Bells at the Ready

Dear Sir

As Tower Captain, I am writing to let you know the arrangements we have made to ensure bell ringing can recommence at Great Tremlett.

  1. We have restricted the number of ringers in the tower to 4 at a time. This means we cannot use all eight bells, but it is a sacrifice we realise we have to make.
  2. Each ringer only to use their allotted bell rope. No other ringer to use the same bell rope for at least 72 hours after each service, or 3 days, whichever is longer.
  3. All bell ringers to wear masks.
  4. All bell ringers to sanitise hands before and after ringing, and before and after entering the bell tower.
  5. All bell ringers to face outwards while ringing.

We hope that with these precautions, we should be able to continue ringing. Just as soon as we have some bell ringers. They walked out in 2005 and we’ve not hear a bell since.

Yours etc

Gingivitis O’Connolly, 4 Mazy Ways, Gt Tremlett.

A Realistic View of the Death Rate

Dear Sir

I heard from the media today that the death rate in England and Wales is normal again now, after so many months at an elevated level.

I would like to reassure everyone that the death rate is the same as it has always been.

We all die.

Yours etc

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

The Sweet Story of Christmas

Dear Sir

I was looking forward to the service at St Mary’s this morning. I always like to bring the grandchildren along to a service at Christmas time.

I was initially shocked to discover that the sweet young girl who welcomed us in is in fact the vicar – how did this happen?

And then imagine my further discomfort when the Gospel was about disputed parentage, a single mother and the idea of God talking to people in dreams.  This bizarre and disturbing story should have had a 15 certificate in my opinion.

In future I shall restrict my grandchildren’s visits to Easter. At least you cannot go wrong with eggs and bunnies.

Yours etc

Robert Brunchie, Middle Row, Lt Tremlett

Girl Power

Dear Sir

How lovely to hear Revd Rebecca’s first sermon in the village. Something to do with God, I dare say.

I write to complain about this morning’s service.

Out of the people associated with the leading of the service, there was Revd Rebecca, Doreen the Reader (reading the Old Testament), and Mary Morgan welcoming,. Whereas there was only David Drayne (New Testament), Rod Drayne (carrying the cross), Chester Wall and Robbie Doughnut (acolytes), Martin Keysmith (organist) and Chas (Charlie) Charkles (intercessions) for the men. The worship is already feminised beyond belief.

Mark my words, this is not the church I grew up in.
Mostly because I grew up in a Pentecostal church in Droitwich.

Yours etc

Radigard Kipling, “Kipples Corner”, Lt Tremlett

Letters to the Church Magazine : The Day Before the Vicar’s First Sermon

Dear Sir

I must say I am looking forward to hearing Revd Rebecca’s first sermon tomorrow.

However – a word of caution – she is a woman. I do worry that, without a man in the house, she may be lacking that critical input required to ensure that the sermon is not all flowery words and emotional incontinence, lacking any logical or theological rigour.
In short, if the sermon is about God loving us or some other such nonsense, I will be writing to the Church Times.

Yours etc

Jeremy Chaingang, Hanged Man Close, Little Tremlett

Letters to the Church Magazine: The Licensing

Dear Sir

What a lovely licensing service this morning! And it was so good to see the whole congregation of Little Tremlett – and even the Churchwardens from the other parishes in the group – there.

It’s sad to see that Revd Rebecca, who is clearly in her late thirties, is not yet married. We must find someone suitable with all alacrity! Obviously not in Woodby Chapel End, where the average age of the congregation is actually higher than the average age of those in the churchyard. But surely we must be able to find a lusty farmer’s lad or eligibly-divorced investment banker in the Tremletts somewhere.

On a note of caution. The Archdeacon described the lovely Rachel as Rebecca’s “civil partner”. And clearly she is very polite. But he didn’t explain what venture she was her partner in. I really think the vicar of this benefice did not ought to be  getting involved in additional business schemes. She needs to focus on the Church.

Yours etc

Rahab Cheapsteak, Flood Street, Little Tremlett 

Dear Sir

I had been looking forward to Reverend Rebecca’s licensing as our new Priest-in-Charge but now I realise she is a woman. And a slim one, without a beard.

Who is going to be Father Christmas at the Yuletide Fete now? No wonder Forward in Faith was founded.

Yours etc

Catherine Cardwallader, Stable View, Lt Tremlett

Dear Sir

How lovely to see so many parishioners come to St Mary’s this morning for the service!

One of them sat in my Aunt Angelica’s pew. Although Auntie died in 1993, she would turn in her grave.

I shall not be back.

Yours etc

Mirabella Margolyes, The Barn, Lt Tremlett

Letters to the Church Magazine : The Dark Side of a New Incumbency

Dear Sir

I note that the owners of Harry’s Razors have made over a billion pounds by sending people razor blades in the post.

Yet I sent razor blades to the former vicar over his reordering plans, and all I got was a restraining order.

Yours etc

Mariel Grudge, Gloomy Corner, Little Tremlett

Dear Sir

A poem to welcome Revd Rebecca to the Trim Valley.

Full nine months have we waited
our longing for a vicar has not abated

After our hopes became almost redundant
We now have a new incumbent.

Rebecca! Rebecca!
Your name almost rhymes with “Chewbacca”

A hard-to-fill gap in our lives
Now Peter Mayhew has died.

But still, a lesson to learn
We must all cross that bourne from which none return

Just look at all the names on the wall, Becs :
Once thriving people who are now but wrecks

You may think it’s the start of your bright young career
But in a hundred years, you won’t matter any more dear.

Death death death
Death death death
Death death death.

I was hoping it might be included in the service tomorrow, but apparently it was vetoed by the Archdeacon. I have no idea why.

Yours etc

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

Other Altar-ations

Dear Sir

I’ve seen with horror the appalling behaviour of the Tremlett villages regarding the movement of altars prior to the arrival of the new vicar.

Here in Woodby we have no such nefarious goings-on and sectarian strife. By contrast we maintain both a nave altar and a high altar, and keep everyone happy by the following compromise:

On 1st and 3rd Sundays, the priest celebrates at the nave altar, and then we all go to the high altar to receive communion.

On the 2nd and 4th Sundays, the priest celebrates at the high altar. And then we all go to the nave altar to receive.

On 5th Sundays it’s a benefice combned service, so we all stay at home.

If the new vicar asks, this has been the rule since time immemorial. And not just since February.

Yours etc

Gramsby Grumpling, The Old Gaol, Woodby

Trim Valley Notices week commencing 22/4 – And the Vicar’s Off Next Week

Sunday (4th in Easter) 

If anyone can help with the whereabouts of Canon Vyvyan, please inform the police or a passing Church Warden. He “mysteriously” vanished just before Evensong last Sunday, and he’ll be needed after next Sunday. Doreen, the reader, is denying all knowledge.


Today the Prayer Group will be praying for Saturday’s Diocesan Celebration of Lay Ministry. We need the prayer, really. Our record’s not great. Doreen has officially been labelled as a Gnostic by the diocese. The Pastoral Assistants have been suspended after the people they were visiting complained they were getting them down. And since we had a Benefice Pioneer Evangelist, 15 people have died and no new people at all have gone to four of our parishes. We can’t blame Ronni, the Evangelist, for the deaths. Although we suspect the Pastoral Assistants may be responsible for a couple.

Tuesday (advertorial)

If you’ve got a vicar arriving, or leaving, or a newby curate about to be curated, why not buy them the book of this blog? Ideally just after they’re committed to your church, so they can’t back out when they realise what it’s like. But at least they’ll have been warned. Available from the Bible Reading Fellowship, or Amazon. Apologies for banging on, but some of us have to eat.


Revd Nathan’s farewell to the Mothers’ Unions. It says here “please bring a tomato” but I’m sure that must be wrong.


Does anybody know a plumber? An English one? Then please contact Margie Mathieson, at her newly-renamed house, Brexit Towers. She refuses to use a plumber from Eastern Europe. Obviously, she would rather someone came round earlier. But at the rate the pipes are leaking we reckon the water should be up to the first floor by Thursday. And we feel like she deserves it.


Tremlett Park Naturists have their first meeting of the year. I wasn’t really sure why this was news for the church notice sheet, but then someone pointed out the very strong overlap between the membership of Naturists, and that of Grilsby Church. I can only say I’m grateful nobody has confused meetings of the two organisations.


Swamp Church, Woodby Lake. Find the glory of God in the midst of 18 inches of grubby water with oil and dead ducks floating past. I can’t tell you how pleased I’ll be when this week is over.


Revd Nathan’s farewell service.

Naturally every congregation has insisted they want their own farewell service, at their own time, in their own church. Well tough. I’m holding it in the big barn on the Cholmondeley Estate. 3pm. No other services. You can either turn up or not. I don’t care any more. I don’t have to make any of you happy. And there’s no point you boycotting because frankly my dears it won’t make any difference.


Trim Valley Notices : w/c 15 April 2018


We apologise to Canon Westcliffe for whatever accident befalls him this evening. And thank the Reader, Doreen, for coincidentally having just the right sermon etc etc. The sack is hidden in the porch at Gt Tremlett, Doreen.


The vicar returns from his post-Easter holiday.

Blessing of Bovines 10am: Viney’s Dairy, Gt Tremlett

Kid’s Praise – with Revd Nathan, Lt Tremlett 4pm

Annual Parish Meeting, Great Tremlett, 8pm


Revd Nathan’s Day Off

Hare Coursing – Wild Spinney, 7am. If anyone asks, you ain’t seen nothing.

Nursing Home Songs of Praise at St Jude’s the Obscure Nursing Home 2 pm. The vicar will be talking about “Emmaus” though nobody knows or cares who he is.

Mothers’ Union (Lt Tremlett) – Guest Speaker the Vicar. 4pm, Lt Tremlett Hall

Lt Tremlett Cubs 6pm with the vicar who will showing us how to light fires

Annual Parish Meeting, Little Tremlett, 8pm


The vicar will be attending the diocesan seminar, “Preparing for Just Giving up on the Church and leaving the Ministry, at St Slayer’s, Upper Lambslaughter.

Trim Valley Ferret Fanciers 2pm in the Ferretorium. With “Blessing of Ferrets” by the vicar

Funeral: Chelbert Diwock, 3pm at the Crematorium. Chelbert was a man of great quiet personal faith, and a noted raconteur. Is how the vicar will probably put it in his sermon. In fact, he never went to church, had illegitimate children all over the valley, and was a crashing bore all evening in the pub. The landlord at the Quiet Woman is expecting trade to double now he’s gone.

St Mary’s C of E School Governors Meeting, 5pm

Lt Tremlett Guides 6pm with the vicar who will show us a video of when he was a missionary in Ealing

Annual Parish Meeting, Woodby Chapel, 8pm


Beating the Bounds, 3pm, Woodby

Lt Tremlett Brownies – “Baking”. After the trouble when Major Tremlett showed us how to make his “special” oatmeal biscuits, the vicar will be teaching us to make rice crispie cakes

Annual Parish Meeting, Grilsby, 8pm


Grilsby Sheepdog Trials – judged by the vicar. Grilsby Green, noon. If wet, in the Reading Room

Lt Tremlett Scouts 6pm – The vicar will be introducing us to his jazz collection.

Annual Parish Meeting, Woodby, 8pm


Deanery Training Day: “Time Management in the Church”. Led by Revd Nathan, 9am – 8pm, Grilsby Parish Hall.

Spring Fayre at Woodby Chapel. To be opened by the vicar at 12 noon

” Saturday Fun” for the over 80s. To be opened in prayer by the vicar, 12 noon.

Woodby Chapel Tea 6pm – to be held this year at the vicarage. Thanks to Revd Nathan for looking after us, even when his wife won’t be around to bake the cakes as she’s staying on holiday until they move.


procession OHP

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. With cartoons by Dave Walker.