Trim Valley Church Notices w/c 24 September

Sunday 24

The service at Woody will be approximately an hour late in starting while we dig the church out. We don’t know who thought a lorry load of pumpkins was an appropriate Harvest gift. But dumping them outside the church door wasn’t the brightest idea.


Major James Dumpling invites you to his “Home Made Wine Tasting.” We agreed to advertise it but don’t really recommend you to go. Drop into “Rodney’s Rest” any time between 8am and midnight. The Parsnip and Peapod is hideous.


We’re pleased to say that Melissa has been released due to lack of evidence. Her poetry reading for Autumn, “Sex, Death and Fallen Leaves” will now be today at 8pm, in Grilsby Hall. Parental Advisory 16+ only.


Autumn Tidy-Up at Woodby. The wolves have reproduced rapidly due to the mild Spring. So please wear gloves.


Well-dressing at Gt Tremlett, 12 noon. Please bring a pointy stick to ward off Protestants.


Frida’s Fish Supper at 4 Pagan Place, Woody Chapel. Proceeds to the Trim Valley Inter-Faith Group : encouraging dialogue between Wodenists and Christians since that awful incident with King Peafa of Mercia.


Would you like to spend two hours in peaceful reflective silence? We need volunteers to run the Little Tremlett Book Stall.

Writes of the Church : Now on Sale

The paperbook book of this blog, “Writes of the Church” is released today! Available through The Bible Reading Fellowship, Amazon, and presumably many good Christian bookshops.

Join the congregation as they make their way onto proper printed paper, with some great cartoons drawn by Dave Walker.  How many times can Norbert resign as treasurer? Why is Romilly constantly cancelling the social events? And why would a tea towel cause a boycott of the church hall? And Melissa gets in with a couple of her uplifting poems.

And all just in time for Christmas….

Trim Valley Notices : w/c 17 September

Sunday 17 : Due to ongoing copyright issues, this week’s Taize service is in the style of the Rend Collective. Please bring a beard.

Monday 18 : Beetle Drive, Lt Tremlett Church Hall, 8pm. Please bring a very small sheepdog.

Tuesday 19 : Choir Auditions at Gt Tremlett, 7.30. Can you hold a tune? Do you like singing? Will you try and do what the organist is directing? Then you’re gonna be an improvement on the current lot. Please come along before Maisie runs amok with a fire extinguisher again.

Wednesday 20 : Mothers’ Union will be re-enacting the Death of the Duke of Monmouth on the Heath, 2pm

Please note – Evening Prayer at Gt Tremlett will be at 5.09 instead of 5.07.

Thursday 21 : Harvest Auction of shrivelled marrows and mouldy raspberries, Woodby Church. Please bring small change and smaller expectations.

Friday 22 : Official Release date of “Writes of the Church”, the book that came out of this blog. All welcome to go to the BRF website (other retailers are available) and part with a hard-earned £6.99 to get something a bit like this, only funnier and printed on paper.

Saturday 23 : Mildred Flosset’s Bacon Sandwich Marathon – the Hanged Man, 1 pm. Can Mildred break last year’s record of 17? All sponsorship to be split between St Mary’s, Tremlett and the Banburyshire Chapter of Modern Paganism.

Sunday 24 : Harvest Festival at all churches at the following times:

  • Gt Tremlett : 10:08 am
  • Lt Tremlett : 9 am
  • Woodby : 11:15 am
  • Woodby Chapel : 12 noon
  • Grilsby : 8 am

All other Sunday and weekday services are cancelled so Nathan and Joanna can recover. Given that Revd Joanna is going to be leaving shortly, Nathan is desperately checking the jobs ads in the Church Times to see if he can get out before next year. We know it’s traditional for every church to have its Harvest in the morning, on the 4th Sunday of September. We know it goes back 400 years. But for pity’s sake, have mercy.

Trim Valley Notices : w/c 10 September

Sun : Please note that “Lord of the Dance” is on the order at every service today. This only counts as one tick on the “Hymn Board Bingo” competion, regardless of how many services you attend.

Mon : Was Jesus an Egyptian? Were the Wise Men time travellers? Did St Paul suffer from constipation? Mildred will share these and other ludicrous ideas in her lecture, “Books I bought from the 2nd hand stall on my holiday in Cornwall.”

Tue : Do you have an interest in drains? The Drains Working Party will be working on the drains at Woodby from 10 am. Last time, they were blocked by giant balls of badger fat – what wonders will we discover this time?

Wed : The Healing Meeting at Tremlett Well has been cancelled due to illness.

Thu : Trim Valley Baking Society will be making “Maureen’s Munchies Cakes,” with a special ingredient her husband Arthur grows on the allotment. Please bring a Mars Bar.

Fri : “Tremlett Trotters” meet for a four mile walk through Hangman’s Woods. Jeb will illustrate this walk with the history of “Ropey Kev,” the last hangman in the village, who continued to practice until 1994.

Sat : “Strictly Come Dancing” : Inspired by Revd Richard Coles, we will be holding the Trim Valley’s very own competion! Put on the spray tan! Sprinkle those sequins! Put on appropriate amounts of surgical support! It’s Bossa Nova Night!

NB : weekend leave has been cancelled for the Banburyshire Ambulance Service.

Next Sunday is the last date of the year to nominate for Witch Ducking before Tremlett Pond gets too cold. Please give the nomination forms to Dr Ireland.


Notices w/c 3 September

Please note that, just to rub it in, we will be mentioning that the kids are back to school from now till Michaelmas

Sunday 3rd : Evensong cancelled due to excessive muck spreading. You can’t get within a mile of Woodby.

Monday: Line Dancing, Tremlett Church Hall : please note this was a typo on the flyers. Melissa had actually organised “Lion Dancing.”

Tuesday: Trim Valley Wine Society “Autumn Surprise” evening. Can you tell which wine has been made from acorns?

Wednesday: Landscape Painting Society – please meet at Grilsby Sewage Works 6.30pm for “Seeing Unexpected Beauty.”

Thursday: Tremlett School Assembly in St Mary’s 9 am. Risk is at Amber so please can the Wardens provide light weight riot gear.

Friday: Washing Machine Club, Grilsby. With slides of Sibelius Bunce’s vintage Whirlpool.

Saturday 10-2 Can’t wait till Christmas to buy the junk you passed up at the fete? Come along to Little Tremlett Autumn Fayre!

Letters to the Church Magazine : September 2017

Dear Sir

I see that the Parisians have opened an “Experimental Nudist Park“.

I have no idea what an experimental nudist is. But whatever it is, at least it shows more consistency than the Church of England’s nudist female bishop.

Two years now and I’ve not seen so much as an ankle.

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett

Dear All

Further to the vicar’s announcement on Sunday. I am terribly excited to be taking on my new role as Priest in Charge of the Lambslaughter Benefice. I will of course be missing you terribly.  Except possibly for those of you who don’t think I’m a real priest or, in one particularly bizarre person’s case, a real women.

I should like to thank Revd Nathan and Bishop Brenda for the support they have given me, as I’ve ensured I find a living that fits in with the needs of my family. The views of some that “she should just go where God sends her” have been expressed to me second-hand – but God doesn’t have to get his kids to three different schools in the morning.

There have also been wild rumours that I objected to one posting on the grounds that the hot tub in the vicarage garden was the property of the previous incumbent, and would have to be removed before we moved in. This is not at all true. It was simply that when I looked into that particular vicarage, Sibelius Bunce rented out the house next door – the one with a window overlooking the garden. Ugh.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

I believe it is important that we hold our clergy to account. So when the Vicar announced he was on holiday for a fornight, I wanted to ensure he was indeed on holiday.

For this reason, the first Monday of his holiday I broke through the back larder window, and hid myself away in the attic of the Vicarage armed only with a cassette recorder, a fortnight’s supply of food and lager, and a chemical toilet.

My suspicions were confirmed when, after a week away – apparently in Minehead, but maybe he lied about this also – Revd Nathan and his family reappeared in the vicarage.

I spent the next week listening in as they family ate meals, watched TV and the vicar sobbed alone in his upstairs study and crunched Hula Hoops.

Unfortunately I am still trapped in the attic. It appears they have locked the attic hatch and seem unable to hear my cries for assistance.

I am emailing this with the last of my phone battery. Please send help.

Yours etc

Sibelius Bunce, Cold Lane, Great Tremlett

Dear Sir

Now the Vicar has returned from his holiday, hopefully thoroughly refreshed, we can all hope to hear some inspired sermons and see some real vision coming from him.

We can hope.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin’”, Great Tremlett

Dear Sir

What a pleasure once again to stand in for the vicar while he was away on holiday! And how the people of Little Tremlett enjoyed the Lauds in the Odinist Tradition!

However on the second Sunday, I am afraid I was unable to lead Evensong.

An odd occurence. I was walking along Church Lane, Tremlett when the phone rang in the red phone box.  We in the Trim Valley are proud of our traditional phone box, but it has not actually been used in a decade. However I popped in to answer.

At the other end, a female voice told me to stay in place as a lion- which had been trained to identify and eat clergymen – was running amok in the Trim Valley.

Naturally I stayed where I was – wondering what to do next – as a green gas rose from the floor and I fell asleep.

red phone box

“Beware of the Lion”

When I awoke, the entire phone box was engirdled in a number of elastic cycle luggage straps – I could not open the door, and I had to stay there until the vicar broke off his holiday and came and let me out.  Thankfully there was no sign of the clergy-eating lion.

I would like to thank the Reader, Doreen, who most kindly stepped in for me at the last minute, and even had a sermon on an apposite verse: “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. ”

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

It is with excitement, and yet with a certain sadness, that we will wave Revd Joanna off to her first posting in October.

Excitement, because it is a great adventure for her. She is a talented young woman and she and her family will be a blessing anywhere they go.

Sadness, because it means Canon Westcliffe and Doreen, our Reader, are even as I speak sitting in my living room arguing over the precise degree of “help” each will be able to offer me.

Yours etc

Revd Nathan, Tremlett Vicarage, Great Tremlett

Dear Sir

I’m planning to pop in for a service in October. Any chance somebody could run a duster round the Cholmondley Pew?

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

As the nights draw in, I think of autumns of old in the Trim Valley.

As the crops were harvested, the scarecrows were brought in from the fields and stored in the “Worzel Stalls” in the barns. Because of the old tradition that the scarecrows might be frightened in the dark, we used to lock a church warden in with them for the first three nights to keep them company.

Used to turn their hair completely white, spending all that time in a barn with the scarecrows looking at them. In these days, of course, we don’t elect churchwardens until they’re over 80, so their hair is already that colour. And we prop the scarecrows up in the pews to con ourselves the church is full at Christmas.

Ah, the old things pass away.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

Once again I offer my prayers to our Methodist friends whose “year” starts now and whose ministers take up their new posts.

Sadly the last Methodist in the Trim Valley died over 20 years ago. But I have a photo if anyone would like to know what they looked like.

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby

Dear Sir

Thankfully as the summer comes to an end, the children will be relegated back to Sunday School instead of us all “being together” for services.

It’s no good people pretending it’s all very jolly when the kids are in for the whole service. Last week I lost my voice from the sheer amount of “shushing” I had to do. Beastly.

Yours etc

Ciara Meringe, The Old Stables, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

What a Lammas Supper that was!

People have now shown me the video of the evening and I clearly had a whale of a time. I had no idea I even knew any Slovenian,

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

I have had my suspicions, over the last few years, that we are being over-liberal with the wine that is poured into the chalices on Sundays. Since the clergy are typically driving, the suspicion is that the eucharistic assistants or church wardens are over-filling the chalices before communion in order to indulge themselves in extra wine when the elements are cleared.

Inspired by the groundbreaking work of Revd Simon Harvey I have therefore been carrying out experiments to determine just how much wine the average communicant consumes.

In a typical Sunday service, our parishioners consume 7.5 ml of wine on average. Therefore by providing the ability to calculate the amount of wine supplied accurately, we are now able to save up to 55 ml of wine per Sunday – this being equivalent to a small glass – bigger than an egg cup but smaller than a tumbler.

In order to ensure these savings I have had to purchase an accurate measuring flask, and consume numerous bottles of wine. I therefore enclose an invoice to cover my outgoings, to the amount of £74.22.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

Can I say how much we will miss Father Joanna being with us when she leaves. It took some members of the church a while to realise that he was in fact a woman, what with being a priest. But after I realised that she was a real womanly woman, her presence thoroughly engaged my interest in services.

Right up to the point where Mrs Cobley-Anhall would only allow me to attend the services that Fr Nathan was leading.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

When my back is turned,
My bruises shine.
Our broken fairytale,
So hard to hide

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby

Dear Sir

Is it just me, or is there a lot of sin about these days?

Yours etc

Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett

Dear Sir

As the summer turns to autumnal quiet, a poem for the changing year,

Autumn’s Call

I lit the fire for the first time today
and it took me back to that different time
when we were young, and the sky turned grey
and the grass shone with autumn’s first rime.

When our love was young.
When our love was young.

And on that autumn day you said I was fair
and they’d said you’d be a handsome lover.
Who could say that love would be so short
and you would leave me for my brother?

When our love was young.
When our love was young.

And leaning on the spade I look to the copse
‘cross the valley – such a lovely view
I buried you out there, for fear of the cops
You forgot I had a shotgun didn’t you?

Death death death death

Death death death death.

Yours etc

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

  • Editor’s note. Mrs Sparrow may not be able to attend her reading “A Hint of Death in the Air” later this month, due to her being interviewed by Banburyshire Police.