Monday, May 24, 2010

A Week in the Life of Abbey Admin!

Hello – I am Hilarie Rogers the Parish Administrator and the PA to Sue Booys, the Rector. I also do admin work for the Bridge Group of Parishes, the Dorchester Team and the Aston and Cuddesdon Deanery! I work in the Rectory each morning and see a lot of the life of the Abbey.

This blog will give snapshots of some of the things that come through this office!

Monday 17th May
Arrive at 8.30am. More than the usual amount of emails as it’s Monday, but look at all of them and answer or log most of them by 9am. No phone calls yet and only one phone message to listen to. From 9am the calls to book tickets for the English Music Festival (to be held in the Abbey at the end of May) are routed through the office, so make sure all the booking forms are to hand. Usual 9am meeting with the Rector to ask about things that have cropped up, and receive tasks. Items discussed include: arrangements for Episcopal Visitation this evening; interviews for church architect; headstone in one of the Team Churches; managers for forthcoming concerts. Have a few phone calls about clearing up after last night’s concert. We also go through the phone messages and agree who will follow up which and similarly with emails. That takes us up to about 10am!

Follow up some of the tasks associated with the items discussed. Make more copies of the order of service for tonight and fold them. Open the post from the weekend – circulars; payment of an invoice for a booking; papers for the Rector about forthcoming meetings. Another hour gone!

Answer more emails – a group visit to the Abbey; a dead branch in the churchyard; what sort of confetti; a potential source of funding for projects; website links; marriage regulations; use of Abbey’s projector; invitation to a conference. Also print off minutes of some recent meetings for the Rector. Receive emails – 23 – and log and answer as appropriate……

12 noon – receive a few more emails; take a phone call about parking at the Abbey for a concert. Make more arrangements for forthcoming concerts, including arranging managers for some events and confirming the details of arrangements for this weekend’s concert. Process payment cheques for a couple of recent events. Do invoices for last weekend’s events.

And in case you wondered – I had 3 small cups of coffee and an orange during the course of the morning!

Tuesday 18th May
The Rector is at a meeting this morning, so we have a brief exchange before she goes. Spend the first half of the morning reading, logging and answering emails that came in between yesterday lunchtime and this morning. Lots of phone calls today, which makes things take longer!

Do some paperwork for the forthcoming PCC meeting; write confirmatory letter about a wedding next year; make arrangements for a visitation to another group of parishes in the Deanery. Do some following up from the Episcopal Visitation last night; open and sort the post.

Much of today has been “firefighting” as I think of it – responding to questions as they come in, by phone or email – rather than tackling specific pieces of work. Hopefully tomorrow I will do some longer chunks of work!

Wednesday 19th May
Again, brief exchange with the Rector who is spending the day at General Synod Business Committee. Usual email checking and phone calls for the first half of the morning covering a variety of tasks. Prepare and send some letters for the Rector, and handle some cheques in payment for use of the Abbey.

Go to the Abbey to make duplicate copy of a marriage certificate for an enquirer, and also check and make a retrospective certificate of baptism. Make some detailed arrangements for the visit of the BBC to record one of the concerts at the English Music Festival next week, and have two fairly lengthy phone conversations with potential hirers for concerts in 2011 and 2012!

Open the post and deal with a few more emails. Spend the last part of the morning making a start on the weekly notice sheet.

Thursday 20th May

Check, log and answer emails and phone messages before the Rector returns from Morning Prayer at 9am. Have a session with the Rector about things that have cropped up and agree tasks.

Spend the next hour sorting papers for this evening’s Deanery Synod meeting; preparing information sheets for the Wardens about the Rector’s diary for next week and arrangements for Sunday’s service; tracking arrangements for the Architect interviews next week. Also receiving and dealing with more emails, and taking a long telephone call from BT about our entry in Yellow Pages (including explaining what a Rector is and why the house is called a Rectory….).

Check stock levels of ink cartridges for the office printer, and order more. Deal with an enquiry about how to use the Abbey’s digital projector, and a phone enquiry from a visiting choir who are coming in July. Several other phone calls and emails – another hour gone, and second cup of coffee!

Finish work on the weekly notice sheet; open the post; sort and prepare for posting the Gift Aid envelopes and collection from the Episcopal Visitation earlier in the week. More emails and phone calls and the morning has flown by once more…….

Friday 21st May

Glorious day outside – the view from my desk of the Abbey through the trees must be one of the best! Usual routine – emails and phone calls for the first hour, including some urgent jobs for the Rector. Finish off the notice sheets and make copies for the parishes in the Team. Also make a poster for the forthcoming Team Service and copy or circulate. Prepare cards for a Baptism on Sunday.

Weekly visit from one of the Dorchester Wardens. This is to update them and me on anything – they also very kindly deliver items to people in the parish, which normally includes a bumper bundle for the parish treasurer.

Take items to the Abbey and replace some posters. Spend the last part of my week working on orders of service for the Ordination at the end of June, and Evensong for the Fellowship of St Birinus earlier in June. Send final letters and invoices to four couples getting married in July.

I can thoroughly recommend the job for variety and interest, and if you have got this far then well done!! Come back next week and read Em Marshall's report on the 2010 4th English Music Festival performances and experience at Dorchester Abbey over this Bank Holiday Weekend 28-31 May!

(Blogged by Hilarie Rogers, Parish Administrator and Rector's PA!)

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