Letters to the Church Magazine – April 2016

Dear Sir

I notice that the Church Hall is advertising “Pilates” on Wednesday afternoons. I am shocked.

That an organisation should be set up for people to commemorate this vile man is an outrage. I complained to the Vicar. But he washed his hands of the whole matter. Apparently the contagion is spreading.

Yours etc

Constanza Nearby, “Donebloggin'”, Woodby

Dear Sir

I have spent the afternoon in the Church with my laser measuring device, and there is no doubt. At some point in the last 12 months, the lectern has been moved at least nine inches to the right, as viewed from the congregational point of view. It has also been rotated anticlockwise by a good 7°.

My grandfather donated the lectern in 1963 after the old one collapsed. Older members may remember that it contracted woodworm from old Mnason Sanderson’s wooden leg. Sawdust all over the floor. My grandfather would turn in his grave if he had not asked for his ashes to be scattered over the curate.

This sloppiness has also spilled over in other areas. For instance, at the Eucharist last week, Revd Joanna was clearly standing three or four inches to the left of centre. Also he appears to be a woman.

We would never have allowed this to happen at British Timken. All the steelwork would have turned out crooked.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

I was shocked to watch the documentary on the modern church of England on UK Gold last week. Can you believe that a woman vicar could have just one tiny village as her benefice, that the PCC seems to have annexed the parish council (and meets every week) and lives in a village entirely populated by drooling idiots? If there were any fairness we would see the total separation of church and state in Dibley, and the village merged with at least six others.

Yours etc

Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett.

Dear Sir

I appear to have woken up, and Easter is over.

It all started on Mothering Sunday, when Mrs Dumpling made the Simnel Cake for after the service. I have never really liked the taste of marzipan, so I attempted to mask the almondy nature of the sweetmeat with a bottle of whisky. Per cake. Of which Mrs Dumpling made seven.

All of the parishioners refused to eat the cake, on the grounds that “the marzipan smells funny”. So I was forced to consume each one in succession.

I notice that during my time of trance, I have covered the inside of the shed – where I have lain, in dew and heat – with a remarkable mural of the Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence. If anyone would like to visit, my shed has been forcibly purchased by the National Trust, who have posted two guard-badgers with a cash machine in the largest plant pot.

You know, I’m not sure I did not eat too much Simnel Cake.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

Could I please take the opportunity to advertise our special event on May Day?

At precisely midnight on April 30 / May 1 we will be running naked into Grilsby Forest, there to enjoy a night of frolicking and sexual activity in the pagan tradition.

If the weather is inclement, we shall instead be serving coffee and buns in the Village Hall.

All proceeds will be in aid of the refurbishment of the bus shelter.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

As ever, the false etymologists are out in force this Easter, claiming that the feast originated from a Pagan goddess called Eostre, Astarte, Ishtar or Ethel.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In my forthcoming blog, “The Truth About Easter”, I conclusively prove that the name “Easter” originates in the Lutonian “Astra”, a Bedfordshire word which means “Reasonably-priced Hatchback”. By considering the German equivalent, “Opel Kadett”, I thereby prove that in fact Easter was invented by General Motors company in 1954 as a commercial ruse to sell more cars.

In the 60s, the sale of chocolate-covered cars declined rapidly as they lost out to the much more cheaply produced Easter Eggs, and the link between car manufacturing in the Home Counties and Easter was lost.

I did offer my book proposal to a number of publishing houses. But they all responded with the message “go away, you utter fantasist”. I am therefore forced to take my mission – that all should know the truth of Easter – to the Internets.

Yours etc

Roland Yoland, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir


At this time of economic tightness, and with the Parish Share rising exponentially to pay for the six-week holidays at health spas to which all vicars are now entitled, has anyone considered the sheer waste of money involved in the annual Easter Egg Hunt during the services around the benefice?

Every year, the children of the Trim Valley run around the churches and churchyards, hunting for Cadbury’s Creme Eggs (or at least those that the Major has not eaten in one of his annual frenzies); Co-op Mini Eggs; Nestle Easter Eggs and so on. Many of these eggs do not have the word “Easter” in the packaging, and all cost money.

By experimentation I have proved that, if one dips peeled, hard-boiled eggs into melted chocolate, one can make an Easter comestible that is simultaneously cheaper than the commercial equivalent, and also hideously repulsive to eat.

I estimate that if we used the new “Norbert Eggs” instead of shop-bought produce, the demand for Easter Egg Hunts would evaporate after just one year

In the course of my researches I have had to buy quite a lot of chocolate, and a number of eggs from Mrs Geronimo’s Free-Range Farm Shop. I therefore enclose an invoice to the treasurer to the value of £74.22.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

We’ve gotta hold on to what we’ve got.
It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby

Dear Sir


I was intrigued to see the Revd Kate Bottley on the TV over Easter with a programme about Judas. Despite the scandalmongers who poured scorn on the idea in advance – fooled by clever marketing in the Telegraph – it was well made, interesting and mostly quite traditional in its outlook on the events of the first Holy Week.

However, the BBC may have missed a trick. In using a young female vicar with a regional accent, they have totally broken the tradition of using old ugly men with posh voices whenever a clergy is required on a TV programme. If this kind of thing continues people may think that religion is not a bunch of old women in the pews listening to boring old posh men – and there would we be? America, that’s where.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

Easter Sunday and yet again we had a sermon on the Resurrection. The lack or imagination of our clergy is quite remarkable.

OK, so Jesus is risen from the dead. We get it. Turn the record over. We could do with something else. Let’s move on.

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 white and flat out in the front room?

A – The vicar after taking 23 services, 6 assemblies and visiting 3 nursing homes in the week before Easter!

Yours etc

Tom Chancellor, Primrose Path, Woodby.

Dear Sir

At this glorious Eastertide, I look back with nostalgia to the Trim Valley of my youth. With its undercover badger baiting, cock fighting and owl snatching, the Tremletts were a much livelier place than these days when political correctness has taken over.

In particular, the tradition of “Hunting the Vicar” has almost completely died out. After the end of the fox season, the Trim Hunt used to need a means of keeping the beagles fit. And so from Easter Sunday to Trinity, the tradition was to force the vicar to dress in a fox suit and chase him across Tremlett Hill.

It is believed that the tradition was actually a fertility rite. But we can’t imagine why. The vicar was repulsive. And even in a fox suit, he wasn’t going to attract any vixens.

Ah, the old ways pass away.

Yours etc

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


One thought on “Letters to the Church Magazine – April 2016

  1. Pingback: Law and religion round-up – 3rd April | Law & Religion UK

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