What a lovely service that was to say goodbye to Revd Nathan. I think I can say – and I don’t imagine that anyone in the Trim Valley will disagree with me – that he is the finest minister we have had in living memory.
Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett
I can remember the vicars of Tremlett going back to the 19th Century. And none came close to Revd Nathan.
A giant of a man. We are the poorer for his departure to work in an own-brand Hula Hoops factory.
Mary Mandible, Crooked Lane, Gt Tremlett
In keeping with tradition, now that the vicar is leaving I am going to take residence in the kitchen of the vicarage. This is to ensure that it does not suffer from burglars. And also to get a first glimpse of any candidates for the vacancy. Also it is useful as I can pretend to be the ghost if the diocese tries to rent the place out in the interim. I am happy to make this sacrifice in the interests of the benefice, with no thoughts of personal reward.
If you know anyone would like to rent my house in Cold Lane as a holiday home, please let me know. You can get me on the vicar’s number.
Sibelius Bunce, Cold Lane, Great Tremlett
I read that the Evangelicals are trying to take over the Church of England. Can somebody please tell Angela Tilby that, in this village at least, it is “Mission Accomplished”. Come on in, the water’s full of adult baptisms!
Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin’”, Great Tremlett
Once again I am happy to step in to take services during the “interregnum”. I know the trendy term for the gap between two vicars is “vacancy”. But let us be honest. If the clergy cannot rule their parishes like absolute monarch, this is not the Church of England I grew up in.
It will be a joy to be of assistance. As well as a considerable boost to my pension. And, for a few weeks, it will be delightful not to be looking over my shoulder on the way to Evensong in case I case I should be unexpectedly imprisoned in the Post Office, tied to a tree in the forest, or trapped in a giant bottle underwater. Doreen will be busy enough to leave me alone.
Canon Vyvyan Westcliffe (Retd) (But still available for occasional offices), The Old Vicarage, Woodby
Thank you for what I’m sure will have been a deeply uninspiring send off. I’m writing this letter in mid April to try to avoid having to pretend I’m sad after my final service.
It is traditional and right that a departing minister thoroughly separates him or herself from the benefice at the end of their time. In one sense this is very easy. I never regarded any of you as friends. But to be on the safe side, I’ve also taken out an injunction. If any of you attempt to contact me in any way, you will be in contempt of court. You’re all blocked and reported on Twitter and Facebook, of course.
I pray that my successor may have the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon and the hide of a hippopotamus.
My last act before leaving here will be to send the collection of 247 anonymous letters to Banburyshire Police. With any luck, future technology may be able to identify the DNA of the users of the crayons.
Revd Nathan, Tremlett Vicarage, Great Tremlett
I am told to keep this a secret. But it turns out the Bishop is condsidering doing a bit of a merger of the Trim Valley with the Old Wold benefice.
Obviously I am deeply concerned about this. I am not the patron of any parishes in Old Wold. And I don’t see why I should be encouraging my younger son, Chumley, to pretend to be a Christian if I can’t ensure he is the vicar in a few years.
As I say, pretend you never heard this. But I’ll have a few words at the Lodge and see if we can’t get this sorted out.
Sir Richmond Cholmondley-Cholmonley (Bart), Cholmondeley Manor, Woodby Chapel End.
When May Eve came round in the Trim Valley, it used to be a great time. The hedges were heavy with hawthorn blossom, and the meadows were carpeted with cowslips. We’d all run off into the woods with whomever we could find and, a few months later, the banns would be read for those who’d been unlucky. Or, if it were the vicar who’d found a young lady for the evening, the PCC would quietly arrange an adoption.
Now, the young people sit at home on Social Media and there’s never a woman under thirty having children. And the whole inbreeding issue has stopped since that nurse gave a lecture in the Church Hall in 1974.
Ah, the old things pass away.
Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett
I will truly miss Reverend Nathan. What a great, prophetic preacher he was. We will be fortunate indeed if his replacement comes even close.
Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby
With the church entering this interregnum – a term that seems deeply ironic as Nathan never exactly reigned – this seems to be the time to put back everything to where it was before he arrived, and swear blind that’s how they always were.
So I’ve got the pews back out of the barn if Jeb can drive them up and fit them. Does anyone remember where the Songs of Living Waters are? We can get a few quid for the data projector I reckon. And those copes are definitely going on eBay.
Ciara Meringe, The Old Stables, Gt Tremlett
Easter eggs at 70% off and it’s still not even Advent. Disgraceful!
Yesterday I had to eat six “Belgian Chocolate” ones and all the little chocolates inside. And I wish to remain in the European Union.
Major J Dumpling, “Rodney’s Rest”, Lt Tremlett
Once again we had an expensive gift being given to a minister on his departure. And yet did I misinterpret his expression, or did Revd Nathan look disappointed at that family pack of Hula Hoops? I thought he liked them.
I am pleased to say that by putting the bicycle he originally asked for on eBay, we saved the churches the sum of £74.22.
Norbert Dranesqueezer, Chester St, Grilsby-on-the-Hill
I note that we now get Canon Vyvyan to take services every week. The fee for which gets taken out of the Parish Share. And he has his own house which we don’t have to pay for.
Shall we just sell the vicarage and tell the diocese not to bother with a replacement? Should save a few bob.
Tom Cobley-Anhall, “Tweezers”, Grilsby-on-the-Hill
We were at the beach.
Everybody had matching towels.
Somebody went under a dock. And there they saw a rock.
It wasn’t a rock.
Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby
As we start to plan for the proper Parish Profiles we should consider what kind of minister we want. One with a deep voice, three children, and a wife who is the mother of those children would seem to be a minimum. But do we think a fourth child would be even better?
Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett
A poem for the departure of Revd Nathan
The Leaving Priest
Another name added to the list of priests
Written on the church wall
And as they shine there,
glinting in the light that creeps through the eastern rose
I read the litany of their names.
Eardwulf of Banbury is no more
Simon de Longueville died at three score
Robert de St Cast wasn’t much stronger
Gilbert of Lincoln didn’t last longer.
Mark of Brackley is under the nave altar
And so are John James, and Benjamin Walter.
Roderick Cholmondely, from our squires’ line bred
proved that blue blood is as mortal as red.
And old Fr Ed, and long ago Athelred
They’re all of them dead.
Dead dead dead dead.
Fr Vyvyan’s still alive
But doesn’t really thrive.
Melissa Sparrow (Mrs), The Hollow, Grilsby-on-the-Hill