If you were there, thanks for coming. If you did stuff towards it thanks for whatever you did. I almost enjoyed it in a kind of nerve-racking (what else can you rack apart from your nerves?), stapled-on-smile, don't-accidentally-sneeze-on-the-Bish sort of way.
So I thought you'd like to know what the license says:
WE PETER by Divine Permission Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells TO our beloved in Christ JAMES STEPHEN TILLEY Clerk Bachelor of Theology.
WE do hereby grant you our Licence and authority to serve during our pleasure at a Stipend in accordance with the Diocesan scale for an incumbent as Assistant Curate (having the status) and title of Associate Vicar) of the Benefice of Nailsea Holy Trinity within our Diocese and Jurisdiction under the direction of the Reverend Kenneth John Boullier the Incumbent thereof and to perform all ecclesiastical duties belonging to that office with special responsibilities for the Trendlewood area AND ALSO Licence and Authority (so long as you are licensed to the said benefice) to minister in the Benefices of Nailsea Christ Church with Tickenham and Wraxhall with Failand within our Diocese and Jurisdiction to perform ecclesisatical duties in these benficies in co-operation with the Ministers in charge thereof
IN TESTIMONY whereof We have hereunto set our hand and caused our Episcopal Seal to be affixed this ninth day of October in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Six in the ninth year of our Consecration and of our translation the fifth
+Peter Bath & Wells
So there you have it (this is my words again now OK). Notwithstanding the deep suspicion engendered by anyone who insists upon talking in the first person plural and what Mr Parry would have called 'an alarming inconsistency in the use of the upper case' there are a number of questions I needed to help my mother with and they are these:
Clerk? It means cleric. I am a clerk in holy orders.
Assistant Curate? All parish clergy are assistant curates, not to be confused with training posts which are decribed, annoyingly, as curacies and the office holders as curates.
Why is it all so complex? It is a legal document and lawyers have to speak inaccesibly to continue to generate fee income. (This may not be the right answer.)
James? Not Mum's question (she knew) but you may not have done. First-born male Tilleys are all called James, which is confusing.
Confusion. Bit of a theme really.