This is probably not of much interest to the non-churchgoers among you (what's that, 90% of my readership?) but anyway, we went to a service tonight to welcome our new vicar. We had read a little about him and there had been a couple of announcements. Tonight he was there, and was officially welcomed, "and David".
"Did you know there was a David? I didn't know there was a David".
Now we are not quite sure who David is. David could be his partner. Or he could be his son. If it was the person sitting next to him, and if he is a son, he is at the youngest in his late teens (I didn't get a clear view, sorry, I'm nosy, but not that nosy). We certainly have another vicar in the area who comes with "children, sometimes". And David could also be an absent (with ex-wife, at home asleep) younger child.
But I think my general question is one of the slight disconnect between the rest of the working world (where a colleague or even, say, a teacher in a tiny village community, or a local councillor, for both of whom community links are important) would be welcomed on their own - not with their family - and the world of the church, were it is assumed family will automatically be part of what is, essentially, the new employee's workplace. And it works both ways - Mr Spouse recounts how in a previous church the minister's wife had decided that it was her church and this was not really what the congregation had in mind, as they had employed the minister, not her. Perhaps this does happen with under-employed or busybody spouses of employees in other occupations, though.
But the cynic in me thinks that (especially if David is a partner, which I strongly suspect) if the partner had been a wife, we'd have heard a lot more about her by now. I'm not sure if this is sexist (female vicar's husband wouldn't have been mentioned so much, either, perhaps) or sexual-orientation-ist.