Letters to the Church Magazine: December 2016

Dear Sir

The people who have voted for Donald Trump in the United States seem to have disliked Mexicans, Muslims and gay people. This is outrageous. There are far more people that need to be put on a register. These include:

  • Catholics
  • Radicals
  • Catholic Radicals
  • Catholic Radicals in Chasubles
  • Giles Fraser
  • Agnostics
  • Writers of acrostics
  • Funambulists
  • Acrobats
  • Clowns
  • Choir members who are allergic to cats
  • Gays
  • Greys
  • People who drink Thatcher’s “Haze”
  • People from Bakewell
  • Drivers who don’t brake well
  • Nicolaitans
  • Appalachians
  • People who dress up as Father Christmas at the slightest excuse
  • Environmentalists

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

When will Revd Nathan ever make it into social media or the television as a celebrity vicar?

How can we hope to develop a radical new mission strategy if Natahn’s face is unfamiliar to the typical chap on the Tremlett Circuit Bus (now defunct due to austerity measures at Banburyshire Council?)

He hasn’t even got onto the Gafcon list of Notorious Sinners. At the least, maybe he could shave his legs or wear a feather boa.

Yours etc

Gabrielle Fitch Thompson, the Old Market House, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

 After the unfortunate double-booking of the Church Hall, I am afraid the Rabbit Breeders Club next few meetings will be cancelled. The Banburyshire Ferret Fanciers would like to apologise.

On the bright side, Flossy and Scut did survive the Bunny Apocalypse so we hope the Rabbit Breeders will be back to full strength next summer.

Yours etc,

Fennel Bailey, The Old Orchard House, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Last week’s service sheet referred to a “narthex” when we clearly have a “vestibule.” This would never have been allowed at St Martin in the Fields. I used to be in the Civil Service.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Players, put yo’ pinky rings up to the moon
Girls, what y’all trying to do?
Twenty four karat magic in the air
Head to toe soul player
Look out uh.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

As Christmas approaches, once again I realise that I have totally failed to attend worship at St Mary’s since that lovely Nativity Play.

Still, not long now.  I always look forward to seeing how they’ve grown!

Yours etc

Jasmine Jones, “Chitterings”, Wheezy Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

When I first left the army I got into the habit, every Christmas, of buying a bottle of white wine for every member of the last battery I commanded. A tradition I have continued ever since.

Of course, as time has gone by the number of my old colleagues has reduced until, these days, there are only 17 of them left. This leaves me a lot of wine to drink myself, but these old traditions have to be kept up.

With any luck I hope I shall be able to focus again by Candlemas.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

My nephew Wilbur kindly let me borrow his computer to look at the Church website. Once again, nothing to see.

Wilbur has suggested that this may be because I do not have broadband. But I do not want to rush into things.

Yours etc

Chesney Peterson, Walnut Grove, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

During the winter the heating bill rises steeply – causing a substantial increase in our running costs.

We could easily make savings if we cancel all services from December to April. Of course, we should still hold the Nativity Play. We can keep people warm by burning the chopped up old choir wardrobes.

In order to chop up the wardrobes I did have to buy  a  cheap but functional chainsaw. I therefore include an invoice to the value of £74.22.

I would like to apologise to the choir for the state of their robes.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Our “Bring a Friend to Harvest” missional activity was both a massive success and total failure.

Everybody brought a friend. But they were all friends who already come to Church.

Next year’s missional drive will be called “Find Some More Friends Who Aren’t Christians Sunday.”

Yours etc

Chloe Joey, “El Nino Cottage”, Woodby Chapel End 


Dear Sir

I hear that Miss Joey is suggesting we should make friends with non-Christians. A terrible idea! As the Apostle said, “Do not be yoked with unbelievers.” We should pray for people to become Christians, and then become their friends and take them to Church.

Yours etc

Mary England,  Carstairs House, Woodby

Letters to the Church Magazine: November 2016

Dear Sir

I do not understand why we have so few young people attending church in Woodby nowadays.

We had decided to bring the worship up to date. We have a “music group” consisting of two women playing tambourine and a male accordionist. We regularly play only music that was written in the 1970s.

Why are the young people still not coming to church?

Yours etc

Anna Kee, Chafing Lane, Woodby, UK


Dear Sir

The rise of chutney stalls at the Christmas Fayre has, of late, been something to behold. I blame the ready availability, in these amoral days, of tomato plants and pickling vinegar. Can I propose a maximum of twenty jars of chutney per stall? Any more than that and the Major will have another of his “binges”.

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

I dropped into last week’s jumble sale. I had no idea what jumbles are – some sort of relative of the Jumblies in the Edward Lear poem, I presumed. And I wondered whetther they had the green heads and blue hands of their cousins.

Instead when I got there all I saw was old women selling tatty jumpers and other such brocante. There was a sieve for sale, but no sign of any nautical activity. I was most disappointed.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Surely innovations in the Church have gone too far. In which Synod of the Church was it decided that breastfeeding infants was acceptable?

The young lady concerned had the offending infant under a blanket throughout the entire operation, it is true. But it was still clearly happening. Put me right off the service. I yearn for the good old days before breastfeeding was invented.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Every Saturday, four or five people come to church to sweep the floor, polish the candles and other metal fittings, and generally get the place ready for Sunday. They are stalwarts of the church.

But what on earth do they think the clergy are for?

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby


Dear Sir

What a masterpiece of negotiation and democracy! I refer, of course, to the new monthly “family service” at Little Tremlett.

Because the Vicar wanted a modern worship group, and the organist did not want to reduce his input into the service, a compromise was required. I am glad to say we found one.

Now, each First Sunday, we sing 7 modern choruses, plus 5 hymns. The service now lasts nearly two hours, and the only people who attend are musicians. But at least, through tolerance and love, we have modelled the kingdom!

Yours etc

Marais de Sandeman, The Old Brewhouse, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir
Ah, the mellow, nostalgic days of autumn! Walking back from church last week I smelt the aroma of the apples in the vicarage garden and it took me back to those times – long and merry ago, now – when I used to “scrump” from the old vicarage orchard in Father Tranwell’s time.

Of course these days, climbing over the vicarage wall is not as easy as it once was. So I called into the Hanged Man for some lubrication before attempting a recreation of my youthful exploits. After five hours, I felt sufficiently lubricated.

In the old days, “Buffy” and I would climb to the top of the trees to get the ripest apples. Of course, Fr Tranwell’s trees were old-fashioned standard trees, twenty or thirty feet high. These modern “bush” trees are not so high. Nor, it seems, so sturdy. When I woke, I realised I was in the midst of five or six flattened apple trees, sitting in the dusk in the vicarage garden.

The other game “Buffy” and I would play – when the vicar was out! – was to throw apples over the vicarage roof for the other to catch. Sadly Buffy is no longer with us after that incident with the Swedish navy and the paddling pool. So it was down to me to recreate the  good old days by heaving apples over the vicar’s roof.

By all accounts it was a Bramley that knocked Revd Nathan out as he left the church for Evensong. whereas the people getting off the Banbury bus were taken out by the volley of Ashmead’s Kernels.

I would like to apologise to the vicar, the evening congregation, and indeed  the entire village.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

What’s black and white and goes up and down?

The vicar with his foot caught in a bell rope!

Yours etc

Jeremy Stairswell, Crow Lane, Grilsby on the Hill


Dear Sir

It’s hard to believe that there’s nobody out there. It’s hard to believe that I’m all alone
At least I have her love, the city, she loves me. Lonely as I am, together we cry.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

I am sorry to announce the disbanding of the Interfaith Group.

There’s only Mr Patel at the shop who’s a member of a non-Christian congregation. And he says he doesn’t really believe in any of it. I did tell him neither do we; but he didn’t care.

I am now starting a new Buddhism Group in the village hall. If this catches on, in a couple of years it might be worth starting the Inter Faith group again.

Yours etc

Romilly Randers, Cave Road, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

The news story about Kumbuka the Gorilla gripped the nation last month. A 29 stone gorilla on the loose in Camden – how could he possibly last more than ten minutes? I had visions of him resorting to pushing canabbis on the Regents Canal towpath.

I attribute his survival entirely to the intercession of his patron saint, the martyred Harambe the Gorilla. Surely more proof that the Vatican should act now to progress his canonisation.

Yours etc

Barbara E Ape, “Tiggywinkles”, Meadow Leys.

Letters to the Church Magazine: October 2016

Dear Sir

In retrospect, I over-reacted last Saturday when the Scouts were doing their charity fancy dress car-wash outside Spar.

When driving out of the car park of a shop in a small town, one does not expect to see a scoutmaster and somebody dressed as Iggle Piggle looming up and pointing at one’s windscreen. And I panicked.

In my defence, I only drove as far as Banbury before the scoutmaster fell off the bonnet. However “Iggle Piggle” trapped his arm in the windscreen wiper. It was only when his head fell off in Stow that I realised it was Revd Nathan.  I hope the vicar had a pleasant walk home from Bourton on the Water. I believe “Birdland” is quite nice. But after that shock, there was no way I would offer him a lift back.

Yours etc

Constanza Nearby, “Donebloggin'”, Woodby


Dear Sir

The vicar hung his jacket on a different hook in the vestry last week.

Surely this needed a faculty?

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

There’s sex all over the place these days. On the TV, in the papers, in the Bible, on the Internet, in “Bare-bum Spinney” – all over. And yet the Church continues to conduct weddings. Surely this is just encouraging them.

Yours etc

Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett.


Dear Sir

Maybe I should not have attended the Pet Service. Mrs Dumpling, after all, has always advised me that one should never work with vicars or animals.

I was in a slightly mystical state, having eaten 4 jars of chilli jam that I won at the Harvest Auction of Produce the previous day. And in the event watching Mrs Bramley’s goldfish swimming in circles left me in a kind of trance. Halfway through “If I were a Butterfly” I became convinced I was, in fact, the relevant animal in each line.

I admit that, in a service attended by many small mammals, hopping around the church in the manner of a kangaroo was a mistake.

The joke I made to lighten the mood may not have helped. Asking Jerome whether he was from “HamsterJam” was tactless.

I have offered to buy Jerome a new hamster. But he just tells me “Hammy was special”.

Yours etc

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

 

Dear Sir

I would like to apologise for my typo in last month’s magazine where we were intending to advertise a “Mothers’ Union” meeting. The results of an unfortunate autocorrect, I expect.

In the event, it was a surprise and yet in an odd way quite touching to see all the onions that the mothers brought along to the church.

Quite brought a tear to my eye.

Yours etc

Revd Nathan, the Rectory, Gt Tremlett

 

Dear Sir

Late September and once again we had a Harvest Festival. Did we not do this last year? These trendy special events are ruining the Church I grew up in.

If this kind of thing continues, Luther will have won.

Yours etc

Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

An early advert for our special event at the end of the month.

The coven will meet on the long barrow on Tremlett Tump at 10.30 as usual. Then process to Hangman’s Copse where we will dance naked. Weather permitting. In case of frost or rain we will use the Village Hall. The old arthritics don’t cope with the bad weather these days.

Yours etc

Mildred Flossett (Mothers’ Union Branch Secretary), Jasmine Road, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Some girls are bigger than others.

Some girls are bigger than others.

Some girls’ mothers are bigger than other girls’ mothers.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

Time for another of my famous “vicar” jokes.

Q – What do you call a female vicar who’s accidentally fallen into an open grave at a funeral?

A – Anything you like like. She’s going to have other things on her mind.

Yours etc

Tom Chancellor, Primrose Path, Woodby


Dear Sir

As the autumn draws in, I felt moved to poetry.

“The Falling Leaves”

The conkers lying on the ground

So shiny, brown, and nearly round

The squirrels search them swiftly out

To hide them in some hole, no doubt

But then when winter’s time has come

The stupid beasts can’t even find one

So, tumbling from the homely tree

They die, exhausted, on the ley.

And, as the wind the branches weaves,

They’re buried ‘neath the falling leaves.

Death death death

death death death

death death death.

The falling leaves.

Death.

Yours etc

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

Letters to the Church Magazine – September

Dear Sir

I refer to the recent PCC meeting, in which it was revealed that £74.22 was spent on cleaning and refurbishment of choir robes this May.

I have personally always saved the church money by carrying out repairs and laundering my own robes. However after 38 years in the choir I feel I can no longer carry the financial burden. 

I therefore enclose an invoice for £92.89. It has been a hard month.

Yours etc

Norbert Dranesqueezer, Chester Street

Dear Sir

I hear the Fresh Expressions group have suggested we might have a C!own Service.

Clowns in the Church? Don’t make me laugh.

Yours etc

Burlington O’Brien, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett 


Dear Sir

I have played the song back repeatedly. And done extensive research. And there is no doubt about it.

The sea creatures mentioned in the B52s’ “Rock Lobster” sound nothing like they do in the song.

What does the Archdeacon plan to do about this?

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

The Cholmondley-Cholmonley family have owned Cholmondeley Manor for three hundred years, ever since Sir Charlton “Chummy”  Cholmondley-Cholmonley won the old place in a game of cards from Sir Robin Lighteley-Mincing.

And yet I find I am not allowed to prevent the villagers from watching Channel Four. Truly Bin Laden has won.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

I noticed that, during the summer months, Reverend Joanna gave up wearing the chasuble due to the heat. As a result, in that rather well-cut cassock-alb, I think it is true to say her gracious movements lit up our ancient old building’s time-honoured liturgies.

My wife says please could she not do that again. 

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

At this start of the Methodist year, when so many Methodist ministers are moving to new locations, let us spare a thought for these closest of our relatives in the Church family.

I mean. Imagine being a Methodist. Dreadful.

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby


Dear Sir

Some have objected to the suspension of the Sunday Club during the vacation. But I needed a break after the previous 44 weeks of unbroken teaching.

44 weeks. Every week knowing that, whatever craft activity I devise, Liam will eat it. Removing glue from Chardonnay’s hair every week. Aaron throwing glitter over Samanfa. Every week. For 44 weeks.

Sunday Club will restart on the second Sunday of September. I’m really looking forward to a new year of fun, games and activities!

Yours etc

Cassandra Chamois, Peanut Cottage, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

A flutter of excitement last month as a pigeon found itself trapped in St Audrey’s. A charming little fellow. And such a to-do as the parishioners wondered how best to remove it! A net, luring it with corn? Just leaving the door open? We even made the local news!

Eventually I decided I should act for the community. I give no details. But people said they enjoyed that pie at the church bring n share picnic.

I’ll say no more.

Yours etc

The “Masked Avenger”


Dear Sir

As Harvest comes round, people often wonder what to do with the surfeit of pumpkins that are donated to the Festival. We give away some of our food offerings to the food bank, of course, but most poor people could not eat a whole one.

And many find pumpkin a bland food! But fear not – here is the Dumpling family recipe, passed down through many generations.

Ingredients: 1 large pumpkin; 400g strong white flour; 2 red onions; 4 potatoes; 1 red chilli; 1 bottle Madeira wine; 1pt chicken stock; salt and pepper to taste.

Step 1: Drink the Madeira

Step 2: Wonder what you did with the other ingredients.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

I regret to announce that the autumn Bible Study course has been cancelled. It clashed with the Trim Valley Morris Men.

I don’t mean the two groups were scheduled for the same time. I mean they literally clashed. Blood all over last year’s Spring Harvest study notes. Terrible.

Yours etc

Romilly Randers, Cave Road, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

Already the nights draw in and we think of the ingathering of first fruits, roads choked with combine harvesters and the gentle bubbling of homemade wine..

“A Victorian Harvest in the Trim Valley”

The setting sun o’er Chapel Wood

Sets the fields glowing in golden haze

The villagers still barley mow

In these so-shortening autumn days.

The apples, green and red, hang sweet

And soft, before first frosty breath,

Are chestnuts, brown as the labourers’ arms

And bejewelled berries, black as death.

Death death death

Death death death death death

Death death death

Death death

Death.

Wishing you all a mellow and fruitful harvest tide.

Yours etc

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

Letters to the Church Magazine – August 2016

Dear Sir

The recent “Brexit” vote appears to have been swung by the number of people who voted in the belief that a “Leave” vote meant many people from other countries would have to leave. This attitude is deplorable. There are far more people we should be looking to remove. Specifically:

  • Liberals
  • People who wear chasubles
  • Liberals who wear chasubles
  • Giles Fraser
  • Organists
  • Nudists
  • Nudist organists
  • People who are still ripping off jokes from “Reggie Perrin” 40 years on
  • Atheists
  • Socialists
  • Nudist atheist socialist organists
  • People who read the New International Version of the Bible
  • Animal Liberationists
  • The quiz show “Pointless”, which accepts people even if they are in the groups above
  • People who can’t quite hit high F# but keep trying
  • Lesbians
  • Thespians
  • Pedestrians
  • Latvians.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Once again six months have passed and Revd Nathan has not made it into the news.

In these days when there are many famous, attractive priests on the telly I feel he is not trying hard enough. He should maybe rob a bank, become a pop star or develop a radical  theory that St Timothy was Welsh.

Yours etc

Gabrielle Fitch Thompson, the Old Market House, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

I note from last month’s magazine that every inhabitant of Woodby Chapel End is now past the age of retirement. A remarkable tribute to the attractiveness of the village, its health-giving climate and the way our beautiful Trim Valley encourages active lives even in the 8th and 9th decades.

Of course the downside is that property prices are stupidly expensive now, and nobody else can afford to retire there! Like me.  That’s why I’m starting a course on “Extreme Eurythmics” in the chapel hall on Wednesdays at 8.

Yours etc,

Fennel Bailey, The Old Orchard House, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

The hymn sheet on Sunday said “Savior”, not “Saviour”. Clearly the vicar had downloaded the song from an American website. It could have been owned by Donald Trump.

I used to work for the “Socialist Worker” newspaper. This would never have been allowed.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

My oh my, you’re such a big boy
On a Saturday night.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

It has been seven months since Christmas and I regret that I have not managed to return to St Mary’s since that lovely Nativity Play.

Wherever I have been since that beautiful performance – on holiday, away on business or (typically) in bed – I have always intended to pop into a Sunday service. I am sure I will make it before next Christmas.

Yours etc

Jasmine Jones, “Chitterings”, Wheezy Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

That is a fantastic new  range of polish the church cleaners are using. After a hard day at the allotment, I have found there is nothing like having a quick “buffing up” with the brass cleaner. Quite sets me up for the evening.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

I hear that the new version of the Church website has been cleverly programmed so that it can be viewed on a phone! What will our social medium, Doris, think of next. I tried to look at it on my phone but where will it appear? All I can see is some numbers. Do I need to look down the receiver?

Yours etc

Chesney Peterson, Walnut Grove, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Is it just me that has noticed that, increasingly, there is nothing to do with the smaller decimal coins – 1p, 2p and 1/2p? Certainly I have been spending a lot of time moving it around on the sideboard without ever quite getting round to spending it. When one buys the weekly shop or, as it may be, a round at the Hanged Man, with a bagful of pennies people can get quite annoyed. And lots of small change can wear holes in one’s trousers.

Which is why last year I came up with the concept of the “Change Bucket” in the church porch. Over the last 12 months we have raised £5.33 in loose change from passers-by!

Of course, to prevent theft I had to have the bucket made out of stainless steel, fastened by a five-level padlock, and brazed to the railings – and had to get a faculty to do so. I therefore include an invoice for the treasurer to the value of £74.22.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

After twelve months we have decided to stop the “Messy Church” at Woodby Chapel due to low attendances. People told us we were foolish to try, that it had never worked before and that it was against God’s law. But we are not disheartened. It is still my fervent belief that we have a mission to the young families of the village.

Yours etc

Chloe Joey, “El Nino Cottage”, Woodby Chapel End 


Dear Sir

Once again the vicar has been suggesting that we should put money into the collection plate – on the flimsy grounds that this will enable the church to pay the wages of priests. When will this naked socialism end? Why can the church not pay him out of its own money?

Yours etc

Mary England,  Carstairs House, Woodby

Letters to the Church Magazine – July 2016

Dear Sir

Candles are expensive. We use two candles on the altar, two around the altar, and two for the acolytes. That’s six candles lit every week. It soon adds up.

I have invented viable solar-powered candles by embedding LED lights into the tops of wax candles, and solar panels and batteries into the candlesticks. Their use would save an average of £14.22 per annum. Services would have to be shorter in the winter, but nobody would mind.

In the course of my experiments I have run up some expenses. I therefore include an invoice for £74.22.

Yours etc

Norbert Dranesqueezer, Chester Street


Dear Sir

The middle of the summer and still we have not seen a nudist bishop, despite all the promises earlier in the year.

This is not what I pay my entrance fee for.

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

My seventeen-greats grandfather built Woodby Chapel so he could have a church conveniently placed next to his house. He then knocked down all the copyholders’ cottages so he did not have to put up with the site and smell of the peasants, except on Sundays and at Christmas.

And yet, when I asked the vicar if we could hold our Sunday service on Mondays, when he is less busy, he said he was afraid not.

If one cannot get one’s own clergy to do what they are told, I no longer know what the Church of England stands for.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

So many people telling us how great it was to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday with a special church service.
A special united benefice-and-ecumenical church service. If it had not been that the people from all the other churches refused to turn up, St Mary’s could have been full.
On balance, I am glad we marked her Majesty’s 90th. But I hope we do not do it every year.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

In my 66th year as Church Warden, people often ask me how I manage to keep St Leodegarius so neat and tidy.

It’s simple. I have persuaded the local builders that I am a witch, and they carry out free maintenance as long as I do not put a curse on them.

Obviously, I am just using simple suggestion. And the week that Young Larry the bricklayer spent as a 6 foot tall Rhode Island Red chicken was a coincidence.

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby


Dear Sir

I would like to apologise for the Children’s Church presentation of “Our Glorious Queen” at the 90th Birthday service.

In our rehearsals they had pretended to be corgies, they waved Union Jacks and sang “Happy Birthday Dear Ma’am.” I suspect they got their ideas from Mr Corbyn, the “trendy” teacher at Tremlett Primary. But calling for “class war” and a republic. and demanding that the “Hanoverian leeches cease feeding on the blood of the working class” was definitely not in the script the previous Sunday.

Yours etc

Cassandra Chamois, Peanut Cottage, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I heard that the wardens at Woodby were having trouble with bats.

Bats can be seen as a nuisance – their droppings mean that all items of value have to be covered, and they make an awful mess on the church floor. But they are rare animals, and protected by law.

That is why I nipped in when the church was unlocked and shot the lot with an air gun. Figured that would save the vicar and church wardens a lot of trouble.

Ask no questions etc….

Yours etc

The “Masked Avenger”


Dear Sir

An apology and a plea, after last month’s celebration of  Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.

I now know that by “Joint Service”, what was meant was a service with our ecumenical friends, and the other parishes in the benefice.

I realised my mistake when, handing out a few spliffs, people pointed out to me that the Health Act 2006 made the tobacco element illegal in church. Also, the Baptists complained, thinking it was incense. Although when I handed out the “turbo chocolate brownies”  instead, I did get an invitation to contribute to the next fete cake stall.

As a result of my mistake, and the subsequent raid by Her Majesty’s Constabulary (ironic considering whom we were celebrating) I am £100 worse off. Also I now have quite a lot of space in my greenhouse. So if anyone has a few tomato plants they can let me have, I will be grateful.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

In the light of the Referendum result I am sad to announce that our old friends the Club des Randonneurs  de St Cast will not be accepting our annual invitation to join the Trim Valley Trotters on the annual “Friendship Wamble”.

On the bright side, we didn’t really like them. It’ll be a relief to do the rounds without them this year.

Yours etc

Romilly Randers, Cave Road, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

At this summer time, our thoughts turn to the seaside; the hills; foreign travel; encountering interesting people and new and exotic customs. In accordance with this, I have been inspired to write this short haiku, as a variant on my normal, more traditional poetic style.

“A partridge dreams of summer”

Death death death

Death death death death death

Death death death.

Wishing everybody a restful summer holiday.

Yours etc

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

Letters to the Church Magazine – June 2016

Dear Sir

I would like to apologise for my behaviour at the service with the Archdeacon.

I misheard the service name and thought it was the Swearing-at of Churchwardens. I’m afraid I let a whole year of frustration at the state of the memorials on the North Wall go to my head.

I was appropriately admonished after the service by Revd Joanna, from whom I learnt a few words I could have done with knowing beforehand.

Yours etc

Anna Kee, Chafing Lane, Woodby, UK


Dear Sir

Having attended the Youth Services over the last two months my fears have been allayed.

Thanks to the guiding hand of the Vicar, the “modern” songs included were Lord of the Dance and Shine Jesus shine, both played by Mavis on the harmonium. I believe we have subverted a dangerous movement just in time.

I am pleased to hear that another dangerously modern song, “Will You come and Follow Me”, has been put on the back burner. Mavis believes she will not be able to cope with it until after her hip replacement.

Yours etc

Marais de Sandeman, The Old Brewhouse, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

I hear that the Vicar has banned the jumble stall from this month’s fete on the grounds that all the jumble has spent the last seventy years in the jumble cupboard in the church hall, only coming out for fetes where nobody buys it.

I am outraged. The jumble stall, selling the same mouldy clothes every summer, has been woven into the fabric of this parish. If we lose the jumble stall, we may as well let the tower fall and sell the nave off to the Scientologists.

This means we will have only the crockery stall, the coconut shy and the tombola. Truly a fete worse than death.

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

I dropped into the Great Tremlett Bell Ringer’s meeting last week again. I am rather confused.

A load of people I have never seen in church, all wearing sweaters and ringing bells. Where do they go when the service starts? Do the wardens lock them in the bell tower until the next practice?

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

According to the vicar’s sermon last Sunday, we are supposed to be opening up the church to the “Gentiles”. I don’t know who the Gentiles are, but they sound dreadful – apparently they don’t know the Bible, worship sheep, and are violently opposed to God’s prophets.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather we kept the Gentiles out of Church completely, thank you very much. They’d probably make an awful mess.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

According to the diocesan training programme, there are certificates for lay worship leading, preaching, children’s work, evangelism, church administration and leading small groups in Bible study. I think these courses are an utter waste of time.

If the vicar didn’t learn all this in three years at theological college, why are we expecting him to go on all these courses now, when he should be ministering to people?

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby


Dear Sir

With the introduction of the Psychoactive Substances Bill, I became concerned. The church is fill of incense. And what is incense if not something that stimulates the nervous system? I know it stimulates mine.

Therefore I had to take action before Cromwell’s agents appeared in the Trim Valley. I decided the best thing to do was to hide the incense in an Aubrey.

I would like to apologise to Aubrey. He has been very forgiving. And explained that what I really ought to do was put the incense in an Aumbry. Different word entirely.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

As the weather warms and we are into the season of open-air fund raising, can I be the first to make the joke about a fete worse than death.

Yours etc

Jeremy Stairswell, Crow Lane, Grilsby on the Hill


Dear Sir

You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

This is a close-knit community. Everybody knows everybody else, and there are many people whose families have been in the Trim Valley for hundreds of years.

So we have decided it was safest to close the Trim Valley Singles Group. At least until we get the Little Tremlett church minibus repaired, and can bus them to Banbury in search of new bloodlines.

Yours etc

Romilly Randers, Cave Road, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

In these quiet days after Trinity, it would be ideal to introduce a new martyr’s commemoration. Remembering someone gentle, innocent and viciously murdered in cold blood.

I refer of course to Harambe the Gorilla. If the Pope will not bring forward his canonization, despite the outcry of millions of people across the world – who will surely remember this outrage for years to come, and not the normal Social Media 10 minutes – then at least we can rename St Mary’s as Saint Harambe’s? Or maybe St Simian the Zealot’s.

Yours etc

Barbara E Ape, “Tiggywinkles”, Meadow Leys.