November 2014

Dear Sir

What was the meaning of the Michaelmas service? Since when did we celebrate individual varieties of daisy?

I used to be a clerk for the Peter Jones branch of the John Lewis Partnership. The Partners’ Council would never have allowed this sort of thing to happen.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

As I write this letter in mid-September, it appears that Christmas is upon us!

The Hanged Man is already advertising its “Christmas Fayre”, which appears to be food, not a fair. I thought £15 seemed quite reasonable, but one has to budget an extra £50 on these occasions for drink, of course.

But the supermarkets are also already selling special Christmas food! On my recent trip into Banbury I discovered mince pies on at 3 for the price of 2 – a bargain. I bought the entire shelf-full, of course.

On returning to “Rodney’s Rest”, I discovered that all the mince pies had sell-by dates before the Christmas holidays. Naturally, I had no choice but to eat them all over a weekend. This affected my metabolic and indeed mental state quite severely.

I missed Church on Sunday, I regret to say, because I was under the delusion that the vicar was a Staffordshire terrier, and the curate a small stone called Cedrick. I myself continue to be, as I always have been, a tomato plant of the variety “Alicante”. It is just as well I ate all the mince pies, as if I don’t get brought into a heated conservatory soon, the frost will kill off my leaves.

If anybody wants me, I shall be in the garage hanging upside down from a rafter, to encourage my fruits to ripen.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

I would like to thank those who have volunteered to be part of the new “Trim Valley Prayer” group that I have set up. I am pleased to say it will be meeting on Tuesday evenings. Although myself and Dr Ireland have invited the Vicar to attend, sadly it is his day off.

Themes we shall be praying for in November are:
November 4: “Strong, listening leadership”
November 11: “The increase of moral teaching”
November 18: “The empowerment of the Laity”
November 25: We shall be reading 1 Sam Chapter 15, and using this as the basis for “praying into our situation”.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

What a marvellous Harvest Festival! But what a shame that the Sunday Club decided to reintroduce the concept of the old “Mischief Night”. The Trim Valley used to be awash in October with the sounds of thatch being set alight and the vicar’s car being hotwired and removed to Birmingham. In these more civilised days, Octobers are a lot quieter.

But the Junior Club certainly rejuvenated the old ways with the explosive charges in the pumpkins. We were halfway through “We Plough the Fields” when the entire inside of the church was covered with flying squash. It could be weeks before we clean the whole place out.

On the bright side, the pictures of the Vicar on Facebook are hilarious! We shall be using photos of his face as masks at the Halloween party.

Yours etc

Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett.

Dear Sir

The medieval introduction of the abbreviation “Xmas” for “Christmas” was a bad enough innovation. But have we now lost the apostrophe in “Hallowe’en” as well? I despair of this modern age.

Before the onset of my arthritis made the damp and cold autumnal air better avoided when unclothed, I was the leader of the Tremlett Coven. We always used to ensure, when advertising our celebration of the pagan new year, that “Hallowe’en” was correctly spelled on our advertising in the parish magazine and the poster in the village hall.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

Has anybody ever considered the costs we incur, each and every week, by printing a church notice sheet?

Because the vicar prints a collective notice sheet for all five parishes, and cannot predict with accuracy the attendance at each service, we regularly print approximately 60% more information than is strictly necessary, and approximately 30% of all notice sheets have to be recycled. Also, because Revd Nathan is in the habit of decorating the notice sheet with pictures representing the season, or Biblical scenes, he is using an additional 45% of toner.

I have worked out that, if the vicar produces a specific notice sheet for each church, and we go to on-demand printing of notice sheets for each worshipper as they arrive, the costs of new PCs and printers should be covered by the paper and toner savings within 19 years. This is definitely the way to go.

I have of course incurred my own costs in the course of this research. I am happy to waive the costs of wear and tear on my printer, and electricity, in the interests of keeping church overheads low. I therefore enclose an invoice for only £74.22.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

That’s me in the corner. That’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby

Dear Sir

It is now nearly 12 Months since we last had an All Saints Day service. I am all in favour of new innovations, but for the vicar to remove these important occasions without consultation is outrageous.

Yours etc

Tom Cobley-Anhall, “Tweezers”, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

Dear Sir

I apologise for my behaviour at the Harvest Supper and Produce Auction. I must have become carried away with the excitement. Certainly I had no intention, when arriving at the a Church Hall, of bidding for – and winning – every single lot. I can understand why all those people who bid for their own fruit and vegetables every year would be angry with my rude disruption of this noble tradition.

It would appear that at some point, I started bidding for pumpkins with opening bids of a thousand pounds and more. As a result, I owe the church building fund more money than the value of my house. In a desperate attempt to prevent the church wardens from repossessing my home, I hereby offer to sell myself into serfdom to the vicar for a period of five years.

Yours etc

Dolbey Noize-Reduction, Red Barn Lane, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

Dear Sir

It would appear that the “gremlins” (or possibly my prankster of a daughter) had fun with my advert for the Social Committee in last month’s magazine.

The event at Woodby Grange was a beetle drive, not “wife-swapping”. That’s not due until January. Still, a record turn-out for a beetle drive!

Yours etc

Tom Chancellor, Primrose Path, Woodby.

Dear Sir

As the nights draw in, it is time to light the fire, put on the slippers, and reminisce about the way things used to be.

You could barely walk round a corner in Grilsby and the Tremletts without hearing a cheery cry of “penny for the Guy!” Starlings would gather to fly south, we would take honey from the bees, and choose which goose we would eat come Christmas. That goose was fed like a king – a short life but a merry one. The air hung with the smoke of burning leaves, mixing with a light autumn mist, and the last farm in the neighbourhood that made cider for the workers still smelt of pomace – and you had to be careful of the wasps!

And I particularly remember the old country sports that have now, alas, been allowed to decline. It must be 30 years since we last had bear baiting in the village. It used to be a great family event, in the Village hall, and the old vicar, Parson Maybold, used to take a “tithe” of 10 percent on all bets placed, for church funds.

Ah, the old ways pass away.

Yours etc

Dicky Vickers, Church Rise, Grilsby-on-the-Hill


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