It’s a damp day – saturated from last night’s downpour and gale. Yet it’s also a cold one, on the edge of frost, and bright.
All of which extended pathetic fallacy is to introduce the following summary of Revd Nathan’s next few days.
This morning he has the Great Tremlett Junior School Nativity in the church. All cherubs and amusing lines failures. And then at 11 it’s the funeral for Donald. Ninety years old and a church stalwart. Outlived his friends and family, so a mostly-old, mostly-Church affair.
This afternoon? Christmas Revue at the Middle School. In somewhat whimsical fashion, the theme is, apparently, “The Christmas Ceasefire”. I doubt there’ll be a dry eye in the house. Couple of home communions (has to be the Vicar at Christmas) and then, after tea, it’s Martha’s Mulled Wine Evening.
Tomorrow, he completes the set with the Infants’ Christmas Concert. Then the Retirement Home Old Folk Xmas Singalong. And then, having had no funerals for a couple of months – the second in two days. Young mum to be lowered into that quiet, cold, damp earth. Friends from all over coming. Dreadful.
Followed, of course, by the long-planned Christmas Tree Party.
Saturday, of course, he has the Wedding of the Year, in amongst a couple more home visits and a hospital visit. Which is a twenty mile each-way trip.
And then, it being Sunday before Christmas, all five churches want the Vicar at their service.
And so he goes through this time of year, crashing the gears from first to fifth in quick order, slamming on the brakes too fast and then, if you pardon the pun, over-revving. He tops off Christmas with the 4pm Crib Service, 11.30 Midnight Mass, with annual Midnight invasion by confused inmates of the Hanged Man pub, and then after a few short hours’ sleep, down to Grilby-on-the-Hill for the Mass of the Dawn.
And then somebody who he’s not seen at church all year will top it off, at the 10 am Christmas Morning, by joking that he’s got to work more than one day in the week.
It’s a wonder, all things considered, that it’s only the Halls that get decked.