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.
Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett
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.
Revd Joanna, The Old School House, Grilsby-on-the-Hill
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.
Sibelius Bunce, Cold Lane, Great Tremlett
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.
Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin’”, Great Tremlett
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.
“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. ”
Canon Vyvyan Westcliffe (Retd) (But still available for occasional offices), The Old Vicarage, Woodby
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.
Revd Nathan, Tremlett Vicarage, Great Tremlett
I’m planning to pop in for a service in October. Any chance somebody could run a duster round the Cholmondley Pew?
Rt Hon Alicia Cholmondley-Cholmonley, Cholmondeley Manor, Woodby Chapel End.
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.
Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett
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.
Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby
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.
Ciara Meringe, The Old Stables, Gt Tremlett
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,
Major J Dumpling, “Rodney’s Rest”, Lt Tremlett
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.
Norbert Dranesqueezer, Chester St, Grilsby-on-the-Hill
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.
Tom Cobley-Anhall, “Tweezers”, Grilsby-on-the-Hill
When my back is turned,
My bruises shine.
Our broken fairytale,
So hard to hide
Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby
Is it just me, or is there a lot of sin about these days?
Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett
As the summer turns to autumnal quiet, a poem for the changing year,
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.
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.