As the Curate and I reach the end of his curacy (subject to finding a post), my thoughts turn to all those who are just about to start year 1 of their curacy, having been ordained at Petertide. They will be turning up in your parishes with or without families, feeling slightly shell shocked I expect. For those who have not been trained at college, the move to a 'public' house will be quite a transition. Spare a thought for the families and make them welcome.
The Curate and I have experienced being left to settle in on our own on two occasions. This was well meant as official duties did not begin until September for us. The thought was that we did not need to be disturbed by well wishes....But we did need to be! We were in a new and unfamiliar place and we really wanted someone to scoop us up and tell us when the bins went out, what all the different recycling bags were for and where to go for shopping - and any other local knowledge we might need to be privy to.
We moved into a house outside the actual parish, in the July and had two months of feeling very lonely. We wondered why our new church were not curious to get to know us - even when we were in the church. It was some months later when we found out that they had been told to give us space to settle in! And the lovely people did that very well! Please don't leave your Curate out in the cold - they can always say they are busy or 'no thank you' but I expect they might appreciate a little love. It was our caring neighbour who came to our rescue - who had not heard the message to keep clear!
We had a similar experience in our second curacy and we muddled through, trying to glean local knowledge as we went along. This recently came up in conversation and it seemed that everyone thought someone else was helping with the 'settling in'! The Curate and I are tough old boots and we have learned a lot from this experience. Should he ever be fortunate to have a curate in his parish, they will probably be writing blogs about the 'old busybody who never leaves them alone'. In reality I hope not but they might appreciate a tin of flapjacks.