Trim Valley Notices – w/c 28 August

Please note that the Vicar is now back from leave and we are therefore no longer being run by a woman.
Sunday: Evensong cancelled due to the Choir being at the Cathedral.

Monday: Morning Prayer cancelled due to the Vicar being at Greenbelt.

Tuesday: Morning Prayer cancelled due to its being the Vicar’s day off and the Curate’s holiday. It being his day off, you can probably get him during the day. And he shouldn’t be too busy.

Wednesday: Morning Prayer cancelled as everyone’s having one last trip to the seaside.

Thursday: Morning Prayer cancelled due to Quinquennial inspection.

Friday: Morning Prayer cancelled due to it’s nearly the end of the week – what’s the point?

Saturday: Coffee morning. Special collection to enable us to buy some chocolate biscuits and maybe even some coffee filters.

Greenbelt Book Signing

Special notice that the book of this blog is on sale pre-official release at the Greenbelt Festival this weekend in the Church House Bookshop tent.

If you’d like to get your copy signed and/or say hello to the author, Gary Alderson, he’s going to be in the shop 1.3o-3 Monday afternoon with the famous Dave Walker who drew the cartoons.

Notices week commencing 20 August

The vicar is on holiday until next Sunday. Obviously in his absence you can contact the curate, Revd Joanna. But if you’re in need of some serious assistance and not just a bit of sympathy – we reckon he’s hiding in the vicarage. Marais has had it under surveillance and we have some fairly clear infra-red footage of him going out for a takeaway under the cover of darkness.

Sunday 20th: for those attending services led by Canon Westcliffe, please bring a copy of the Sarum Rite. This evening’s Evensong will almost certainly be led by Doreen. Canon Westcliffe just doesn’t know it yet.

Monday 21st : “Lessons from Joshua – why the Vicar isn’t a real leader.” Dr Ireland will be leading this Bible study.

Tuesday 22nd : Last day for articles for the Church magazine. The editor would prefer Word documents to be emailed. But presumably will get the usual scrawled notes in green pen.

Wednesday 23rd : Cheese Tasting 8pm Grilsby Reading Room. Please bring a cracker.

Thursday 24th : Meeting for everybody who owns a second home in the valley. Rearranged from March, when nobody turned up.

Friday 25th : Ale and Singing at The Hanged Man Inn. Not strictly a church event, but no doubt everyone will be there.

Saturday 26th : Church Open Day, Woodby Chapel. Everything must go.

Sunday 27th : Vicar back on duty. Based on last year, he should be through his backlog by Xmas.

Monday 28th : Copies of the book of this website, “Writes of the Church”, on sale in the Church House Bookshop tent at Greenbelt. The author will be along at 1.30 for signing.

Writes of the Church: Notices w/c 13 August

Please note the Vicar is now on holiday for a fortnight. The Wardens have his number and will contact him if there are any major (or minor) emergencies. You can also reach him via Twitter at @nottheCofE

Sunday 13 August : Vespers in the Old Latin Rite will be lead by Canon Vyvyan Westcliffe. 6pm at Grilsby on the Hill

Monday 14th : Coffee morning at Great Tremlett. Raising funds to buy some better quality coffee. 10am – noon

Tuesday 15th: “Why the Vicar is Wrong about Almost Everything” – a talk by Dr Ireland. Woodby, 8pm

Wednesday 16th: A talk on Cybersecurity, as Romilly explains why the idiot vicar shouldn’t have left her the password to the WordPress account

Thursday 17th: Melissa Sparrow – “A Life in Poetry”. Melissa will be talking about life, love and death. Mostly death. In fact, almost entirely death to be frank.

Friday 18th: Bric a Brac Sale, Little Tremlett, 10 am – 1pm.  Is there an endless source of unusable junk? Join us as we test out the theory again.

Saturday 19th: Mothers’ Union Bingo – 8pm in Gt Tremlett Church Hall. Please bring a bottle of gin.



The Grouse

Dear Sir

A special poem for this special day. I would like you to image a grouse, Gerry, and his pal, Larry, frolicking on a perfect August morning.

The moorlands vast rise up to the sky
‘gainst black-edged clouds the eagles fly
and Larry, my good friend and I,
run through the gorse.

A yellow sun will graze the burns
As, fading, it to winter turns
And dabbling ducks and happy terns
Splash in a pool.

Men’s shadows, long across the moor
The men so certain, calm and sure
Oh bugger – is that a 12-bore?
Run, Larry! Run!

Death, death death
Death, death, death
Death, death, death.

Wishing you a truly “Glorious Twelfth”

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

Church Notices : 6 August

Sunday 6 August : Choral Evensong at Woodby Chapel, 4pm. Since the choir and organist are on strike we will be using the Mission Praise 1 CDs. Bring your 80s hair and nylon suits.

Monday 7 : Croquet on the Vicarage Lawn. 6 pm till 9 pm. Please note that after last year’s riots, it is stricltly non-alcoholic drinks.

Tuesday 8 : Meeting to discuss how to improve ministry to poor people. 8pm at Cholmondeley Manor. Please knock at the servant’s entrance.

Wednesday 9 : Major James Dumpling’s Cocktails party. An evening of irresponsible experimentation. Starts at 8. If James is asleep already, just fix yourself a drink. Please bring a bottle of left over spirits you unwisely bought in Duty Free in 1994, and a bucket.

Thursday 10 : Committee meeting to sort the agenda for next week’s agenda-preparing meeting.

Friday 11 : A workshop on Writing Below-the-Line comments on the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” pages. Six anonymous teenage boys tell us that nobody understands them, and they are really really clever and funny.

Saturday 12 : 8pm prayer meeting at Dr Ireland’s : “Praying the vicar comes back from his holidays refreshed, and less of a heretic.”

Sunday 13 August : Revd Nathan’s Holiday starts. Thank you to Canon Vyvyan Westclyff who will be covering in his absence. NB every baptism and wedding planned in the benefice this year will be taking place in the next fortnight. Very reasonable terms.

Letters to the Church Magazine: August 2017

Dear Sir

I’d like to thank everybody for their concern, after the news from the BBC, that maybe I don’t get paid as much as Nathan.

This is true, but that is because I am a curate, not because I am a woman. Once I have my own benefice, I will be paid the same as him. And then once I am archbishop, plenty more – and some killer outfits.

Yours etc

Revd Joanna, The Old School House, Grilsby-on-the-Hill

Dear Sir

There have been some complaints about the subject matter of the Holiday Club this year already – and it’s barely started!

Many people have complained about the theme: “Nehemiah Rap”. Well, the Holiday Club has been running in the Trim Valley since Fr Jesmond’s time. And all the obvious themes have been done – Noah, Jonah, Moses, Superheroes, Olympics.

So who better to have a week studying than that great hero of the faith, Nehemiah? Especially in these days when “Build a Wall” is such a popular motto!

There have been a few complaints about the bad language, I know. But this is rap, and I felt we should stay true to the form. And if you don’t like it, you can **** my ***, ****** *******.†

Yours etc

Marais de Sandeman, The Old Brewhouse, Little Tremlett

† Editor’s note: I felt it best to censor Mr de Sandeman’s more colourful comments. Especially as Romilly, who transcribes the letters onto computer for me, passed out upon reading them.

Dear Sir

As the vicar looks forward to a well earned break for a couple of weeks, can I encourage the more Biblically-minded of our parishioners to join us for our fortnight-long series of daily prayer meetings.

We will be praying for Revd Nathan to receive the gifts of judgement, holiness, preaching and teaching. Or, failing that, for us to receive the gift of a better vicar.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin’”, Great Tremlett

Dear Sir

Once again I look forward to stepping in for Revd Nathan as he takes a couple of weeks off.

Thanks to all those who’ve assisted me in stretching my pension further, by organising weddings or baptisms for these couple of weeks.

I am aware that it is more difficult to plan funerals, but if anyone should be planning a “hit” I’m free on Tuesday 22nd.

Yours etc

Canon Vyvyan Westcliffe (Retd) (But still available for occasional offices), The Old Vicarage, Woodby

Dear Sir

What a joy to see such a traditional wedding at St Mary’s last Saturday.

Young Maisie looked so blooming. And her betrothed, Mason, looked so handsome as he was followed up the aisle by the bride’s brothers with their shotguns.

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett

Dear Sir

I went to the Ladies’ Bright Hour last Wednesday.
It wasn’t.

Yours etc

Rt Hon Alicia Cholmondley-Cholmonley, Cholmondeley Manor, Woodby Chapel End.

Dear Sir

This month’s church magazine comes out on Lammas Day. In years gone by, the people of the Trim Valley would sacrifice a vicar to give thanks for the barley harvest.

Sadly in modern times the supply of vicars has dried up. So instead we’ll be burning Nathan in effigy at 9pm, in Barebottom Spinney.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

I would like to thank all those who attended our annual Cheese Party in aid of church funds.

I am afraid I accidentally placed the order in kilograms rather than ounces. So there was an awful lot of cheese to go round! Especially since, in keeping with Woodby tradition, nobody can go home until all the cheese is eaten.

I am pleased to hear that Henrietta is out of hospital now. But I may never be able to hear the word “cheddar” without breaking out into a cheese sweat, for as long as I live.

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby

Dear Sir

The vicar’s sermon on the wheat and the weeds was brilliant last week – one of his best.

Not as good as any of old Father Jesmond’s, of course. But times change. They used to select clergy based on their intellect, vision and ability to engage with people.

Yours etc

Ciara Meringe, The Old Stables, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

When one is retired, time can hang heavy on one’s hands.

Which is why I have spent the last five years experimenting with breeding a particularly potent variety of catnip. I find that my own three cats do not get as much of a hit from the regular stuff as when they were younger, and I was keen to ensure they get some enjoyment on these long summer days.

The latest batch is, I think I can say, superb. However I had not expected it to be able to bring on such psychotic episodes. So I can only apologise for what “Mountbatten”, “Winston” and “Adolf” did to that Pyreneean Mountain Dog at the Pet Service. I am told that “Rocky” is recovering now, but if it helps I could send him round some of my new catnip?

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

In my never ceasing search for ways to save money, I have never resorted to direct action. Until now.

I was shocked by the sight of all the lights in Grilsby Church, blazing out on a Sunday morning when there was perfectly good sunshine. I therefore took the simple action of shooting all the bulbs out with my air pistol.

As a result of this I estimate we saved approximately £1.50 over the course of that Sunday. However I have had to replace all the bulbs since the weather turned cloudy the following week. I therefore enclose an invoice to the value of £74.22.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

I am really quite stunned by Marais de Sandeman’s interpretation of the story of Nehemiah, seen through the lens of 21st Century American Imperialism and the breakdown of the postwar neoliberal consensus.

But I would have to question the use of the song “Another Brick in the Wall” as the theme tune.

Surely Pink Floyd’s 1979 masterpiece is about a broken man, hiding himself from his true feelings and trying to shut others out.

Which I suppose is true of modern America. But Nehemiah’s building of Jerusalem’s big, beautiful walls, and the restoration of Temple worship, was a great thing – a rediscovery of Jewish destiny and identity.

Can I suggest Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall” as a superior tune?

When the world is on your shoulder
Gotta straighten up your act and boogie down
If you can’t hang with the feelin’
Then there ain’t no room for you this part of town
‘Cause we’re the party people night and day
Livin’ crazy that’s the only way

Now that’s the Nehemiah I believe in!

Yours etc

Jeremy Stairswell, Crow Lane, Grilsby on the Hill

Dear Sir

Bring your daughter, bring your daughter to the slaughter
Let her go, let her go, let her go

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby

Dear Sir

I have just had a two hour meeting with Dr Ireland to list all of the wrongdoers in the village, ready for our next #TremlettVice Twitterstorm.

However it has just occurred to me that, having spent two hours unaccompanied in the presence of Dr Ireland, we have ourselves just done something that might be regarded as suspect.

What do you advise?

Yours etc

Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett

Dear Sir

Apologies for the late cancellation of the Treasure Hunt.

Grilsby Mothers Union say that the chosen date clashed with their dogging night.

I had no idea that they had outings to the greyhounds.

Yours etc

Romilly Randers, Cave Road, Little Tremlett

Dear Sir

The fields are ripe unto harvest, and the countryside is covered with fields of gold!


A lonely combine mows the leys
Where once, in far-gone golden days
The village-folk to fields would roam
To bring the precious harvest home.

Young men with scythes, young girls with sacks
The strong men carry on their backs
The sheaves unto the threshing floor
They won’t be doing that no more.

The maidens fair; the sunburnt swains
No more they wander down our lanes
Young mothers, children at their breast
They’ve entered in eternal rest.

And Farmer Laidlow, in your cab
You won’t escape this journey drab.
Safe locked away in your tractor bright
You’ll still have to face eternal night.

Death, death, death.
Death, death, death.
Death, death, death.
Death, death, death.

Wishing you the blessings of the harvest

Yours etc

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