I was tidying the churchyard last week when a strange priest arrived.
However I have to stress I did not know he was a priest. From his open-necked shirt I assumed he was an accountant on “Dress-down Friday” at his office, nipped out from Banbury to eat his sandwiches. It was only from his posh accent and insistence that he alone was right about everything that I realised he was in fact Giles Fraser.
Mr Fraser – I cannot bring myself to call him “Fr Giles” or “Reverend” as he does not wear a dog collar – was on an expedition to find out what a rural church was. He told me that St Leodegarius was unnecessary, that it was too empty, that our rainbow banners were too insistent upon their association with Noah’s Ark, and that our church is a glorified rural bus stop and should be run by the council. I pointed out to him that our (Conservative) council had no desire to run a toilet-less 800-year-old building with a leaking roof in a small village, and he seemed to foam at the mouth.
He then asked why we did not have a Wednesday group for Sikh single mothers; where he could get a Starbucks; and where the nearest Tube station is. I told him because there are no Sikhs for miles around; Banbury; and That London. He shuddered and went off to revere a photograph of Jeremy Corbyn to settle his nerves. Then he bought a postcard of the church and went over the stile into Leys Meadow. I last saw him being chased by a flock of sheep, screaming “the country demons have come to get me!”
He’s not hoping to be the curate, is he?
Jenna McKenna, Tremlett Road, Woodby