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
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

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One thought on “Letters to the Church Magazine: June 2018

  1. Pingback: Trim Valley Notices week commencing 3 June 2018 | Writes of the Church

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