Boycotting Rota : Michaelmas to Candlemas

I would like, as magazine editor and notice sheet compiler, to apologise for the total lack of activity the last few months. I have been too busy tracking down where Revd Nathan, the former vicar, now lives so I can continue with the poison pen letters.

However I am now glad to share with you the official “reasons for boycotting” rota for the five churches for the next few months. We live in hope that a new Priest in Charge will be appointed, so we can have some new reasons.

Week Gt Tremlett Lt Tremlett Grilsby Woodby Woodby Chapel
1 Reserved for Baptisms Family Service Run by congregation All Age Service Joint service with the URC
2 “Songs of Praise” Service Harold on the Organ Baptisms Doreen leading the service Methodist guest preacher
3 Modern music Ancient music Shorter service Yeah, Baptisms Communion
4 Starts too late Starts too early BCP Modern English Just in case there’s ever a baptism
5 “All churches together” “All churches together” “All churches together” “All churches together” “All churches together”

These are for “normal” Sundays of course. We will publish the official reasons for boycotting Christmas special services next month. “Too Incarnational” has already been suggested.

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Letters to the Church Magazine : July

Dear Sir

The diocese has been very supportive of our search for a new vicar, and have committed to ensuring one is installed as soon as possible.

But I still reckon we could let the vicarage out as a holiday home for the summer. We could make enough to take 10p off a pint.

Yours etc

Colin Daley, The Hanged Man Inn, The Green, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

Apparently in my preaching on Sundays in my official role as Reader I have to stick to the truths revealed in the Scriptures, the creeds and the historic formularies of the Church of England, whatever they are.

No such restriction applies to my unofficial activities. Which is why I will be leading a series of discussions across the summer on “Why God Does Not Exist”. 8pm each Wednesday in the Church Hall, followed by a short talk on “Crystal Healing for Career Success”.

Yours etc

Doreen (the Reader), Woodwind Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I’m afraid the solemnity of the Midsummer Night coven meeting was wrecked by all the sneezing.

We are children of nature, at one with the divine forces coursing through all life.

But apparently that does not make us immune to hay fever.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

What a great idea of Doreen’s to hold a Morning Prayer outside. Made it impossible to hear Jeffrey’s awful organ playing.

Yours etc,

Fennel Bailey, The Old Orchard House.


Dear Sir

I am the assassin, with tongue forged from eloquence
I am the assassin, providing your nemesis
On the sacrificial altar to success, my friend
Unleash a stranger from a kiss, my friend
No incantations of remorse, my friend
Unsheathe the blade within the voice, my friend. MY FRIEND.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

I appear to have caused some upset at the Summer Fayre.

It all started at Easter, when the Village Store marked down all their Bailey’s Easter Eggs to 50% off. Needless to say I bought them all.

Noticing that the best before date was coming up, I thought it was best to take no chances. So I ate them all that Saturday morning.

I realise I must have caused some upset to Gervais, the Youth Club leader. He was very kindly in the stocks for the “Throw the Wet Sponges” attraction. He wasn’t expecting someone to start throwing the stock of the Second Hand Bookshop at him. That copy of “The God Delusion” could, in retrospect, have caused him some serious brain damage. If he had read it. Luckily it just broke his nose.

In my defence, I did buy all the books before throwing them. So good news for the Steeple Fund!

Yours etc

Major James Dumpling (retd), “Rodney’s Rest”, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

Every week at Communion we enter what we church treasurers call the “corridor of uncertainty” where we are unsure of precisely what the expected costs of the service might be. There are  so many uncertainties in the counting of the number of wafers. Who is a communicant? Who is feeling uncertain about his or her relationship with a spouse, and may decide to spend the time contemplating their situation before returning to Communion next week? Will Canon Vyvyan decide to implement his notorious “5 questions” before allowing anyone to receive – some of which even Pope John Paul II would have failed?

I have therefore introduced the “Dranesqueezer Patent Communicant Calculator”. A phone app that, by connecting to the phones of all the congregation, can work out the correct amount of bread to be consecrated without any of that awkwardness and uncertainty of asking whether people will be receiving communion the previous week.

I have estimated that, by the use of my device, we can save up to £4.22 per year!

However there are development costs in the production of the App, licensing from Apple for the iPhone version, server expenses and so forth.
I therefore include an invoice to the total of £7,422.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

A Poem: The Blackbird

A little friend upon the wall
He greeted me with  merry call.

In the early morning light
He woke me with his song so bright

Even in the snow and rain
He sang a beautiful refrain

He sang a lullaby so sweet
When I gave him a bite to eat.

But all the breadcrumbs made him flabby
So he couldn’t get away from the tabby.

He’s not singing any more.
He’s not singing any more.

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

Trim Valley Notices w/c 1 July

Sunday

We apologise for the lateness of the Church Magazine. The Editor sat out in the sun too long and now needs to be peeled off his lounger.

Monday

Mothers’ Union Book Club : Grilsby Reading Room, 7.30pm. This month’s book is the Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom. Discretion required.

Tuesday

Trim Valley Inter-faith Group meets, 7.30 at Woodby. This week we’re going to hear from Ragnor about his progressive group, Affirming Wodenism. Please bring a spotless hare or rabbit and a knife.

Wednesday

The Trim Valley Jolly Boys’ outing to Southend was founded in 1954. Renamed Trim Valley Men’s outing in 1974, and Trim Valley Old Bloke’s outing in 2002. It has now had to be renamed Scattering of Ashes. 3pm at the end of the pier. Coach and hearse leave the Quiet Woman at 10am. Fair to say this will be the last year.

Thursday

Trim Valley Toddlers have run short on toys. Do you have any foul old toys still getting mouldy in the garage from when your kids were young? Then you’ll probably think you’re doing us a favour.

Friday

The vicarage garden could do with a “tidy up”. So why not come down to help out? Please note that the cherries, raspberries and currants are already spoken for. But there’s still strawberries and gooseberries to nick.

Saturday

Trim Valley Rhubarb Festival : With Blessing of the Rhubarb. Festival at 4pm, Lt Tremlett Churchyard. “Biggest Stick of Rhubarb” competition 5pm. Doubles Entendres in the Hanged Man from 8pm.

Trim Valley Notices: w/c 24 June

Sunday

We are celebrating St John the Baptist’s Day today. As otherwise it’s a long old run of boring Sundays till Advent. In the past, Revd Nathan used to transfer saints’ days if they fell on Sundays. But then he used to do the Daily Office every day. So he didn’t miss out while we were at work. Heck, some of us would transfer the Nativity to the nearest Sunday so it didn’t clash with Christmas.

Monday

Nothing is happening today.

Tuesday

Today is the last day to fill in your GDPR form. We have a register of all the people who haven’t consent to us to spam them with parish activities. And we’ll send Big Derek round on Wednesday to sort things out. So tick the bloody box, is our advice.

Wednesday

Our prayer intention for today is that our next minister has never been in a photograph dabbing. Or, indeed, trying to catch any other kind of fish.

Thursday

As the World Cup Fever heats up, we’re getting down with the kids at the Trim Valley Subbuteo World Cup. If you’ve any spare players please let us know. Currently we have a team cobbled together from 1979 Wolverhampton Wanderers and Luton teams, and 9 players in a vague red colour. 7pm, Gt Tremlett Church Hall.

Friday

The Mothers’ Union performance of “Oh! Calcutta!” takes place in the Grilsby Reading Room at 8pm. You have been warned.

Saturday

Trim Valley Angry Drivers’ Club meet at the roundabout in Lt Tremlett, 3pm. For a three-hour drive complaining about cyclists. The annual meal at the “Quiet Woman” will be Gammon and Chips (on the shoulder).

The Board of Former Vicars

Eardwulf of Banbury is no more
Simon de Longueville died at three score

Robert de St Cast wasn’t much stronger
Gilbert of Lincoln didn’t last longer.

Reverend Seth
contracted Black Death.

Daniel Pricketts
passed away of rickets.

Solomon Hogg
drowned in a peat bog.

Jeremiah Rich
fell drunk in a ditch.

Rehoboam Yossarian
Murdered by a Parliamentarian.

Bartholomew Hague
dead of the ague.

Nathaniel Loach
fell off a stage coach.

Old Father Ned
A gargoyle fell on his head.

Arbuthnot Sage
died of old age.

Mark of Brackley is under the nave altar
And so are John James, and Benjamin Walter.

Roderick Cholmondely, from our squires’ line bred
proved that blue blood is as mortal as red.

And old Fr Ed, and long ago Athelred
They’re all of them dead.

Dead dead dead dead.

Fr Vyvyan’s still alive
But doesn’t really thrive.

 

(from Melissa Sparrow’s Forthcoming Collection, A Hint of Death in the Morning)

Trim Valley Notice Sheet w/c 17 June

Sunday

This week is the 10th anniversary of Revd Nathan’s ordination. We sent him a card on the occasion. But apparently he has reported the benefice as a terrorist organisation. So it came back shredded.

Monday

Most of the regular members of the Daily Offices are on holiday this week, taking advantage of the good weather before the kids are off. So if you find you’re the only one there, just follow the rules on “how to do your own Daily Service.” They’re incomprehensible since we started using Common Worship, so you might be happier just to light a candle and read a bit of the Bible.

Tuesday

The traditional St Romwald’s Day dog-fight is being held  in Jeb’s Shed. Don’t tell the coppers. And don’t fail to settle your losses. Being the benefice grave-digger, Jeb quite literally knows where all the bodies are buried.

Wednesday

The traditional Grilsby Gribble Dibbling takes place at 7pm in the Grove. If you’re Dibbling for the first time, ensure you bring no more than a 4lb gribble, according to the Trim Standard Gribble. if you’re a Flibber or a Gribblemeister, ensure your Mauves are pressed anti-clockwise. And if your flibble is left-handed please inform the Brecker before 12 noon.

Thursday

No activities today due to the Gribble Dibbling on Wednesday. Well, we won’t be up to it, will we. Not with all that frattling.

Friday

Little Tremlett Raspberry Eating Contest, 8pm at the Hanged Man Inn. Rory is trying to break last year’s record. So bring your raincoat and a bucket.

Saturday

Woodby Midsummer Fayre. You remember the good old days? Tail on the donkey? Hoopla? Skittles? “Who looks most like their pug” competition? Well, we’re down to just the Major busking these days. What’s the point?

Please note that the official St John’s Eve Fertility Ritual in Groper’s Hollow is cancelled. Mavis needs a new hip.

Sunday 

The combined Benefice St John’s Day service will be held at Great Tremlett, 10 am. So the other four parishes can stay in bed.

Trim Valley Notices w/c 10 June

Sunday

Please note that the “Unforgivable Sin” is probably not the one that Dr Ireland identified when she added her own “contribution” at the end of the sermon in Gt Tremlett this morning. The Wardens would stop her making these impromptu intervention, but they’re a bit scared of her.

Monday

The final work to seal off the Grilsby plague pit completes today. Please avoid the village. We hope the inhabitants of the tent village will be back in thdir houses by Wednesday.

Tuesday

Gt Tremlett Popcorn Evening 5pm in the Church Hall. After all the trouble last time, please bring safety glasses and wellington boots.

Wednesday

Woodby Messy Church. Because there are no children in the village this should be quiet. But what the heck. Let’s eat the blancmange and dance.

Thursday

The Archdeacon’s Charge to the Church Wardens. Not, as was announced last week, the Archdeacon’s Charge at the Church Wardens. Although, given what she said about the benefice last time she visited, who knows.

Friday

Ritual Cursing of National Rail. 4pm on the bridge at King’s Sutton. Please bring a bell, a book and a candle.

Saturday

Open Day at Woodby Vineyard. £10 to visit and take part in the tasting session. Please can someone keep an eye on the Major to ensure he doesn’t “take advantage” like he did last year. He smelt of that ditch for weeks.