being authorised to fulfil a certain role of leadership in the church, we end up with another. If it's about being a visible representative of the church, then it's a third. And for those of us who have high expectations of 'small groups' within the church, their leaders constitute people who should be authorised to lead communion services for their group: I upset my small group leader when I objected to his leading a communion in the small group - for him it was 'obvious' that he should... Meanwhile I know that communion led by the leader is standard in the weekly small groups of a charismatic church. [Smile]

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justlooking
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I too am bemused by *Leon*'s post quoted above. The central calling of a Reader is to a preaching and teaching ministry and the training emphasises this. Whatever else Readers may do they should be competent preachers. There are plenty of Readers with higher educational qualifications than some of the clergy they work with and there are also many NSM's and OLMs with higher qualifications than some stipendiary clergy.
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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by *Leon*:
And another general comment:

To become an NSM, you need to go through a selection process that takes a couple of years and is designed to determine if you're suitable to be the full-time leader of a parish. After that, you do a 3 year training course that's nominally an evening class....

Same for all NSMs, including OLMs. And in this diocese its the same for Readers - for me, from the initial enquiries to licensing was going on five years.

quote:
Originally posted by Shire Dweller:
Just throwing this out there:

Q: Is the elephant in the room with all non-stipendiary clergy, Control & Discipline? And how that is applied?

No, I don't think so. I think the big grey beast blocking the doors is the expectation of the congregation that the priest will do everything they are used to "the vicar" doing, whether or not they have a day job, or a family, or are pushing 70 and in poor health. They are expectred to work too hard and mostly do I think. As do many stipendary clergy.

We have the model in our minds of a solitary vicar who does all the jobs that the church needs to keep it going so everyoine else can turn up on Sunday morning to find everything being done decently and in order. They are supposed to be priest and pastor and preacher and presider all rolled in to one.


As for control and discipline, in the Church of England if a parish has an invumbent, all other ministers serve there entirely at the incumbent's pleasure. It doesn't make the slightest doifference what somneone's licence says, if the incumbent wants them to preach or preside they can, and if they don't they can't.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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sebby
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A shipmate mentioned the distinction that there used to be between parish and diocesan Readers and how this was eventually abolished.

One might presume the same will happen with the difference between NSMs and OLMs.

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sebhyatt

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Shire Dweller
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quote:
@Ken
...We have the model in our minds of a solitary vicar who does all the jobs that the church needs to keep it going so everyone else can turn up on Sunday morning to find everything being done decently and in order. They are supposed to be priest and pastor and preacher and presider all rolled in to one.

I get the (sort of) impression in the Diocese of Lichfield that its becoming recognised that the Vicar does everything model is not going to work going forwards. I do appreciate that's obvious but there is a Diocesan initiative going round the Deanery's at the moment of “Imagining the Church without Clergy” - but really its about encouraging much more Lay leadership that works with a collaborative Clergy in 'covenanted' parishes.

Whether this is going on in other Diocese I do not know but the 'Covenanted Parish' is some sort of measure that defines whether Churches are run collaboratively between Clergy and Lay leadership. As far as I understand if a Parish and/or Benefice becomes 'covenanted' you get a big sloppy kiss from Bishop Jonathan. There probably are some other benefits too...

“We don't want little popes” is a line that describes this initiative.

Anyway, to get to this 'covenanted' thing, Lay leadership is being activity encouraged across the Diocese – OLM, SSMs, Readers – the lot.

Which I for one, think is a good thing regardless of whether we really understand what we want from a Priest other than we want more of them.

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Right around the Wrekin

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PD
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However, all these acronyms probably don't alter the fact that if you are working class you still do not have a hope in hell of being ordained in the C of E.

PD

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Roadkill on the Information Super Highway!

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Pyx_e

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quote:
Originally posted by PD:
However, all these acronyms probably don't alter the fact that if you are working class you still do not have a hope in hell of being ordained in the C of E.

PD

And if your midle class you dont stand a chance of growing a working class church. The C of E don't grow where the olives don't show.

AtB, Pyx_e

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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Spike

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quote:
Originally posted by sebby:
A shipmate mentioned the distinction that there used to be between parish and diocesan Readers and how this was eventually abolished.

One might presume the same will happen with the difference between NSMs and OLMs.

It already has in Southwark!

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"May you get to heaven before the devil knows you're dead" - Irish blessing

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justlooking
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quote:
Originally posted by PD:
However, all these acronyms probably don't alter the fact that if you are working class you still do not have a hope in hell of being ordained in the C of E.

PD

I don't think this is true. I can think of 5 clergy I know from a working class background - 3 of them having being brought up on council estates.
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Zacchaeus
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quote:
Originally posted by justlooking:
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
However, all these acronyms probably don't alter the fact that if you are working class you still do not have a hope in hell of being ordained in the C of E.

PD

I don't think this is true. I can think of 5 clergy I know from a working class background - 3 of them having being brought up on council estates.
Well it might not be 'haven't a hope in hell' but there are fewer working class clergy and working class parishes do find it harder to recruit readers/olms to train.
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Arethosemyfeet
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Isn't the issue of working class clergy likely to be as much educational as anything else? Proving you have the academic ability to cope with training is going to be a lot harder if you left school at 16 and worked in a factory (regardless of your actual intellectual capability) than if you already have a degree and professional qualifications.
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justlooking
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There is a perception that working class = unintelligent = uneducated = poor. This isn't the reality. Many people of working class background are highly intelligent and many well-educated people are poor. This is especially so for women because their circumstances are often bound up with the primary need to care for children.
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Jenn.
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At my bap, social discussion revolved around Downton Abbey (which I've never seen) and when i mentioned x-factor i got 'a look' and it was ignored. It was fairly clear I was in the minority. Yet at the social groups i'm normally involved in it would have been the opposite. The culture was definitely middle class. I have to confess that i felt my background put me at a disadvantage, despite my degree from a good university. And i'm at the middle class end of working class
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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by justlooking:
There is a perception that working class = unintelligent = uneducated = poor. This isn't the reality. Many people of working class background are highly intelligent and many well-educated people are poor. This is especially so for women because their circumstances are often bound up with the primary need to care for children.

This is true as far as it goes, but there is a statistical reality that people in working class occupations tend to have fewer educational qualification and are more likely to live in poverty. There will always be exceptions. This certainly doesn't mean they're not intelligent, my point was that without qualifications it's harder to demonstrate academic ability. Jenn.'s point is interesting though, and suggests it probably isn't just about education.

The question that raises, though, is how do you avoid that sort of atmosphere? I avoid x-factor and similar programmes like the plague, but then I don't watch Downton Abbey either. Aren't we basically in a chicken and egg situation, where you need a critical mass of working class clergy before other working class Christians will be able to see themselves in that role?

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ElaineC
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
Isn't the issue of working class clergy likely to be as much educational as anything else? Proving you have the academic ability to cope with training is going to be a lot harder if you left school at 16 and worked in a factory (regardless of your actual intellectual capability) than if you already have a degree and professional qualifications.

I have 3 'A' Levels and an honours degree in computer science, admittedly from the best part of 40 years ago and I struggled with the academic essays I had to write as part of my Reader training.

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Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing. John Erskine

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Curiosity killed ...

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Shire Dweller - the Chelmsford Diocese version of looking at clergy and lay deployment is Transforming Presence

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by PD:
However, all these acronyms probably don't alter the fact that if you are working class you still do not have a hope in hell of being ordained in the C of E.

PD

And if your midle class you dont stand a chance of growing a working class church. The C of E don't grow where the olives don't show.

AtB, Pyx_e

I could point you in the direction of several examples of both of these. But I think you need a solidly working-class community: in socially mixed parishes it's easy for the middle class to dominate.

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Brian: You're all individuals!
Crowd: We're all individuals!
Lone voice: I'm not!

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sebby
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quote:
Originally posted by Spike:
quote:
Originally posted by sebby:
A shipmate mentioned the distinction that there used to be between parish and diocesan Readers and how this was eventually abolished.

One might presume the same will happen with the difference between NSMs and OLMs.

It already has in Southwark!
Southwark has always been a diocese in front, as it were, and IMHO usually right about a numbrs of issues.

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sebhyatt

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sebby
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
quote:
Originally posted by justlooking:
There is a perception that working class = unintelligent = uneducated = poor. This isn't the reality. Many people of working class background are highly intelligent and many well-educated people are poor. This is especially so for women because their circumstances are often bound up with the primary need to care for children.

This is true as far as it goes, but there is a statistical reality that people in working class occupations tend to have fewer educational qualification and are more likely to live in poverty. There will always be exceptions. This certainly doesn't mean they're not intelligent, my point was that without qualifications it's harder to demonstrate academic ability. Jenn.'s point is interesting though, and suggests it probably isn't just about education.

The question that raises, though, is how do you avoid that sort of atmosphere? I avoid x-factor and similar programmes like the plague, but then I don't watch Downton Abbey either. Aren't we basically in a chicken and egg situation, where you need a critical mass of working class clergy before other working class Christians will be able to see themselves in that role?

It is srill quite common in my neck of the woods for people to say of someone else 'He has a nice educated voice'. I heard this said by the (working class to use an awkward expression) village gardener who happens to be the verger. It was actually said approvinglyabout a locum vicar.

Before I am jumped on, I am not saying this is my opinion or that I approve of it, only that there is a great underestimation of the role of accent. You can be as working class as you like, but the 'educated voice' (as it were) still opens doors in this part of the world. I once mooted that elocution lessons were possibly at the root of removing class ceilings as was heavily critcised. I was only repeating the view of a left-leaning member of the BBC of my acquaintence.

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sebhyatt

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by sebby:
It is srill quite common in my neck of the woods for people to say of someone else 'He has a nice educated voice'. I heard this said by the (working class to use an awkward expression) village gardener who happens to be the verger. It was actually said approvinglyabout a locum vicar.

Before I am jumped on, I am not saying this is my opinion or that I approve of it, only that there is a great underestimation of the role of accent. You can be as working class as you like, but the 'educated voice' (as it were) still opens doors in this part of the world. I once mooted that elocution lessons were possibly at the root of removing class ceilings as was heavily critcised. I was only repeating the view of a left-leaning member of the BBC of my acquaintence.

I think there's a lot of truth in that. Having an middle class southern English accent makes life a lot easier for me in general, even in rural Scotland, and it probably does make it easier to sound as if I know what I'm talking about. Think about the authoritative voices we hear in the media. It's not necessarily RP accents any more, but they are middle class accents. John Humphries, John Sergeant, Jenny Murray, Eddy Mair, the Dimblebies, Jon Snow. You might hear working class accents on Radio 1, or from comedians, but very rarely from presenters on major news programmes or documentaries. We're trained to associate knowledge and authority with that tone and that accent.
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Zacchaeus
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
Isn't the issue of working class clergy likely to be as much educational as anything else? Proving you have the academic ability to cope with training is going to be a lot harder if you left school at 16 and worked in a factory (regardless of your actual intellectual capability) than if you already have a degree and professional qualifications.

For some people it is proving it to themselves that is the issue. It is not about intelligence at all, but people who have never been involved in the education system, find it very daunting, or can think that things educational are not for them.

There is a working class lady at one of our group of churches, who runs everything with efficiency and intelligence. However she left school at 15 and openly calls herslf thick because she hasn't a paper qualification to her name.

She would have made a very capable reader but would never have had the confidence in herself to even think about it.

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Zacchaeus:
For some people it is proving it to themselves that is the issue. It is not about intelligence at all, but people who have never been involved in the education system, find it very daunting, or can think that things educational are not for them.

There is a working class lady at one of our group of churches, who runs everything with efficiency and intelligence. However she left school at 15 and openly calls herslf thick because she hasn't a paper qualification to her name.

She would have made a very capable reader but would never have had the confidence in herself to even think about it.

It makes me wonder whether there ought to be some sort of formal approach to theology available for study at a lower level. Most Christians, including me, would probably benefit from an evening class in theology at something roughly analagous to GCSE or A-Level standard. If it could be certified at that level then it would serve to give some reassurance to potential ordinands as well as improving the theological understanding of lay people in general.
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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
Having an middle class southern English accent makes life a lot easier for me in general, even in rural Scotland, and it probably does make it easier to sound as if I know what I'm talking about. Think about the authoritative voices we hear in the media. It's not necessarily RP accents any more, but they are middle class accents. John Humphries, John Sergeant, Jenny Murray, Eddy Mair, the Dimblebies, Jon Snow. You might hear working class accents on Radio 1, or from comedians, but very rarely from presenters on major news programmes or documentaries. We're trained to associate knowledge and authority with that tone and that accent.

What's the name of the economics correspondent on (BBC or Channel 4, I'm not sure) who sounds very authoritative though with a strong Wigan accent? But I agree, he's an exception.

As a teenager I took it for granted that all clergy were 'posh' and spoke with an RP accent. It was quite a shock when some of them, in ordinary conversation, sounded just like me and my family. They put on a posh, 'telephone' voice for God in church. These days there are even some bishops with regional accents (the former Bishop of Sheffield for one).

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Crowd: We're all individuals!
Lone voice: I'm not!

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Zacchaeus
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I've heard that 'vicar voice' I've met a bishop with one too
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Ondergard
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The correspondent with the strong Lancashire accent is Paul Mason.

I was born in the East End of London, and have retained my distinctive Cockney accent all my life, despite having lived in Yorkshire (as a child), Bristol, Cornwall, the East Midlands, West Bromwich, and now in West Wales.

Mind you, having a Welsh father and a Yorkshire mother has helped my natural mimicry ability, and I can assume a variety of accents with total authority.

I find that a flat, "general southern English" accent is unremarkable to most: but if I'm dressed in "mufti" and someone who doesn't know me asks me what I do for a living, I have on more than one occasion (including to the Police!) found it necessary to show my driving licence with "Rev" as the title to prove it! The response is usually "You don't look like a minister!"
What they mean, of course, is "You don't sound like a minister!"

If I speak in my father's Welsh, or my mother's Yorshire, accent - or if I assume a very upper middle class accent, which I can also do at will - no-one queries my profession at all.

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Vaticanchic
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Ordained is ordained, witever the legal nonsense about OLMs. I would imagine your order would/should be recognised by any group which has become detached from the CofE since the Reformation.

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"Sink, Burn or Take Her a Prize"

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aig
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I have (so I am told) a strong Scottish accent despite 30 years in the deep South. However, although my accent is posh Dundee (despite growing up in Lochee), down here I have worked with very deprived families and have been seen as fairly classless. I suppose if I was un-posh Dundee even fewer people would understand me than is the case now.

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That's not how we do it here.......

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sebby
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I had it said to me by American soldiers in Kuwait 'With you Brits we can tell an officer - even in the dark'. They were referring to the majority of young officers speaking RP. The Yanks said they found it easier to understand and didn't have to strain their ears to make out the words - unlike the other way around.

Interestingly and more Ship of Foolsy, the only rank they seemed to recognise was that held by British chaplains. Clueless about UK rank slides, they would see the cross on a padre's uniform. An army padre walking with me was immediately given a salute by American soldiers with the exclamation: 'Chaplain! All the way Sir, all the way'.

The Guardian (I think) or The Independent ran a piece in 2003 called 'Don't you Love Our Tofficers?' it was uncharacteristically approving and made much of their looks, build and voices.

Even contemporary plays on Radio 4 use a sort of Oooo-arrhhh country voice to represent peasants or those deemed not to be taken too seriously; villains are often 'Northern' or 'Cockney' whilst doctors, and most certainly lawyers use RP. Listening to some actors, they seem to struggle to be able to do the last these days.

My BBC friend remarked that he could be dressed in the scruffiest cheapest clothes possible and be addressed as 'Sir' in some shops if he spoke RP, whereas if he adopted something more...regional...they usually said 'Mate'. This was in 2012.

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sebhyatt

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