Heather Marshall, our hard-working Parish Secretary, is to be found in her busy office overlooking the Market Square, usually in the company of her dog, a lively Westie called Susie. With her usual patience and great good humour she managed to make time to tell me about her work
M Is there a typical office day?
H No, definitely not! Thats what I love about the job. And working for Kevan, such a character, I never know whats going to happen next! I wake up each morning with quite a feeling of anticipation.
M So whats happened today so far?
H Well, Ive had an enquiry about a baptism, one about a wedding, and a booking for St Marys House, all fairly routine. But then someone rang to trace a Woodbridge man killed in World War II, and someone else to find out when Woodbridge Cemetery opened; we get some odd enquiries. And Kevan had a spot of trouble with his new phone and my computer misbehaved, so I had to sort that out. Then the curate needed some addresses, and the flower ladies and church cleaners wanted a word: but in between I managed to get Kevan's letters typed and the PCC photocopying done.
M And on other days?
H Funerals; Im always liaising with undertakers and the families it can be very distressing. And theres the weekly pew-sheet, usually left until the last minute to get everything up-to-date.
M So in a nutshell the role of the Parish Secretary?
H Supporting the clergy in their work, which means Im involved in almost every aspect of parish life ("actually she keeps the parish sane," interjects Paul loudly from the next room).
M How long have you worked here?
H Amazingly, seventeen years! I began with three hours a week and then Kevan arrived and over the last seven years my work has increased to thirty hours. Theres so much going on.
M And what does Susie the dog think about all this?
H Susie thinks its the best thing in the world to come to work. She loves it here. People bring her dog biscuits. When I say, Off to work now! she barks and dashes over to the car.
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