Letters to the Church Magazine – August 2015

Dear Sir

How come we call him the Vicar, when he lives in the New Rectory?

I used to work for the Ministry of Transport. We would never have tolerated such lax nomenclature.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

I would like to thank the ladies who organise the Scone Teas in the Tower on Sunday afternoons. I had never realised until now the amount of Swinging that goes on in the Trim Valley.

Yours etc
Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett.

Dear Sir

Small as Little Tremlett is – just 5,000 souls – yet it is still substantially bigger than any of the other villages round here. I have frequently campaigned for it to be renamed “Even Greater Tremlett”, but am told the costs would be prohibitive.
But we do seem to suffer more than any of the other parishes from what I might call “inner city problems”. Specifically, the drunks who hang around the war memorial. The litter they leave, in the form of plastic cider bottles and cans of Smokey’s Old and Peculiar Super-Strength Tonic Wine, is unpleasant. But the other forms of refuse that they leave behind is even worse.

This is a problem for the Vicar, who often ends up taking  the cans and bottles to the church recycling bin after every Morning Prayer and Evensong. And for the Vicar and others, often to be seen heading into the churchyard with spades, buckets of water and bleach.

We clearly need a more effective method of clearing the churchyard from this kind of thing. Which is why I am proposing to set up a collection to rent one of Mr Boris Johnson’s spare water cannons. This will clear the churchyard almost instantly of all such detritus. I know that some will protest that we might acccidentally also knock over the drinkers, gangs of hooded teenagers and little old ladies cycling to Mattins over the ferocious power of the water jet. But you can’t carry out a military manoeuvre without a little collateral damage, as we used to say in The Far East.

And they shouldn’t be cycling in the churchyard, anyway. There is a sign.

If my suggestion is taken up, can I strongly suggest that we do not use it on the Sabbath Day. It is, after all, a day of rest and contemplation. The gentle tolling of the bell would clash badly with the whoosh of water and screams and gurgling of its targets. And it’s when Chunky White and I like to knock back a few bottles of “Graphite” to pass the time until Evensong. 

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

It is with pleasure that I enclose this month’s list of notorious ne’er-do-wells and sinners for enclosure in the magazine. I expect that, once again, the editor will be too spineless to print it. So Dr Ireland and I have made copies on the church bander machine and have posted the list in the following locations:

  • Grilsby church porch [note from editor: removed]
  • Grilsby village hall notice board [note from editor: removed]
  • Grilsby post office and convenience store “Items for sale” [note from editor: removed]
  • Every telegraph pole in Grilsby [note from editor: work in progress]
  • Every tree in Grilsby Forest [note from  editor: prayers gratefully received]

Still, our holy mission continues.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

As usual , I have no doubt, the Church Magazine will come out on the first of the month. Which, being Lammas Day in August, will mean it is very unlikely that anyone will read this notice in time.

However, in case anyone does make it to the letters page on day 1, can I please advertise that our Lammas celebrations will start in the Oak Grove at 7pm. We will dance widdershins around the Great Oak before proceeding to Withy Pond, where we shall throw corn dollies (in lieu of a human) into the water to give thanks to the Great Mother for the barley harvest.

For some reason the Vicar always forgets  to include this in the service rota.

Yours etc

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

This mixed weather has had a bad effect on thus summer’s gardening. Everything is bedraggled, yet with some ripe red where the sun has beaten down at times. The nettles have been more troublesome than they have been for years.

I really must consider wearing some trousers.

Yours etc
Roland Yoland, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

We have beautifully kept flower beds around the graveyard in Grilsby. And Mrs Thomas and her team are so dedicated in ensuring that everything is cared for, come “het, wet, blow or snow”.

But this beauty comes at a cost. Our water supply is metered and, according to my calculations, costing as much as £7.97 each year – even though I keep a close eye on the weather forecasts and tell Mrs Thomas not to bother if rain is expected in a 1-4 day period, depending upon the forecast temperature and sunshine hours.

But I believe I can help make savings. We have a plentiful supply of our own water, falling from the sky onto the church roof and in waste water from the church kitchen and toilet. Through the use of a series of water butts on all drainpipes, a biodigestion unit and natural purification, we could easily eliminate the watering bill! Of course we would have to apply for a faculty to dig up the east side of the churchyard and the flowerbeds to make way for the reed bed.

In the course of my investigations, I have of course incurred some expenses. I therefore include an invoice for the treasurer to the value of £74.22.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

I’m a firestarter. Twisted firestarter.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby

Dear Sir

You know you’re getting older when the clergy start looking younger. Especially the case with Joanne, our attractive young curate. What a fresh, youthful look she brings to the Church.

The cow. Chorlton in the choir can’t keep his eyes off her.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

I was so angry, I just had to write a letter.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

Time for another of my famous “vicar” jokes.

Q – What’s black and right and red all over?

A – A sunburnt vicar!

Yours etc

Tom Chancellor, Primrose Path, Woodby.
Dear Sir

As August arrives and harvest nears, it’s time to remember the village in days gone by.

The Lammas celebrations in Grilsby would take the form of the giant loaf competition. Every year the matrons of the village would compete to see who could create the largest loaf of barley bread.

Some years the bread would be as big as horses. This used to cause terrible trouble – rather than let the loaves go to waste, villagers were eat as much as was humanly possible, and then spend the rest of August suffering from the dreaded “Grilsby Bloat”, as recorded in many of the memorials in the church.

Having recklessly eaten the early crop like this, the villagers would then suffer terrible deprivation for the rest of the year. Sometimes they would have to eat the village idiot to get through to spring – hence the reason for the old saying, “Tremlett fools don’t look so nervous.”

Ah, the old ways pass away.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

Excavations at the so-called “St Mary’s Well” continue apace, I notice. The fearful consequences of which have been made known through signs of divine displeasure just this month.

For surely I told the vicar, when the archaeologists started becoming excited by the discovery of medieaeval coins, that these were foolish votive offerings made by foolish pilgrims in the foolishness of their foolishness. God, I told him, is made very angry by this idolatry.

And God surely showed his anger when, in the midst of the great storm of 3/4 July, lightning smote our area.

I am taking the unexpected divine demolition of my house as a warning unto the vicar as to what will happen to his if this superstition continues. And I am henceforth setting myself as a watchman upon the scene, the better to pour out my supplications to God and my imprecations upon the vicar and his cronies. Please note my new address. Please also note the elaborate welding of my new home to the gates that is ensuring that, like the prophets of old, I shall not be moved.

Yours etc

Martin Moraine, “Purity Caravan”,  The back garden of New Rectory, Great Tremlett

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