You see, I realise that rotas are a Biblical thing. Zecheriah, on the day he discovered he was to be a daddy, was fulfilling his day on the “being the priest in charge” rota. And who can doubt but that they elected seven deacons in the book of Acts, so they could do a day each?
But Great Tremlett church does seem to have a lot of rotas. There’s the preaching and leading rota, fair enough. The flower rota, the prayers and readings rota. The cleaning rota. The Sunday coffee and Saturday morning coffee shop rota. The servers, acolytes and crucifers rota.
Then there’s the problem that this rota business is going on all across the benefice. And some tasks – preaching and leading, but also organists and Sunday School, which is spread in some arcane way between Great and Little – are likewise multi-church.
And it would be too hard, apparently, to let people negotiate their way through the overlaps – because if Aggie is on holiday, so Bernie reads the Epistle for her, then Bernie’s feeling a bit overworked and gets Chas to carry the candle, and he in turn persuades Doris that, if he’s carrying the candle, he can’t teach the Sunday School – which means Doris is too tired to do a communion visit. And before you know where you are, Yolande’s place in the choir is being taken by Zadok, resulting in Aggie having to come home early from her holiday to read the Old Testament for him.
So you end up with the one rota to rule them all, one rule to bind them. And because that’s bringing together umpteen other rotas, across time and space, not all of which run on the same timespan (because the flower rota’s brought out once a year, whereas the Offering Steward rota is updated every third Thursday, it’s a real labour of love to produce the super-rota. In fact, it’s so tiring you can only do it every three months, because if you do it two quarters running you have to spend the rest of the year off rota-making and all other duties. Which means all the rotas have to be re-done.
So anyway. Turns out there’s a rota for who does the big rota. That’s one gig I’m trying to avoid.