Letters to the Church Magazine: April 2017 (But not April Fools’)

Dear Everybody

If you’re here, I like to think it may be because you like this site, and the assorted people that populate our church’s letter pages.

And it might be that in that case, what you really want to do, at some point in the near future, is consider buying the paperback version of “Writes of the Church” for yourself, your loved ones, or even your vicar. As let’s face it, they need a laugh as well.

The good news is – some bloke has produced a book that lets you do just that. So why not go straight away to the BRF Website to read all about the paperback incarnation of this blog, and details of when you will be able to pre-order it. With more than 100 pages of the Great Tremlett posse’s complaints, and 14 brand new cartoons by Dave Walker.


Revd Nathan

Dear Sir

Please cancel my subscription to the Church Magazine. The communist views, liberal attitudes and PC pandering to the “snowflake” brigade has filled me up to hear.

And that was just the Vicar’s monthly “thought”, on the Good Samaritan. Goodness knows what the account of the Spring Fayre was like.

Yours etc

Arbuthnot P Ephraim, The Old Carriage House, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

Dear Sir

In my investigations into the activities of our previous Treasurer – whom I shall in future refer to as “The Fraudster” – I have discovered that every month, we are paying £74.22 to a suspicious group called “E.on”. I have cancelled these payments, as I suspect they may be some kind of protection racket.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

Inspired by Brexit, I have been investigating how Grilsby could “go it alone” without the rest of the Trim Valley benefice.

Some may think this is foolishness. Well, they said that about Captain Cook when he decided to land at Hawaii.

What is clear is that Grilsby put far more into the benefice than in receives back. We paid nearly £4,000 in Parish Share last year – and yet we have barely more of the Vicar’s time than Woodby Chapel.

Therefore I will move at the next PCC that we declare independence from the benefice. We will apply to the Bishop of Banbury for our own incumbent.

And we will thrive as an independent parish. For instance, we will be able to choose the date of the Harvest Festival without considering the other four churches. We will have services at Grilsby every Sunday – including Fifth Sundays.

An independent Grilsby will have its own vicar. A new, state-of-the-art vicarage. Its own vacancy for a Deanery Synod rep – instead of having to share three vacancies between the villages.  And the ability to choose the time for our own services.

Yours etc

Nigel Garage, the Old Vicarage, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

Dear Sir

The thermometer outside the church, advertising the progress of the building fund, is such a traditional sight in the English countryside! In the case of the one outside St Mary’s, it has been there, stuck on 35% of the required cash, since 1785.

The limit on these kinds of advertisements is 28 days. I am therefore writing to you to request that you take it down forthwith.

Yours etc

Gladly Mycross, Banburyshire Council

Dear Sir

The long spring evenings are so delightful after the dark nights of winter! And I note that so many people have been enjoying the warmer times – especially around the car park at “Cupid’s Spinney”.

If three out of the ten Church Wardens in the benefice would like to deposit £1,000 in the agreed spot, no-one need ever know more.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

I would like to apologise for the terror I caused the members of the Mothers’ Union last week.

Wandering across the churchyard on the way home from the “Hanged Man” one lunchtime, I fell into a newly-dug grave.

Others in this situation might have howled for help, whimpered, burst in tears or otherwise not acted like a man with a long and distinguished service history. However, fortunately I had the remains of a bottle of Jack Daniels with me, with which I was able to while away the time.

As the Mothers’ Union left their meeting in the church hall, I had just woken from my doze. I had also realised that, by turning my clothes into a rope and looping it round the headstone of my old friend “Chalky” Chalkwhite, I would be able to raise myself from my tomb.

Seeing me in my underpants, covered in mud and climbing from the tomb, the Mothers collectively screamed. It was at this point that I saw the blinding light that I can only assume was a divine intervention, and fell backwards into the grave, where I lay until Jeb retrieved me in the morning.

Mrs Dumpling was not so alarmed as the Mothers. It’s true to say she is used to me returning in the dawn light, in a state of disrepair. As I say, it is the Army training.

Yours etc

Major J Dumpling (retd), Rodney’s Rest, Lt Tremlett

Dear Sir

The notice sheets were on the left hand side of the table in the nave this morning, instead of the right hand side. Surely this requires a faculty?

I have written to complain to the Bishop.

I used to work for the Met Office.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

I  note from the diocese newsletter that the average age of new Lay Ministers at the recent licensing service was substantially higher than the average life expectancy in Banburyshire.

What a great advert for the Christian faith! Clean living, regular prayer and you can expect to be harassing your neighbours with your preaching and pastoral visits well into your 9th decade!

Yours etc

Gerville Wellesley-Kanbee, Holistic House, Woody Chapel End.

Dear Sir

We were leaving the church hall after the Mothers’ Union last week when we were confronted by a zombie, climbing from one of the graves.

Thankfully, I thought quickly and hit it over the head with the spade Jeb had left laying around, in the manner of that admirable American reality TV series, “The Walking Dead”.

However there should be no need for members of the church to have to protect themselves from the undead in this way. The Vicar should be patrolling the churchyard with holy water, ready to eliminate this kind of supernatural menace.

I have written to the Diocesan Exorcist to complain.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin’”, Great Tremlett

Dear Sir

Once again the benefice website has been brought up to date. A great leap forwards – it has been advertising the special service to celebrate Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee rather too long, in my opinion.

However there is a risk here. If people are aware of the possibilities of such delights as Beetle Drives, Jumble Sales and auctions of promises, they may well start attending church. For surely this kind of thing was what made the Church in Acts so attractive.

And if people start coming to church they may need ministering to. As Pastoral Assistant, I might need to do some of that ministering. And I have not been consulted.

I insist the Vicar winds the clock on the website back to 2002 – the same as he does with his choice of “modern” worship. Only thus can  I avoid the dangers of overwork and marital breakdown.

Yours etc

Bradley Hadleigh, Jasmine House, Woodby

Dear Sir

Now that spring is here, I have once again been producing a list of the most notable sinners in the valley. This year a record! I normally pin the list up in appropriate places for all to read. However since the vicar has a habit of going around tearing them down, on this occasion we have spray-painted the details on the side of Little Tremlett church.

Not only will these people get the exposure they deserve for several days, while the Vicar is on retreat. But on his return, he will find himself copied on a letter from Mr Spacek, asking the Bishop why he did not get a faculty.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbing”, Lt Tremlett

Dear Sir

Mike Pence has a lot to answer for.

After the publicity about Pence’s adoption of the “Billy Graham Rule” , Maurice Cordwainer refused to be in a building on his own with me.

I am a respectable married woman and ordained priest. He is 87. He has halitosis. It was Morning Prayer at Woodby Chapel – a drafty former Methodist mission hall.

Believe me. I was unlikely to be overcome with lust.

Yours etc

Revd Joanna, The Old Chapel, Lt Tremlett

Dear Sir

Once again I am disappointed in the Vicar’s religious knowledge.

I stopped him after church to ask him what he thought of the Sandemanian injunctions on the consumption of beasts that are strangled.

He had never heard of this particular ruling of the group, and suggested I give him a few days to look things up.

I don’t know what Ridley think they are turning out these days.

Yours etc

Charmander McBrayne, Woodby Lane, Grilsby

Dear Sir

Don’t ask us to attend, Cause we’re not all there.  Oh don’t pretend ’cause I don’t care. I don’t believe illusions ’cause too much is real. So stop your cheap comment –
cause we know what we feel.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby

Dear Sir


Inspired this year by the other church members who forsake some enjoyable pastime or foodstuff, I decided to give up eating frogspawn.

I don’t know why everyone finds Lent so difficult.

Yours etc

Rasmere Raxton, Brook Lane, Woodby


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