Lawyers vs… vicars

January 10, 2013

In terms of career, which is the more divine?

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This month we cast our eye over the men (and women, but only up to a certain level) of God. And ask, which is better? Being the deity’s representative on earth? Or being a Vicar?

1.   Pay

According to The Sun, the Archbishop of Canterbury earns less than seventy grand a year. According to Roll on Friday, that’s thirty percent less than a newly qualified salary at Bingham McCutchen. So one can be the spiritual steward of 80 million Anglicans – or one can earn a proper salary as a three-and-a-half day junior quietly making notes in EC2. Anyway, vicars have no trouble passing through the eye of a needle in comparison. VERDICT: LAWYERS WIN

2.  Working Hours

That said, vicars only work two hours a week, on Sundays, whilst lawyers work all the hours that, ironically, God sends. (Pro rata, the Archbishop of Canterbury is actually on £69m a year, marginally more than a Freshfields partner.) Ergo, vicars have the better hours. VERDICT: VICARS WIN

3.  Benefits

Lawyers’ perks often include free tickets to sporting events, limitless coffee, first class air travel, peeled grapes and signed photos of Dominic Grieve QC. But Vicars’ benefits including dying and going to heaven, where they can kneel beside The Mercy Seat in heaven where God sits surrounded by magnificent angels full of glory and power that proclaim and bless the holy name of God without ceasing. VERDICT: VICARS WIN

4.  Workspace

Lawyers, particularly those in big London firms, work in environments with the kind of kit that makes the technology in Minority Report look like an Etch-a-sketch. Often, their office walls are hung with tapestries hand-woven by virgins from sixteenth century Belgium. The water in the toilet is vitamin-enriched Evian, and even legal paper clips are made from pure gold. Vicars, on the other hand, have to hang out in draughty old churches with mouldy harvest festival offerings and roofs which have had the lead all stripped off. VERDICT: LAWYERS WIN

 5.  Supervision

And so we come to the crunch. What about supervision and responsibility? Sure, it’s tough in a law firm, because the management tends to own the company and can come down on you harshly if you forget even a minute of billing time. But it’s even worse as a vicar: muck about too much and the man upstairs will properly drop you in it, dishing out extreme penalties such as turning you into a pillar of salt, slaying your first-born or making you go out with Sue Barker. VERDICT: LAWYERS WIN

And the winner is… Looks like being a vicar is a load of old cassocks, while lawyers really are the chosen ones. Hooray! And Praise the Lord (Justice Leveson)! AB

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