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


Letters to the Church Magazine – March 2017

Dear Sir

I would like to commend the Vicar on his dedication to the 8am communion service.

Last week my aunt Constance was away on holiday at Lake Constance. With her not in the country, I decided to enjoy a lie-in rather than get up so early on a Sunday.

But it was nice to know that Nathan was still there, taking the service on his own. I am sure that he will be rewarded in heaven.

Yours etc

Constanza Nearby, “Donebloggin'”, Woodby

Dear Sir

More trouble with our furry friends at Great Tremlett, I hear.

I am not referring to the seven remaining members of the Congregational Chapel. But rather the badgers and rabbits that have been undermining the churchyard wall.

Well, they will be a problem no longer. And I hear the “Game Pie” went down a treat at the Hanged Man Inn last Friday.

Ask no questions….

Yours,

The Masked Avenger”


Dear Sir

Once again the Vicar allowed George Herbert’s Day to pass by with barely  a mention at Morning Prayer.

I remember the good old days. Every year the Vicar would be chased around the village with sticks by the school children. And then driven to exhaustion by the Trim Valley Hunt, in their last official meet of the season. Although it was a terrible mess the time the hunts caught Old Father Maybold in Marion’s Covert.

Ah, times are no longer what they were.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Why all the noise at Synod about gay marriages? If we just kept quiet nobody would want one. We’re only creating  a demand we can’t fulfil.

Yours etc

Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett.


Dear Sir

I have been mainlining Creme Eggs since mid-January, in the knowledge that I would have to give them up for Lent. This morning I realised in a panic that I would have to eat the three remaining boxes before the end of the day, to avoid having Creme Eggs about the house on Ash Wednesday. 

The temptation would be too great.

Therefore I have eaten them all, bringing on what I believe is called a “sugar rush.”

I am scribbling this note on a church newsletter I have found in my suit. Can someone please get me down.

Yours “par avion de papier”

Major J Dumpling, the top of the church spire, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I see we had Candlemass again this year.

I’m not saying it was not welcome the first time. But every year? What else did Jesus do beside get born and grow up? Surely we could mention that sometimes?

Yours etc

Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

As the days lengthen, our thoughts turn towards the Spring Equinox.

The coven will meet on Grumbler’s Tump at 9am on the 20th-21st March. Please note that the Equinox is early this year. Last time this happened, four people turned up a day late, ran around “skyclad” and alarmed some paintballers.

Advance warning that the Vicar will be checking the magazine in future for what he refers to as “pagan goings on”. Publication dates are a bit short this month so I think I’ve got away with it. However please in future check the church notice board. I can normally get the notices up there for a week or two before he spots them.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Take me out tonight
Because I want to see people
And I want to see life
Driving in your car
Oh please don’t drop me home
Because it’s not my home, it’s their home
And I’m welcome no more

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

Time for another of my famous “vicar” jokes.

Q – Where does the Vicar go on his holidays?

A – Anywhere with a wi-fi connection. He’s got a lot of rotas to plan for the next few months, and wants to get ahead on the parish admin before he’s back at work!

Yours etc

Tom Chancellor, Primrose Path, Woodby


Dear Sir

I am told that, finding there was no congregation at the 8am Communion last week, the Vicar decided to have another nap and went back home.

Terrible dedication. Of course in these circumstances he could not lead a Communion. But I feel he could at least have sung a few hymns so God knew we cared.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin'”, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

Spring will soon be here!

“Th’Awakening Earth”

Up in the eaves, O welcome sound

The house-sparrows are scratching round

To build their tiny summer home

Where chicks may thrive, and learn to fly

And then in summer start to roam.

The hedgehogs, stirring in the loam

Will soon raise hoglets in their home.

They venture out in search of bugs

And as they look, by hedge and brook,

May hap upon some tasty slug.

The rabbits, freed from winter’s frown

Now skip and gamble on the down.

All day they feast on grass so fresh

And at the dusk, when darkness creeps

They venture underground – so nesh!

But summer is so short a time

When grass is free from snow and rime

The days pass swift for mortals all

Though birds may fly, and fill the sky

Half will be dead before the fall.

Death death death

death death death

death death death.

At least half.

Could be more.

Death.

Yours etc

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

Letters to the Church Magazine: Synod Special

Dear all

Being fortunate enough to get a preview of the “case studies” that the Church of England Synod is discussing today, I was able to run them past Monday night’s Great Tremlett PCC.

For each of the case studies, I asked the PCC to role-play their approach.

The results were oddly consistent. For each study they told me how wise old Canon Westclyffe was when he was in charge, and this sort of thing would never have caused a problem.

Yours etc

Revd Nathan, The Rectory

 Letters to the Church Magazine: February 2017

Dear Sir

Anyone can forget to switch their phone to “silent” before they go to church. We should all forgive them that simple mistake.

But actually taking the call. That’s a bit much. The correct response is an embarassed, whispered apology while switching the phone off. Not answering it and dealing with a three minute discussion about the plumbing.

But during the sermon? That’s just plain rude.

What was  the vicar thinking of?

Yours etc

Maisie Daisy, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

The last PCC may have set some kind of record.

Three resignations by church officers. And all over the question of the cost of the candles over Christmas.

Paying for all the farewell cards is itself now a strain on the expenses of the church. That’s why I have been investigating the possibly of producing cards for outgoing church officers “on the spot” on the printer in the church office.

In the process of carrying out these experiments, I have of course incurred some expenses. I therefore include an invoice to the value £74.22. The good news is that, now I have been elected treasurer, I will have less trouble getting reimbursed.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

In these troubled times, we need strong leadership more than ever.

I have been pushing the details of job opportunities in other counties through the Vicar’s door since November. When will he take the hint?

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbing”, Lt Tremlett



Dear Sir

I apologise for the over-excitement I showed last Sunday when we had a visit from a lovely group of Anglican nuns.

I had consumed a gallon of my friend Daniel Winship’s crab-apple cider and I am afraid he may have left the fungal “bloom” on the skins. With the result that I thought the church had been occupied by a group of oversized mutant badgers.

In retrospect, chasing a group of terrified, whimpled octogenarians from the church with a candlestick is not the highlight of my previously distinguished military career.

Yours etc

Major J Dumpling, “Rodney’s Rest”


Dear Sir

I don’t know which is worse.

The hysteria that Norbert exhibited at Tremlett Stores when I was buying a packet of sanitary towels. He having presumably deduced that this means I am a sexually mature woman and not some kind of robot or disembodied spirit.

Then his offer to carry my basket back to the car in case I was “feeling a bit weak.” I hope the right hook he received put him right on that matter.

Yours etc

Revd Joanna, The Old Chapel, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I was shocked by the Vicar’s performance at the Church Quiz.

A whole round I set on “The History of the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion.” And he didn’t get a single question right. I thought he was a man of the cloth.

Yours etc

Charmander McBrayne, Woodby Lane, Grilsby


Dear Sir

Clearly Revd Nathan has been trawling the internet again for the lyrics to modern songs, as printed on the service sheet. How else to explain the references to a “neighbor”? If St Paul had known we would sing about ” blessing and honor” I do not suppose he would have bothered writing Romans at all.

Really, Wycliffe would turn in his grave. If they hadn’t thrown his bones in the river. I used to be in  the Home Office.

Yours etc

Chas “Charlie” Charkles, Hangman’s Close, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

Once again a delight to cover for the current Vicar, as he hid himself in his study to deal with six months of administration and claimed he was “on post-Xmas holiday”.

The people at Woodby were so delighted when we restored the use of Lauds instead of the degenerate modern worship they have been used to! 

But a strange thing occurred as I was setting off to Great Tremlett on the Sunday morning. I was stopped by the police in Woodby Lane and told that, under President Trump’s ” Hatred of Foreigners Act” I had to be arrested.

I spent the next four hours tied and gagged in a ditch until a passing cyclist heard my cries for help.

In retrospect I am not sure that was a real police car. It was a 1980 Mini Metro. And the blue flashing light was probably a bike lamp with some kind of blue scarf wrapped round it.

The good news is that the Reader, Doreen, was able to step in and lead the service for me. And even had  a sermon conveniently written for the week! What a treasure she is.

Yours etc

Canon Vyvyan Westclyffe (Retired but still available to take properly-run Occasional Offices), The Old Vicarage, Woodby
Dear Sir

Week five of the vicar’s plan to “make the church more open, less set in its ways.” And there are certainly radical results.

The vicar’s theory, to give us new perspectives on church, was that every week we should sit in a different pew to our traditional place. Well he’s right. I’ve got very different perspectives. In just five weeks.

It is very peaceful staying at home on Sundays. And I get to stay in bed a lot later.

Yours etc

Gabrielle Fitch Thompson, the Old Market House, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

I may have caused some distress and confusion to Revd Joanne at the Burns Night celebration in the Church Hall. Blame it on the moonlight, blame it on the good times, blame it on the whisky.

I remarked to our lovely lady curate that I didn’t know how she had time and energy for it – what with her four children, full-time ministry and hospital chaplaincy. Said she must be absolutely exhausted at night and  just ready to sleep.

What I was referring to was her prayer life. There was absolutely no need for her to set fire to my tie.

Yours etc

Philemon Doyle, Chestnut Lane, Lt Tremlett 


Dear Sir

You’d better watch out, you’d better beware.

Albert said that e = mc squared.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

When I heard that the vicar was now allowed to conduct “informal prayers of blessing” I presumed he was referring to rabbit weddings.

Now it turns out that the Church of England was talking about blessings for gay couples.

Not rabbits.

Once again, nobody cares about the rabbits. I suppose they do not buy enough cakes.

Yours etc

Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

A little poem for St Valentine.

Roses are red
Violets are blue.
Most things are dead
soon we will be too.

Death death death

Death death death

Death death death

Death.

And some nice chocolates.

Yours wishing you a loving “special day”

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

Letters to the Church Magazine: January 2017

Dear Sir

A couple of years ago, a row of coniferous trees was planted along the northern edge of Gt Tremlett churchyard.

I am pleased to see that they have settled in nicely and are already attracting the wildlife. What an addition they have been to our village! I was impressed with the idea from the start.

Yours etc,

Fennel Bailey, The Old Orchard House.


Dear Sir
Thanks to everyone in the “Golden Girls” over-80s Bingo group for their fund—raising event for the new kitchen. In retrospect, the sponsored Bog Snorkel through Tremlett Marsh may have been ambitious. Still, adding two legacies to the sponsorship money has brought in a tidy sum.
Yours with the funeral fees,

Revd Nathan, The Rectory, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Over the last year, the Church Wardens have given me many reasons why there are only 27 people in Church on a Sunday:

  • Weather too hot
  • People on holiday
  • Weather too cold
  • Rain
  • Children playing football on Sunday mornings
  • Everyone too hung over after the Harvest Supper
  • Everyone gone away for Christmas
  • “A rumour went round that the bishop would be here so they’ve stayed away”

I suspect that there are only in fact 27 church members, but the vicar is trying to keep this a secret.

Yours with the counting machine,

Philemon Doyle, Chestnut Lane, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

With a new year comes a new resolution!

I suggest one for the vicar.  Why does he not visit every single house in the benefice, every month? In this way he will be achieving the church’s mission, getting himself fit, and – most of all – doing his job.

Old Fr Honeywicke managed to visit everybody in the parish every month in 1935. Admittedly he had just the parish of Grilsby, and only nine people lived there in those days. But Revd Nathan has a car. There is no excuse.

Yours etc

Charmander McBrayne, Woodby Lane, Grilsby


Dear Sir

How I loved the traditional Christmas events! And yet at this time of purity and holiness, I bet some members of the congregation were still considering the sins of the flesh.

I did invite everyone to fill in a questionnaire – “How long is it since you succumbed to the temptations of your lower beastly nature?” I thought it would help the vicar to get some better control over his congregation’s enthusiasms – something he has paid no attention to over the last few years.

But only one person – Mrs Sparrow – filled it in. And included far more detail than I was expecting. I have not been able to sleep for a week since reading it. I suspect I now understand how Mr Sparrow feels.

Yours etc

Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

I can only apologise for my behaviour at this time of festive celebration.

I know I have occasionally allowed my susceptibility to aromatic substances and ardent spirits to influence my behaviour in church and around the village. So this December I felt sticking to natural, wholesome produce would be sure to keep me on the straight and narrow. I kept to a strict diet of the mushrooms I found growing under the compost bin.

I have no idea what possessed me to scream “Aliens! Run!” throughout the Christingle. Nor challenge my friend Mr Charkles to a  throwing competition. I apologise to Maisie, and promise that if I every throw Christmas Puddings competitively again, I won’t light the brandy first.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Once again Dr Ireland has posted a list of the year’s “notorious sinners” around the village. I would like to make it clear that I have no interest in Mrs Dermer, except as a faithful member of the congregation and able mezzo soprano.

Yours etc

Revd Nathan, the Rectory, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I see the Creme Eggs have appeared in the shops. Outrageous, at this time of year. If they came out in early December, I could eat them at Christmas.

Yours etc

Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Thanks for letting me advertise our inter-faith event on 2nd February: “Imbolc Awareness”.

If you’re coming please bring a lamb and some mint sauce. “Cutlery” will be provided.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
‘This could be heaven or this could be Hell.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

A new year brings a new one of my famous “vicar jokes.

Q: What’s black and white and flat out?

A: The vicar on Christmas Day after lunch.

Yours etc

Tom Chancellor, Primrose Path, Woodby


Dear Sir

A poem at the end of a year of goodbyes.

“2016”

David Gest, David Bowie,

Carrie Fisher, Cliff Mitchelmore,

Arnold Palmer. Jean Alexandra,

Paul Daniels, Zsa Zsa Gabor

Jimmy Perry, Bobby Vee,

Jimmy Young and Harper Lee,

Rick Parfitt, Peter Vaughan,

Liz Smith, Caroline Aherne,

Johann Cruff – magician with a ball

“Boutros Boutros-Ghali” to you all.

Death death death

death death death

death death death.

Death.

Wishing you a joyful 2017.

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


Dear Sir

What a lovely Christmas Nativity Play that was! Seeing the little ones so nervous, and yet so proud as they told us the greatest story every told! And what a nice twist – the baby Jesus receiving a Hatchimal along with the more traditional gifts. You have to move with the times, while keeping the important ingredients of the season.

Although I am a regular Christmas attendee, I will certainly be joining the congregation more often in the New Year!

Yours etc

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

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