Letters to the Church Magazine – June 2015

Dear Sir

The Vicar was most effusive in his recounting to us last week of the suspected “holy well” he found, when he discovered rubble while digging up the garden at New Rectory.

Well, I can confirm that it is indeed a former so-called “holy well”.  It was filled in by the brave soldiers of the New Model Army after the Civil War skirmish know locally as “the Battle of Tremlett”. At the time, the Puritan Vicar of Little Tremlett – my 12-greats-grandfather, Azariah Butts – instructed the Parliamentary soldiers to knock down the brick well cover surrounds and throw it into “St Mary’s Well”. The vicar of Great Tremlett, Charles Kettering, had been making money for years out of the papist superstitions with which he had been deceiving pilgrims.

If the latest vicar, as he has been suggesting, gets the well excavated by archaeologists, it will be as if the Royalists had won the Civil War. Did Oliver Cromwell die for nothing?!

Yours etc

Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett

Dear Sir

I would like to thank everybody who helped run the “Everything for a Pound” sale in the Church Hall. I am pleased to announced that we raised £213.42 for church funds.

Yours etc,

Fennel Bailey, The Old Orchard House.

Dear Sir

I would like to apologise for the shock I inadvertently caused to the vicar – and indeed the Mothers’ Union – at the latest meeting.

I had always believed that the vicarage was a part of the church’s belongings – that the reason such a decently-sized house is provided, is so that church meetings, or, if such things arise, exorcisms can be held there.

So naturally, when we needed a location for our “Adventures in Art” session with the renowned local artist, Nosher Reynolds, we arranged for it to take place in the vicarage on a Tuesday. In retrospect, maybe I should have informed Rev Nathan in advance.

I believe that his confusion and indeed anger probably were justified. When an off-duty vicar walks into his study naked to get a book to read in the bath, he doesn’t expect to find nine of the Mothers of the benefice painting still-lives of fruit

On the bright side, Hermione’s work, “Adam realises his mistake” won first prize at last weekend’s Art Show in Banbury. Though personally I think the belly button was unscriptural. And she could have placed one of the apples more carefully in the foreground.

Yours etc

Dolores Measle, “Chafing”, Old Street, Woodby

Dear Sir

My grandson Obadiah has shown me the Church website on his Android Tablet. Disappointingly, although there are a few pictures of the buildings on the page, there is a dearth of really well-researched material on the memorial plaques. It all just seems to be contact names, service times, and photographs of people at church events.
The memorials at Little Tremlett, in particular, are of great interest. The pre-Reformation ones survived because the King’s Men, looking for Popery, could not believe anybody could live in such a dank forest. Thus we have a treasure-trove of ancient monuments.

In particular, the plaque to Ezekiel Enwright (MCCCXV – MCCCXCVIII) is of a particularly interesting limestone, native not to Woodby but to a small disused quarry about four miles away. When a sliver was chipped off during the Alternative Service Book Riot of 1982, we sent it to a notable geochemist for analysis. He sent me a 75-page breakdown of its chemical composition, with many interesting facts about the micro-fossils in the stone. It turns out there is an unusually high composition of silica in what you might otherwise assume to be a slab of pure calcium carbonate! And some of the isotopic breakdowns differ slightly from what might be expected, as described in the copious appendices.

I have forwarded a copy of the document to our Social Medium, Doris, for keying into the Internet. I should stress that if it is not all put on the webpage – including decent copies of the diagrams – I will not be offended at all. Much. Although clearly I won’t be going to church anymore.

Yours etc

Chesney Peterson, Walnut Grove, Lt Tremlett

Dear Sir

What a pleasure it is to see the children in our church every Sunday! To see their smiling faces is a joy, and to hear their childish prattle – ideally before and after the service – likewise.

But which fiend from Hell itself invented the concept of an “All Age Service”? To allow them to spend an entire service in the church? Children are meant to go to Sunday School. That is why my great-great-grandfather’s generation went to the trouble of building the “Sunday School Room”. I know the smaller children dislike the walk when it is raining, or indeed deep snow. But it is only a mile from the Church.

Mark my words. Although it is currently “only once a month”, if we do not stop the rot we will have these hyperactive, stumpy attention-seekers in the Church every week. The next thing you know we will have puppets, balloons, popcorn machines, bubble blowers and – dare I whisper it – clowns in Church. We have set out down a slippery slope, making Church “accessible”, “enjoyable” and “comprehensible”.

Yours etc

Ciara Meringe, The Old Stables, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

I was going through the recycling pile this morning when I found the hymn sheet from Christmas. What a lovely service that Nativity was!

I really hoped to get to the Easter Day service but, that being on a Sunday, it was too difficult. We like to get away on sunny days and we went to visit my Aunt Dorcas in Little Tremlett.

Still, having been reminded by memories from Christmas I look forward to attending again very soon!

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

This morning I started to get bored during the vicar’s sermon, and had a flick through the pew Bible.

What a remarkable book! Exciting stories, battles, remarkable moral teaching by someone called “Jesus”. It strikes me we should start to use it in church.

Particularly interesting in the early chapters was the talking snake. I saw one once in the Federated Malay States. Although it went away after I stopped the malaria pills and stuck to Gin with ice.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

As the trees look almost embarrassed under the weight of their new greenery,, I have once again been moved to poetry. I have composed the following – “Cast a Clout”

Cast a Clout
for May is out!

The hedge bedight
with blooms so bright.

The tadpoles swim
in ponds full to the brim.

The sparrows match.
Their children hatch.

All nature sing
to our glorious King!

The fox smells meat
and bunnies sweet.

The badgers dog
the doomed hedgehog.

The mink, vile race,
after ducklings chase.

Death, death death death!
Death, death death death!
Death, death death death!
Death, death death death!

Wishing you all a glorious summer.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

Jeb has been gravedigger in the benefice for 26 years now. And I accept that his dental hygiene is his own affair. It is Jeb’s mouth. But surely, as well as his pay for digging the graves, we could club together to get him some false teeth?

Either that, or at least encourage him not to dig graves at twilight. When Jeb’s face appears out of his latest excavation, with those prominent canine teeth but no incisors, it is enough to give anyone a start. After Miss Ebb’s “episode” when she saw him at work last month, Jeb was accused of trying to generate more business.

Yours etc

Chalfont Presley, Sheep St, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

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