Trim Valley Notices: w/c 24 June


We are celebrating St John the Baptist’s Day today. As otherwise it’s a long old run of boring Sundays till Advent. In the past, Revd Nathan used to transfer saints’ days if they fell on Sundays. But then he used to do the Daily Office every day. So he didn’t miss out while we were at work. Heck, some of us would transfer the Nativity to the nearest Sunday so it didn’t clash with Christmas.


Nothing is happening today.


Today is the last day to fill in your GDPR form. We have a register of all the people who haven’t consent to us to spam them with parish activities. And we’ll send Big Derek round on Wednesday to sort things out. So tick the bloody box, is our advice.


Our prayer intention for today is that our next minister has never been in a photograph dabbing. Or, indeed, trying to catch any other kind of fish.


As the World Cup Fever heats up, we’re getting down with the kids at the Trim Valley Subbuteo World Cup. If you’ve any spare players please let us know. Currently we have a team cobbled together from 1979 Wolverhampton Wanderers and Luton teams, and 9 players in a vague red colour. 7pm, Gt Tremlett Church Hall.


The Mothers’ Union performance of “Oh! Calcutta!” takes place in the Grilsby Reading Room at 8pm. You have been warned.


Trim Valley Angry Drivers’ Club meet at the roundabout in Lt Tremlett, 3pm. For a three-hour drive complaining about cyclists. The annual meal at the “Quiet Woman” will be Gammon and Chips (on the shoulder).


The Board of Former Vicars

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.

Reverend Seth
contracted Black Death.

Daniel Pricketts
passed away of rickets.

Solomon Hogg
drowned in a peat bog.

Jeremiah Rich
fell drunk in a ditch.

Rehoboam Yossarian
Murdered by a Parliamentarian.

Bartholomew Hague
dead of the ague.

Nathaniel Loach
fell off a stage coach.

Old Father Ned
A gargoyle fell on his head.

Arbuthnot Sage
died of old age.

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.


(from Melissa Sparrow’s Forthcoming Collection, A Hint of Death in the Morning)

Trim Valley Notice Sheet w/c 17 June


This week is the 10th anniversary of Revd Nathan’s ordination. We sent him a card on the occasion. But apparently he has reported the benefice as a terrorist organisation. So it came back shredded.


Most of the regular members of the Daily Offices are on holiday this week, taking advantage of the good weather before the kids are off. So if you find you’re the only one there, just follow the rules on “how to do your own Daily Service.” They’re incomprehensible since we started using Common Worship, so you might be happier just to light a candle and read a bit of the Bible.


The traditional St Romwald’s Day dog-fight is being held  in Jeb’s Shed. Don’t tell the coppers. And don’t fail to settle your losses. Being the benefice grave-digger, Jeb quite literally knows where all the bodies are buried.


The traditional Grilsby Gribble Dibbling takes place at 7pm in the Grove. If you’re Dibbling for the first time, ensure you bring no more than a 4lb gribble, according to the Trim Standard Gribble. if you’re a Flibber or a Gribblemeister, ensure your Mauves are pressed anti-clockwise. And if your flibble is left-handed please inform the Brecker before 12 noon.


No activities today due to the Gribble Dibbling on Wednesday. Well, we won’t be up to it, will we. Not with all that frattling.


Little Tremlett Raspberry Eating Contest, 8pm at the Hanged Man Inn. Rory is trying to break last year’s record. So bring your raincoat and a bucket.


Woodby Midsummer Fayre. You remember the good old days? Tail on the donkey? Hoopla? Skittles? “Who looks most like their pug” competition? Well, we’re down to just the Major busking these days. What’s the point?

Please note that the official St John’s Eve Fertility Ritual in Groper’s Hollow is cancelled. Mavis needs a new hip.


The combined Benefice St John’s Day service will be held at Great Tremlett, 10 am. So the other four parishes can stay in bed.

Trim Valley Notices w/c 10 June


Please note that the “Unforgivable Sin” is probably not the one that Dr Ireland identified when she added her own “contribution” at the end of the sermon in Gt Tremlett this morning. The Wardens would stop her making these impromptu intervention, but they’re a bit scared of her.


The final work to seal off the Grilsby plague pit completes today. Please avoid the village. We hope the inhabitants of the tent village will be back in thdir houses by Wednesday.


Gt Tremlett Popcorn Evening 5pm in the Church Hall. After all the trouble last time, please bring safety glasses and wellington boots.


Woodby Messy Church. Because there are no children in the village this should be quiet. But what the heck. Let’s eat the blancmange and dance.


The Archdeacon’s Charge to the Church Wardens. Not, as was announced last week, the Archdeacon’s Charge at the Church Wardens. Although, given what she said about the benefice last time she visited, who knows.


Ritual Cursing of National Rail. 4pm on the bridge at King’s Sutton. Please bring a bell, a book and a candle.


Open Day at Woodby Vineyard. £10 to visit and take part in the tasting session. Please can someone keep an eye on the Major to ensure he doesn’t “take advantage” like he did last year. He smelt of that ditch for weeks.

Trim Valley Notices week commencing 3 June 2018

Sunday: We know there’s no interesting special services till Advent Sunday. But please come to church. There’s bound to be something happening. Except at Grilsby. The village is still sealed off due to the plague pit.

Monday: From the creator of this blog, why not visit “Our Town Ain’t as Nice as it Used to Be“?  The Facebook page for all those people who complain their town ain’t as nice as it used to be.

Tuesday: Miss Sparrow’s latest poem recital has had to be cancelled due to so many of the attendees at the last one still being in counselling. “Your bones will crumble”, her new self-published collection, is on sale from Woodby Books. But be warned you need more ID and proof of your mental stability than you do to buy a rocket launcher in Florida.

Wednesday: Mothers’ Union Coffee Morning. In aid of decontaminating the plague pit in Grilsby and rebuilding the spire. We need £500,000. So we’ll need to sell a lot of coffee. At Little Tremlett as we can’t use Grilsby Reading Room because of the plague pit.

Thursday: Canon Vyvyan will be leading the special BCP “Prayers in Time of Pestilence” at the former site of Grilsby Church. Please wear an NBC suit in appropriate liturgical colour.

Friday: Prayer meeting for the next vicar to be a family man with a wife who can play the piano: 8pm, Dr Ireland’s house, “Dunplebbin'”

Saturday: “The Hanged Man” Darts and Hymns. 8pm. Come along, score a bullseye and get the chance to sing your favourite hymn! After last year’s event, you are reminded that you can’t just throw darts at the pianist when he’s playing “Lord of the Dance”. However tempting that is.

Letters to the Church Magazine: June 2018

Dear Sir

I listened with interest to Canon Westcliffe’s sermon on the Trinity last Sunday. But at the end, I was left with a question which he did not really answer, in my opinion.

I gathered the important distinction between “homoousios” and “homoiousios”. And Fr Vyvyan was very clear that “the Council” had defined the difference between the two.

But was that the Parish Council or the County Council?

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett

Dear Sir

I would like to apologise for that outbreak of singing in tongues in St Mary’s on Pentecost Sunday.

After 500 years to have had a spiritual experience in the Church of England like that. Really, I don’t know what I was thinking about.

Well, I do. I was thinking about the glories of God, and how God’s love flows into each of us, his children, and makes us one with God through the eternal sacrifice of Jesus and how that makes us, in the Spirit, children of God. And it all kind of bubbled to the surface.

I won’t let it happen again.

Yours etc

Mary Mandible, Crooked Lane, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

With the Vicar now safely gone I’m pleased to say that I have once again taken residence in the vicarage. I’ve got the Aga up and running so I’ve got the ability to cook and, if necessary, heating. I am now in pole position to report back on the spiritual fitness, or otherwise, of  anyone that is shown round the place as a potential incumbent. Or, if the Diocese tries to rent the place out, I can pretend the place is haunted.

I am therefore able to offer “The Watchtower” out for summer holidays in our lovely countryside. If anyone wants  a reasonable stay in a lovely inland lighthouse (no alcohol, drugs or dogs) please contact me at the address below. Don’t write to the vicarage. It will give the game away.

Yours etc

Sibelius Bunce, “The Watchtower,” Cold Lane, Great Tremlett

Dear Sir

A quick report on progress in creating the “proper” benefice profile, not the one the previous incumbent tried to foist on us.

We’ve identified that the next vicar needs to be “saintly”, a “man of prayer” and “a great leader”. But can’t decide whether “angelic” or “godly” would be the best way to describe the preaching and pastoral skills this man of God would require.

Or woman. Of course.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin’”, Great Tremlett

Dear Sir

There is something so relaxing about an interregnum in the Trim Valley! I know I should call it a vacancy, but let us not beat about the bush. It is a gap between two reigns.

Free from the curse of faculties, and having no pastoral responsibilities, I have completed four of the church alterations I planned to do during my own reign in the valley. Although the new spire on Grilsby Church fell down due to our building it on an old plague pit.

It’s a shame we have had to close the village for the duration, while the churchyard is decontaminated and the parishioners who fell in were treated. But we only lost six. So at worst a mixed blessing.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

Not missing you at all. 8 hours sleep a night and a steady job with no terrible surprises.

Yours etc

Revd Nathan, Tremlett Vicarage, Great Tremlett

Dear Sir

I note that, in the beating of the bounds a few weeks ago, several members of Little Tremlett strayed into what I can best describe as Woodby territory.

Given that a couple of them had dogs with them I thought it was best to let them have it with the 12 bore. We don’t actually have any sheep, but better safe than sorry. A collie in a field of oilseed rape can cause untold damage.

Yes they can sue. But all the local solicitors are in the Lodge. So let’s see how far that gets you. Keep off my land.

Yours etc

Sir Richmond Cholmondley-Cholmonley (Bart), Cholmondeley Manor, Woodby Chapel End.

Dear Sir

As the calendar turns, I remember the old Corpus Christi services in Great Tremlett.

The vicar would carry the monstrance aloft, followed by the deacon, sub-deacon, sub-sub-deacon, hemi-demi-semi-deacon and choir in the full golden glory of the Corpus Christi robes. They would sing the traditional Tremlett Corpus Christi Hymn, preserved through the Reformation and the Commonwealth, “Lord of the Dance”.

Meanwhile the people of Little Tremlett, protestants to the bone, would fire liquid manure at them through the traditional Tremlett Spreading Machine – a fearsome device that could send a stream of liquid muck anything up to half a mile.

The people of Great Tremlett, drunk on religion and gin, would respond by unleashing that most fearsome of liturgical weaponry, “Father William’s Howitzer”. On one occasion it destroyed the former pub, the “Gilded Bonobo”. Seventeen people died in the Tremletts that fateful Corpus Christi, but nevertheless by 7pm we were all in the Hanged Man, drinking pints of the traditional Corpus Christi Chilli Bloody Maries, all differences forgotten.

Ah, the old things pass away.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

I realised the other day that the old hymn, “The Ink is Black, the Paper’s White” is, though well-meaning, a little data.

I wrote an up to date version, “The Ink is Magenta, Cyan, Black and Yellow. The paper’s a high-quality 120gsm glossy bond suitable for printing photo-quality reproductions”.

But it doesn’t really scan. So I don’t suggest we sing it.

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby

Dear Sir

We’ve tried “Messy Church”, “Kid’s Praise”, “Christingle”, “Easter Worshops” and “Sunday Club”. But still children insist on coming to Mass on Sunday mornings.

Is it time to consider some kind of child-catcher with a net to keep them away?

Yours etc

Ciara Meringe, The Old Stables, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

I apologise for my unfortunate intervention on Pentecost Sunday. I had been on the walnut whips ever since Low Sunday and, in my ecstatic state, I thought that Canon Westcliffe was preaching a prophetic message that required my interpretation.

Listening back to the recording of the sermon, now I have come off my “walnut frenzy”, I discover that in fact it was just his usual boring sermon about how we don’t have proper spiritual gifts any more and we just have to be nice to each other with no real supernatural assistance.

And I was just shouting “Spain out of the Netherlands Now!” Which was, in retrospect, not terribly helpful.

Although I believe they have in fact left.

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

Dear Sir

I apologise for the lateness of the magazine coming out.

I had borrowed the spare funds for printing and composition to use to speculate on the Hang Seng index, in the hope of making enough profit to put the spire back on Grilsby Church, once we’re allowed back into the village.

After a roller-coaster ride, hedging against a hard Brexit and getting into petrodollars before Donald Trump sparks a world wide trade war, I have lost £74.22.

It could be worse.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

Another terrible occurrence with a novelty ring-bearer at a wedding.

Who would have thought a pack of bears could be so nasty. Apart from the Prophet Elisha.

Yours etc

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

Dear Sir

No fun, my babe no fun
No fun, my babe no fun
No fun to hang around
Feeling that same old way
No fun to hang around
Freaked out for another day.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby

Dear Sir

Sex! Sex! Sex! Sex!

I’ve not had it in years. And I don’t see why anyone else should.

Yours etc

Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett

Dear Sir

A poem for the start of summer

Sap Rising

The sap was rising, that day, don’t you think?
When the sky was blue as forget-me-nots, and the lake dark as ink.

The trees bursting into the sky,
every leaf and twig charged with life.

Sap rising.

When we were young,
and days were long

and we were fair.
And love was so very very sweet.
Sweet as the meadows, sweet as the zephyrs that blew through our hair.

But that was long ago.
Though the zephyrs still blow
Your hair
isn’t there.

The sap no longer rising.
Just fretting and subsiding.

It’s going to be a long winter.

Death death death death
Death death death death
Death death death

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

Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews. The book to make you laugh, think or possibly gnaw the back of the pew in front. Written by the creator of the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley (and this blog of course). Awesome cartoons by Dave Walker.procession OHP