Church Notices – 16 July 2017

Tonight’s Evensong would be at Grilsby on the Hill. But really, what’s the point?

Monday 17th: Cubs 7pm Little Tremlett Church Hall. This week it’s the “Conflict Resolution Badge”.

Tuesday 18th 8pm:  Dr Ireland will be leading her Morality Task Force on a sweep of Barebottom Spinney. And when we say “sweep” – she is planning to take the yard brush with the particularly spiky bristles. So stay well away from all hanky panky, is our advice.

Wednesday 19th: Woodby Chapel Men’s Fellowship. Simon Donut will be sitting in the chapel on his own, remembering his departed friends.

Thursday 20th: 2 pm last “Tiny Tots” of the school year at Gt Tremlett Church Hall. We plan to use the summer months to remove glitter from the floor. Any offers of industrial grinding equipment will be grarefully received.

7pm: Bell Ringing practice at Little Tremlett. Toby reckons he’s worked out how we can ring the best of Daft Punk. Bring a few lagers.

Friday 21st: Coffee morning at Great Tremlett. Followed by a skimmity ride to Nathaneal Brakebones’s house. Dr Ireland to provide photographic evidence.

Saturday 22nd 8am: Men’s Breakfast at Great Tremlett. Please bring an egg.

Nathan on Twitter

After the Twitter account @ourCofE went on sabbatical, I decided someone should show the grime, muck and bullets of a vicar at the coal face of the Church of England.
And who better than the minister of five well-heeled villages on the edge of the Cotswolds? If you tweet, then you can find me at @NotTheCofE.

Blessings

Revd Nathan

Church Notices: 9 July

Tonight’s Evensong will be at Woodby Chapel. It only holds 39 so arrive early to ensure you get a seat. Who am I kidding? Please please turn up. Or it’s just me and the Combined Benefice Choir. And I am scared. Revd Nathan. 

Monday 10th: Cubs 7pm Little Tremlett Church Hall. Please pray for their leaders, still recovering after the cubs slipped those tarantulas into their tents at the recent camp

Tuesday 11th 8pm:  “Get a Grip. Why transgender people should just thank God for how he made them.” Dr Ireland will be leading a demonstration against Church of England liberalism by burning the vicar in effigy on the Gt Tremlett village green

Wednesday 12th: Mother’s Union. Dorothea Plunkett talks to us on “Wife Swapping in the Cotswolds.” With slides.

Thursday 13th: 8pm at Grilsby: “30 years a Hedge Fund Manager.” Denzil Dodgie tells us how the Lord blessed him with the biggest house in Grilsby-on-the-Hill and a Jag.

7pm: Bell Ringing practice at Little Tremlett. Cutting out the unproductive part of the evening, the ringers will just meet in the pub and skip the ringing.

Friday 14th: Coffee morning at Great Tremlett. Please bring a pointy stick in case of strangers.

Saturday 15th: Fete at Little and Great Tremlett, Grilsby and Woodby. Please come and buy some dog-eared rubbish that you can contribute to the fete next year.

Sunday 16th: See service rota for the hideously complex details.

Letters to the Church Magazine: July 2017

Dear Sir

I approve of the Church Council’s decision to grow a wild flower meadow in the older parts of the churchyard. What a great idea! We should respect the environment.

But can they at least cut the grass? It looks very scruffy with all those weeds.

Yours with the anti-histamine,

Germaine Johnson, Garage Lane, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

All the members of the Grinton family have been baptised, married and buried in Great Tremlett Church for the last two hundred years.

We’ve never been to a regular service. What happens?

Yours etc

Kiki Grinton, Shandling Street, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

Once again the traditional Gt Tremlett v Woodby Chapel Choirs tug-of-war competiton ended in a resounding win for the “Tremblers.”

Dear Aggie put up a valiant battle, but against eight strapping tenors and basses she never had a chance and had to be dragged out of the River Trim.

I admire her faith and belief in  a future Renaissance of Woodby Chapel choir music. But maybe Aggie could take a temporary retirement from tug-of-war until the revival actually happens? She is, after all, 93.

Yours etc

Mildred Peabody, Chapel Lane, Woodby Chapel End

Dear Everybody

Please note that from now on, all baptisms at Woodby will be on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 10am. In keeping with church best practice this will be the main church service of the day.

For those who want to avoid baptism parties there will be another service at Woodby Chapel at the same time.

When we trialled this last month the entire regular congregation went to Woodby Chapel. We had to drag Edgar into the car and take him down to Woodby, or we wouldn’t have had an organist.

Yours etc

Revd Nathan



Dear Sir

I went to church last Sunday and was met at the door by someone who smiled, said hello, and gave me the hymn and service books.

I shall never return until this sort of thing stops. I demand my right as an Englishman to attend and go from church without anyone speaking to me or making eye contact.

Yours etc

Archie Tulip, Borough Lane, Grilsby-on-the-Hill


Dear Sir

Summer is here! And with it a glut of fresh fruit and the earliest vegetables. But what to do with them when they arrive in such abundance?

I found out my great-grandfather’s old book of country crafts and winemaking. What wisdom our ancestors had!

I ate four ounces of those mushrooms that he planted in the cellar in 1884 and I thought I was Father Christmas. Amazing stuff.

Yours etc

Major J Dumpling, “Rodney’s Rest”, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I attended the service at St Mary’s last Sunday and I was very disappointed in the changes that have happened since I last attended.

Some of the congregation were not there because they are now dead. And the ones that are left are substantially older than I remember. There were also some children that I did not recognise.

The Alternative Service Books have been removed and replaced with something called Common Worship. And, I regret to say, it is.

Worst, there was a woman called Joanna pretending she was a priest. What have you done with old Canon Westcliffe?

Yours etc

Grimly Ingleton, Furnace End, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

So what have the events of the last month shown us?

A weak leader propped up by divided lieutenants. No clear vision, a lack of energy, and a feeling of foreboding for the future. The rise of a plausible alternative, showing a vision that can inspire the young.

Still, enough of the vicar’s situation. The General Election result was disappointing.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin”, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

What great kindness of Mrs Slope to donate to the church a new  laptop and data projector – a great aid to the flexibility and family friendliness of our services!

However I have calculated that, used every Sunday for 70 minutes and at Messy Church, the electricity to run them could cost as much as £74.22 per annum.

I have therefore sold them to buy candles.

Yours etc

Norbert Dranesqueezer, Chester St, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

Dear Sir

I note that the book of this blog, “Writes of the Church: Gripes and Grumbles of the People in the Pews” is now available for pre-order on both Bible Readers’ Fellowship and Amazon.

Obviously, it would be mercenary and blatant to plug it in any way.

Obviously.

Yours etc

Eileen Fitzroy-Russell, The Great House, Husborne Crawley, Beds


Dear Sir

I see that Yoko Ono may be recognised as co-author of the song “Imagine”.

This seems very fair to me, and in keeping with our more equal society.

If she contributed to the dreadful old dirge, she should share the blame.

I plan to have it played at my funeral. I have always hated my family.

Yours etc

Bing Bingley, Maypole Green, Woodby

Dear Sir

Sex on the TV, everybody’s at it.

Your mind gets dirty as you get closer to 30.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Lane, Woodby

Dear Sir

The Vicar’s introduction of Taize music at the 9.15 last week was quite out of place. This is not the Church I grew up in.

If I wanted my worship in a beautiful but dead language, I would go to the 8am BCP Communion.

Yours etc

Shankly Gates, Hill Meadow, Lt Tremlett

Dear Sir

A poem for the holiday season.

Verão

The o’erhead sun in glory shines
enlightening the country lanes
and sweet dog roses’ flow’rs refines
and burns the skins of maids and swains.

And swiftly to the sea they run
from every inland village street
to lie on beaches in the sun
and drink their cheap tequila neat.

Such celebrating youth, ’tis true
is reckless both of sin and age
it celebrates its blessings new
neglecting e’er to turn the page.

And so, mouse-like, the summer hordes
Bowie-unknowing, in the sun
from Ibiza to the Norfolk broads
‘ware not their race will soon be run.

Death death death death
Death death death death
Death death death death
Death death death death


Wishing all your readers a blessed, if short and soon to turn to autumn, summer.

Yours etc

Melissa Sparrow (Mrs), The Hollow, Grilsby on the Hill

Letters to the Church Magazine – June 2017

Dear Sir

Astonishing to hear that anthem on Sunday performed in six parts. Especially as there’s only five of them in the choir.

Chester should really just accept that his voice isn’t what it was.

Yours etc

Barbra Finkel, Long Meadow, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

As we look forward to Reverend Joanna completing her time with us and finding her own vicar’s post we must ask ourselves some serious questions.

In my own case that question should be, when I asked her if she were in need of some company when her husband was away on business, why did she get that court to order my exclusion from a 400 yard radius of her house?

Yours etc

Randall Nevis, Leer Cottage, Woodby

Dear Sir

When will something be done about Mr Nuttall?

Standing outside the “Hanged Man Inn” late at night shouting about sending immigrants back.

For his information, they’re “Londoners”. And while they may not talk like us, they bring money into our villages and their children mean we can keep the school open.

Yours etc

Simone de Belvoir, World’s End, Lt Tremlett

Dear Sir

At last week’s “Bring Your Cheese to Church” service, my neighbour brought a rather over-ripe Danish Blue. Put me right off the words to “All Things Brie and Beautiful.”

I also complained about the Stinking Bishop. But he was there to lead the Confirmation Service.

Yours etc

Bradley Hadleigh, Cheese Road, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

Dear Sir

After a recent trip to the Continent I have realised what Great Tremlett is missing. A proper relic! Draws them by the thousands does a decent relic.

Therefore I am honoured to present St Mary’s with the Appendix of St Peter’s Mother in Law. I know some have claimed it looks rather like a sun dried tomato. But if you don’t say anything I won’t.

Norbert better get ready for all the £74.22s to roll in! 

Yours etc

Toby Tenor, The Old Gate House, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

Many have asked how I got on at the Diocesan Clergy Week. And I hope nobody will be offended if I don’t tell them.

As we always say: “What happens in Swanwick, stays at Swanwick.”

Yours etc

Revd Nathan, Gt Tremlett Rectory

Dear Sir

I would like to thank all the people who have donated books to the church book stall over the last twelve months. However I think it is fair to say that we have accrued a fair number that we will never sell.  So if anyone wants any of the books below we will happily sell them for a nominal 5p, or else the rest will go into the specially-adapted “book burning stove” that we use for supplementary heating at winter Evensongs.

“50 Shades of Grey” – 86 copies
“A Song of Fire and Ice” (various) – 91 copies
Jackie Collins (various) – 154 copies
“A Brief History of Time” – 214 copies, all unread
“The God Delusion” – Seriously defaced
“Lady Chatterley’s Lover” – Well-thumbed
“The Da Vinci Code” – 23 copies, implausible
“Honest to God” – 6 copies, irrelevant 
“Lost Icons”, Rowan Williams – 95 copies, Incomprehensible

Yours etc

Romilly Randers, Cave Road, Little Tremlett

 

Dear Sir

As Treasurer I often have to deal with the offerings that have been taken on Sundays-  often as much as £74.22.

As a result of dealing with such large sums I have had to pay my nephew, “Mostin”, to act as hired muscle to protect me.

Mostin however does not do this from the goodness of his heart and expects appropriate payment for his services.

He therefore includes an invoice to the sum of  £74.22.

Yours etc

Norbert Dranesqueezer, Chester St, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

Dear Sir

I note that the banner is up on the side of the church advertising the “Fète”.

Shocked by this topographical inexactitude! We may have voted for Brexit but that is no excuse for rubbing the noses of our French friends in it.

Therefore late Friday night, having fortified ourselves with a couple of quarts of rhubarb and marmalade wine, my friend Mr Charkles and myself took a ladder and some duck tape along to correct things.

There was some initial confusion when we both stood on the bottom rung of the  ladder to hold it steady. And then when neither of us stood there and both toppled from the top. But eventually we reached the perfect situation – where one of us climbed while the other held it steady.

So eventually I managed to correct it. Unfortunately as I finished the adjustment, Charlie wandered off distracted by some goings on in the bushes. While he was taking photographic evidence for Dr Holland’s next “sin list”, I toppled off the ladder once more, going over the graveyard wall and landing on a passing milkfloat.

How lovely to see a milkfloat! I thought the Blair government had banned them along with foxes. 

Yours etc

Major James Dumpling, “Rodney’s Rest”, Lt Tremlett

Dear Sir

With all the excitement over election polls I thought I would conduct my own, for who should replace the vicar when he finally obeys God’s call. And the results are as follows:

Derek Nimmo    45%

Dawn French     23%

Tom Hollander   18%

Richard Coles      17%

Lib Dems               8%

David Mitchell     7%

Giles Fraser          2%
I have written to Fr Nimmo offering him the job if he wants it, but sadly have had no response.

Yours etc

Melonesia MacMagnum, Carriage Way, Woodby Chapel End

Dear Sir

I have written a new poem for the General Election.

“THE NATION’S DILEMMA”

Doubt like gossamer blows across fair Albion
Nicola Sturgeon smiles and weighs her votes
The fishers, anxious, wonder if  they will keep their boats
When, Brexecuted, Britain on free water floats.

Anxiety sweeps this desperate orb
From East to West the people rise 
As Theresa May – gray-faced with age-old eyes
Watches Labour’s vote head for the skies.

And the beat of the world
Neath humanity’s noise 

Continues – incessant, sempiternal, hypnotic.

Covfefe
Covfefe
Covfefe
Covfefe
Covfefe
Stuff the climate!

Melissa Sparrow  (Mrs), The Hollow, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

Dear Sir

What has happened to the banner for the Church Fête?

What on earth is a Church Fate? Apart from decline and eventual closure, obviously.

Yours etc

Xavier de Quincy Somerville-Shepard, Sheep Close, Lt Tremlett

Letters to the Church Magazine: May 2017

Dear Sir

As the election approaches, I often ask myself the question: how would Jesus vote?

Conservative, obviously.

Yours etc

Marais de Sandeman, The Old Brewhouse, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

As we enter the Month of Maying, we remember all those that celebrate the start of the summer seasons by casting clouts and disappearing into the woods and fields for a spot of al fresco fornication.

Already this year  I have identified seven such couples, in Barebottom Spinney alone. I have names and photographic evidence posted up in the church porch, and on the Facebook page “Free Tremlett from Sin”.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin’”, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

Once again it was a joy to support the vicar by “standing in” for many of the Trim Valley services during his post-Easter vacation. How they enjoyed the reintroduction of “singing in tongues”, a rite that has not been used in Grilsby-on-the-Hill since 325 AD.

I did miss out on Evensong at Little Tremlett on the last Sunday of Revd Nathan’s holiday. A very strange event indeed. I was just about to head out for the service when I received a phone call from Boris Johnson, telling me he needed help with designing a special bridge in honour of Joanna Lumley over the river Trim.

I walked down to the spot where he instructed me. And imagine my surprise when I was pushed over, tied up, and stuck in a rubber dinghy. I travelled some considerable distance downstream.

Eventually a punter on the Cherwell near Marston Ferry pulled me out, and provided me with gin at a nearby hostelry. As a result perhaps of these recuperative stimulants, I have rather a hazy recollection of that afternoon’s events. All I remember seeing on that river bank was the flash of what appeared to be a white gown, and a glimpse of the ends of a blue scarf.

I would like to express my thanks to the Reader, Doreen who was coincidentally at Woodby Chapek that evening, with a sermon that, I am told, was completely in keeping with the readings. God is good!

Yours etc

Canon Vyvyan Westcliffe (Retd) (But still available for occasional offices), The Old Vicarage, Woodby


Dear Sir

A female vicar in Bedfordshire has installed a set of dear little plastic chairs in the Lady Chapel for the children. Apparently she received much approval and just the one complaint.

But all I did was sneak in and install a ball pit, plastic slides and penny arcade in the North Transept. And all of a sudden it’s “sacrilege.”

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

I received a bowlful of blancmange, several hundred silver stars and half a pound of red glitter glue in my hair at the Chapel last Wednesday evening.

But when I demanded to know if this was how Messy Church was supposed to be, they told me I had actually wandered into the PCC.

Yours etc

Rt Hon Alicia Cholmondley-Cholmonley, Cholmondeley Manor, Woodby Chapel End.


Dear Sir

Once again over Easter we had to deal with all the usual questions about whether the Easter Bunny was a spaceman.

Let us be clear. We celebrate Easter in honour of the birth of the Bunny, who flies around the earth scattering his chocolate eggs. If anyone has a Gospel other than this, let them be Anthea.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I would like to complain about the installation of the icon of Our Lady in Woodby church. I know this kind of trendy artwork is popular with so-called modernists. But I find it ruins the traditional look of the place. I go to church for peeling plaster and the smell of damp hymn books – not a numinous experience of being in contact with the Saints.

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby


Dear Sir

Why did the Vicar get so excited on Easter Day?  Ridiculous. Worked the children up to a terrible frenzy with his unlikely claims that Jesus is alive. Put me off my crossword.

Yours etc

Ciara Meringe, The Old Stables, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I used to be worried, when the Vicar was away on his post-Easter rest, that the temporary replacement might preach long, boring sermons. But not anymore.

Now I bring the twelve bore to church, the sermons are guaranteed no more than 5 minutes.

Yours etc

Major J Dumpling, “Rodney’s Rest”, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

As treasurer of the parish I am well aware that we are running at a monthly deficit of £74.22. The remedy to this, I was sure, was a set of informative leaflets in the church, explaining the running costs of the diocese, the cost of housing for clergy, and the need for curate training.

I was not expecting the “Grilsby Riots” to break out. I will be frank, I was terrified of the mob of 9 people demanding independence from the Bishop of Banburyshire, that the vicar go out and get a proper job, and that we get a curate who is “intelligent enough to do her own learning”.

In the course of the riot, my front fence suffered an amount of damage.  I therefore enclose an invoice to the value of £74.22.

Yours etc

Norbert Dranesqueezer, Chester St, Grilsby-on-the-Hill


Dear Sir

There is some disturbing stuff in the news these days. The shadow of Brexit, as we go to the polls. The nightmare that Jeremy Corbyn might win the election and nationalise my shed to make more jam. The possibility of nuclear war in North Korea, and the ever-present threat that a terrorist might attack Great Tremlett Farmers Market.

And yet that does not justify the Church Magazine completely overlooking the introduction of a new plate into the church hall kitchen. My great-aunt bequeathed her old tea set to the church when she died. If she knew somebody was introducing new crockery in a different pattern, she would turn in her grave. If her ashes had not been fired into space on that rocket.

Yours etc

Jeremy Stairswell, Crow Lane, Grilsby on the Hill


Dear Sir

Sheena is a punk rocker.
Sheena is a punk rocker.
Sheena is a punk rocker. Now.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

I loathe the tendency of Mavis Flossett and her “Mothers Union” to head for the hills to indulge in pagan rites on supposedly “traditional” holidays. Therefore last night I took steps to prevent their devilish practices – successfully, I have to say.

The claim that neo-pagan practitioners are “peaceful” is clearly a lie. I now have nine angry, naked middle-aged women in a bear pit, and their threats are blood-curdling.

Yours etc

Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

The Tremlett Photography Club regret to announce they have to disband. The raid by Thames Valley Police was quite a shock. And we’ve no idea what Mildred was doing.

Yours etc

Romilly Randers, Cave Road, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

As the spring comes in, a reminder of the long-gone traditions of this ancient English landscape.

THE WOLD

The gentle curve of a limestone wold
From Mother Nature’s womb
the flowers spring, to bring again
colour to the coombe.

The spring that feeds the joyful Trim
sings gladly down the lea
As merrily it runs its way down
to the distant sea.

And lambs that graze upon the banks
that line its merry course
will gambol, unsuspecting that
they’ll get served with mint sauce.

Death, death, death.
Death, death, death.
Death, death, death.
Death, death, death.

Wishing you a springy spring!

Yours etc

Melissa Sparrow (Mrs), The Hollow, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

Letters to the Church Magazine: April 2017 (But not April Fools’)

Dear Everybody

If you’re here, I like to think it may be because you like this site, and the assorted people that populate our church’s letter pages.

And it might be that in that case, what you really want to do, at some point in the near future, is consider buying the paperback version of “Writes of the Church” for yourself, your loved ones, or even your vicar. As let’s face it, they need a laugh as well.

The good news is – some bloke has produced a book that lets you do just that. So why not go straight away to the BRF Website to read all about the paperback incarnation of this blog, and details of when you will be able to pre-order it. With more than 100 pages of the Great Tremlett posse’s complaints, and 14 brand new cartoons by Dave Walker.

Yours

Revd Nathan


Dear Sir

Please cancel my subscription to the Church Magazine. The communist views, liberal attitudes and PC pandering to the “snowflake” brigade has filled me up to hear.

And that was just the Vicar’s monthly “thought”, on the Good Samaritan. Goodness knows what the account of the Spring Fayre was like.

Yours etc

Arbuthnot P Ephraim, The Old Carriage House, Grilsby-on-the-Hill


Dear Sir

In my investigations into the activities of our previous Treasurer – whom I shall in future refer to as “The Fraudster” – I have discovered that every month, we are paying £74.22 to a suspicious group called “E.on”. I have cancelled these payments, as I suspect they may be some kind of protection racket.

Yours etc

Norbert Dranesqueezer, Chester Street, Grilsby-on-the-Hill


Dear Sir

Inspired by Brexit, I have been investigating how Grilsby could “go it alone” without the rest of the Trim Valley benefice.

Some may think this is foolishness. Well, they said that about Captain Cook when he decided to land at Hawaii.

What is clear is that Grilsby put far more into the benefice than in receives back. We paid nearly £4,000 in Parish Share last year – and yet we have barely more of the Vicar’s time than Woodby Chapel.

Therefore I will move at the next PCC that we declare independence from the benefice. We will apply to the Bishop of Banbury for our own incumbent.

And we will thrive as an independent parish. For instance, we will be able to choose the date of the Harvest Festival without considering the other four churches. We will have services at Grilsby every Sunday – including Fifth Sundays.

An independent Grilsby will have its own vicar. A new, state-of-the-art vicarage. Its own vacancy for a Deanery Synod rep – instead of having to share three vacancies between the villages.  And the ability to choose the time for our own services.

Yours etc

Nigel Garage, the Old Vicarage, Grilsby-on-the-Hill


Dear Sir

The thermometer outside the church, advertising the progress of the building fund, is such a traditional sight in the English countryside! In the case of the one outside St Mary’s, it has been there, stuck on 35% of the required cash, since 1785.

The limit on these kinds of advertisements is 28 days. I am therefore writing to you to request that you take it down forthwith.

Yours etc

Gladly Mycross, Banburyshire Council


Dear Sir

The long spring evenings are so delightful after the dark nights of winter! And I note that so many people have been enjoying the warmer times – especially around the car park at “Cupid’s Spinney”.

If three out of the ten Church Wardens in the benefice would like to deposit £1,000 in the agreed spot, no-one need ever know more.

Yours etc

Melissa Sparrow (Mrs), The Hollow, Grilsby-on-the-Hill


Dear Sir

I would like to apologise for the terror I caused the members of the Mothers’ Union last week.

Wandering across the churchyard on the way home from the “Hanged Man” one lunchtime, I fell into a newly-dug grave.

Others in this situation might have howled for help, whimpered, burst in tears or otherwise not acted like a man with a long and distinguished service history. However, fortunately I had the remains of a bottle of Jack Daniels with me, with which I was able to while away the time.

As the Mothers’ Union left their meeting in the church hall, I had just woken from my doze. I had also realised that, by turning my clothes into a rope and looping it round the headstone of my old friend “Chalky” Chalkwhite, I would be able to raise myself from my tomb.

Seeing me in my underpants, covered in mud and climbing from the tomb, the Mothers collectively screamed. It was at this point that I saw the blinding light that I can only assume was a divine intervention, and fell backwards into the grave, where I lay until Jeb retrieved me in the morning.

Mrs Dumpling was not so alarmed as the Mothers. It’s true to say she is used to me returning in the dawn light, in a state of disrepair. As I say, it is the Army training.

Yours etc

Major J Dumpling (retd), Rodney’s Rest, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

The notice sheets were on the left hand side of the table in the nave this morning, instead of the right hand side. Surely this requires a faculty?

I have written to complain to the Bishop.

I used to work for the Met Office.

Yours etc

Chas “Charlie” Charkles, Hanged Man’s Close, Gt Tremlett.


Dear Sir

I  note from the diocese newsletter that the average age of new Lay Ministers at the recent licensing service was substantially higher than the average life expectancy in Banburyshire.

What a great advert for the Christian faith! Clean living, regular prayer and you can expect to be harassing your neighbours with your preaching and pastoral visits well into your 9th decade!

Yours etc

Gerville Wellesley-Kanbee, Holistic House, Woody Chapel End.


Dear Sir

We were leaving the church hall after the Mothers’ Union last week when we were confronted by a zombie, climbing from one of the graves.

Thankfully, I thought quickly and hit it over the head with the spade Jeb had left laying around, in the manner of that admirable American reality TV series, “The Walking Dead”.

However there should be no need for members of the church to have to protect themselves from the undead in this way. The Vicar should be patrolling the churchyard with holy water, ready to eliminate this kind of supernatural menace.

I have written to the Diocesan Exorcist to complain.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin’”, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

Once again the benefice website has been brought up to date. A great leap forwards – it has been advertising the special service to celebrate Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee rather too long, in my opinion.

However there is a risk here. If people are aware of the possibilities of such delights as Beetle Drives, Jumble Sales and auctions of promises, they may well start attending church. For surely this kind of thing was what made the Church in Acts so attractive.

And if people start coming to church they may need ministering to. As Pastoral Assistant, I might need to do some of that ministering. And I have not been consulted.

I insist the Vicar winds the clock on the website back to 2002 – the same as he does with his choice of “modern” worship. Only thus can  I avoid the dangers of overwork and marital breakdown.

Yours etc

Bradley Hadleigh, Jasmine House, Woodby


Dear Sir

Now that spring is here, I have once again been producing a list of the most notable sinners in the valley. This year a record! I normally pin the list up in appropriate places for all to read. However since the vicar has a habit of going around tearing them down, on this occasion we have spray-painted the details on the side of Little Tremlett church.

Not only will these people get the exposure they deserve for several days, while the Vicar is on retreat. But on his return, he will find himself copied on a letter from Mr Spacek, asking the Bishop why he did not get a faculty.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbing”, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Mike Pence has a lot to answer for.

After the publicity about Pence’s adoption of the “Billy Graham Rule” , Maurice Cordwainer refused to be in a building on his own with me.

I am a respectable married woman and ordained priest. He is 87. He has halitosis. It was Morning Prayer at Woodby Chapel – a drafty former Methodist mission hall.

Believe me. I was unlikely to be overcome with lust.

Yours etc

Revd Joanna, The Old Chapel, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Once again I am disappointed in the Vicar’s religious knowledge.

I stopped him after church to ask him what he thought of the Sandemanian injunctions on the consumption of beasts that are strangled.

He had never heard of this particular ruling of the group, and suggested I give him a few days to look things up.

I don’t know what Ridley think they are turning out these days.

Yours etc

Charmander McBrayne, Woodby Lane, Grilsby


Dear Sir

Don’t ask us to attend, Cause we’re not all there.  Oh don’t pretend ’cause I don’t care. I don’t believe illusions ’cause too much is real. So stop your cheap comment –
cause we know what we feel.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

 

Inspired this year by the other church members who forsake some enjoyable pastime or foodstuff, I decided to give up eating frogspawn.

I don’t know why everyone finds Lent so difficult.

Yours etc

Rasmere Raxton, Brook Lane, Woodby