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A Survey of the Proportion of Working Time of Selected Clergy Devoted to work as Rural Dean

This is a limited survey of rural deans who attended the Sixth National Conference on the Deanery and a smaller number of rural deans in the west of England to whom the survey form was given. There were thirty useable replies.

The purpose of the survey was to see if there was evidence to support the increasing demand for the post of rural dean to be designated as full time or part time and associated with another less than full time responsibility.

The survey shows that the ďaverageĒ (arithmetic mean) proportion of time spent on rural deanís work was 19.6%. The most frequent (mode) amount of time spent was 16% and the middle of the range (median) was 13.5%. The extraordinary maximum of 71%, which one respondent spends in his work as rural dean, is of note. In this case, the individual concerned was deliberately appointed as rural dean along with a city centre parochial appointment. Table I shows the various figures.

Table 1

 

Mean

Mode

Median

Max 

Deanery meetings. excluding. Chapter & Synod.

2.1

3.0

2.0

8.0 

Pastoral contact with. clergy

3.4

1.0

2.5

17.0 

Parish visitations

1.5

1.0

1.0

5.0 

Archdeaconry. & Diocesan. Mtg. as RD.

2.9

2.0

2.0

10.0 

Administration

5.2

5.0

4.0

17.0 

Interregnums etc..

3.6

1.0

2.0

33.0 

Other Activities 

0.9

0.0

0.0

10.0 

Fx of Totals

19.6

16.0

13.5

71.0 

These results are shown graphically in Diagram 1

Graph o f Rural Dean Time usage

In analysing the results of the survey, a distinction was made between time spent on meetings attended strictly in the clergy personís capacity as rural dean and clergy chapter, deanery synod and diocesan meetings which the individual might be expected to attend even if they were not rural dean. The percentages of time spent on all deanery and diocesan meetings are shown in Table 2.

Table 2 Percentages of time spent in all Deanery and Diocesan Meetings

 

Mean

Mode

Median

Max.

All Archdeaconry Diocesan meetings.

4.6

2.0

3.3

20

Deanery meetings inc. Chapter & Synod

4.0

2.0

3.5

12

Of some interest are the activities not suggested in the questionnaire which one or more rural deans identified as taking up a proportion of their time. These are shown in table 3.

Table 3 Other work of Rural Deans not covered by the questionnaire

 

Mean

Max.

No. of Respondents

Civic duties

5.5

10.0

2

Work with consultant

1.5

1.5

2

Preparation for mtgs.

2.0

2.0

1

Pastoral work with Readers

1.0

1.0

1

Contact with Archdeacon.

4.0

4.0

1

Please note that the percentages in Table 3 are only of those respondents actually mentioning the specific activities.

Colin Hill, January 1999
 

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