Letters to the Church Magazine: The Big Day Approaches

Dear Sir

I was watching the Wolverhampton versus Leicester football match the other month and the linesman was quite clearly a woman. I was so angry I had to give it four months to calm down before I could hold a pen to write this letter.

How can this be allowed? The role is called, quite clearly, “linesman”. Is it for this that Glen Campbell died?

Mark my words. If we allow standards to slip like this we will soon have women as clergymen or even politicians.

Yours etc

Beryl Ferrule, Honeysuckle House, Woodby

Dear Sir

Obviously we are looking forward to Revd Rebecca’s licensing service on Sunday.

But what a shame the Bishop has seen fit only to carry out the service at Little Tremlett. Surely the least he could have done would be to carry out five licensings – one for each parish?

That way I would have been able to go along in my own village. As it is, I will have to stay at home as I always do for benefice services.

Yours etc

Gebril Grease, Mill Road, Grilsby Mill End

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The Woodby Chapel Communion Table Incident

Dear Sir

All the furore over altars has left me a little concerned.

As you all know, Woodby Chapel became a Local Ecumenical Parish in the frenzy of the 1970s Ecumenical Movement. And all the Methodists having died of old age has never dampened that ecumenical spirit.

Instead of an altar we had a folding table. But it was broken in the 1986 Beetle Drive Riot.

Do we need a faculty to get a new one? Only I’m not sure I could carry it, what with my back.

Yours etc

Celeste Champsign, Chapel View, Woodby Chapel End

The Mobile Altars

Dear Sir

I hear the PCC at Little Tremlett have decided to move to a nave altar during the vacancy, and then swear blind to the incoming vicar that it has always been there. As a result of which 50% of the congregation has walked out. Quite right. Well done to them for their principled refusal to accept these illegal changes.

Meanwhile, congratulations to our PCC at Great Tremlett for making the brave decision to get rid of the nave altar, push the High Altar up against the wall and swear blind to the incoming vicar that it’s always been like that.

As a result of these changes 50% of our congregation have walked out. All splitters and barrack-room lawyers. I would say at least it leaves more space in the pews for the people who’ve left Little Tremlett. But have to admit we had plenty of space as it was.

Yours etc

Fenella Fennel, Sukebind Cottage

Letters to the Church Magazine : January

Dear Sir

It has been a bitter harvest as we have listened to Canon Vyvyan’s sermon illustration for the thousandth time, or Doreen the Reader’s latest reflection on the thoughts of Pelagius. And we have prayed with heart and soul for a new vicar to deliver us.

After many months of desperation it is good news to hear, at this time of renewal, that the new man has been appointed. Just a shame he didn’t make it before Chrismas. If I have to hear Fr Vyvyan’s joke about the camel in his Nativity Service sermon once more, I shall grind a tooth. And it will not be one of mine.

So we look forward to welcoming Fr Rebecca to the benefice in the new year. I am sure he will fit in well.

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

We all love a traditional Christmas. But is there any chance we could get Herod out of the story next year? He really brought the nativity down.

Yours etc

Mary Mandible, Crooked Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

In the vacancy, I have been ensuring that the vicarage has been kept warm and well-maintained. So to this end I’ve had a crack team of Lithuanian plumbers and builders living in there, subsidising their rent by doing the place up a bit.

The new bathroom is excellent, and the repointing was beautifully done. So two requests: Does anyone have the space for the “lads” to move out to? They’re happy to share rooms and really useful if you need a loft extension. And when they build the wall between the vicarage and the new guest block they built in the grounds,can we all pretend it’s been there for years? It’s doing a thriving business on Air BnB and we need the money for the Parish Share. We ain’t all St Helen’s Bishopsgate. Even if Dr Ireland wishes we were.

Yours etc

Sibelius Bunce, Cold Lane, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

I note that when Revd Rebecca moves into the vicarage, she will be bringing her friend Rachel with her. I presume to keep her company and help her settle in. I hope we can ensure we make Revd Rebecca so welcome that Rachel will not be needed for long. A pretty young woman like her doesn’t need additional company when I’m sure there is a suitable eligible young man in the village. Or there would be if they hadn’t all moved to Bletchley to find more affordable housing.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin’”, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

What a delight to look forward to welcoming Revd Rebecca to our little enclave of sanity in the modern world. I shall have to shorten my sermon series, “Brexit or Bust”, to ensure it is complete before Easter. So my sermons, “Do let’s be beastly to the Germans” and “the Macabbean Rebellion: lessons in the long-term benefits of breaking free from a regional superpower” will be condensed into one super-sermon, “We may be eating our own trousers within six months but at least we’ll be able to re-nationalise the coal mines when we want to”.
During what I assume will be a short stay with us, I am sure that Revd Rebecca will be only too happy to let me assist with taking funerals and baptisms. So if you want a service conducting properly, you will still know where to come.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Noting that my replacement has been announced I have taken the liberty of letting her know all about you. But she’s still going. I suppose that sort of determination is what strengthened the martyrs.

Happy New Year. Glad you’re not here. The Hula Hoops are still lovely.

Yours etc

Revd Nathan, formerly of Tremlett Vicarage, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

People are asking why I, as a traditionalist patron, have appointed a young (for the church) woman as the next vicar. Am I going soft, they ask? Have I decided to “move with the times”?

No. It’s just the new Bishop of Banburyshire has uncovered the details of my – ahem – alternative family in Swanage. And I don’t want the news getting out of the valley.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

The “Hanged Man” Christmas Carols evening was an amazing thing. We raised more than two thousand pounds for our local charity, the Trim Valley Donkey Sanctuary. And many people who have never been into any of our churches joined in singing the ancient carols.

But where did Dolores get the words from? “Good Christians, All, Rejoice”?

Spoiled the hymn for me. And the evening. And the whole of Christmas. And, I regret to say, probably every Christmas for the rest of my life.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

It was this Christmas that really made me realise how much I have been missing Reverend Nathan. A great man. A truly meaningful preacher. And, I have to admit, the father of the child I will be bearing this month.

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby


Dear Sir

I see that the painting of the Last Supper which my dear husband loved so much has disappeared from the vestry.

When he passed out over Christmas, I gave it to the church. But now he’s sobered up, please can he have it back?

Yours etc

Ciara Meringe, The Old Stables, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Cadbuey’s Creme Eggs at 70% off and it’s probably still Advent or something. Disgraceful!

I am still on the pallet of advent calendar liqueurs I purchasdd from Mrs Patel on 2 December. If any one wants me, I am in the crypt pretending to be the Ghost of Christmas Last Week.

Bon Joué!

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


Dear Sir

Thanks to Sheridan for organising the Grown Up Nativity. Though I’m sure I deserved a better role than the back half of the donkey. Whatever the rest of the PCC said when I complained.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Know what I hate about the Nativity service? Camels!

They give me the hump.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

They said there’d be snow at Christmas. They said there’d be peace on earth.

Instead we got Brexit and Trump.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

Given that we have a new, young, female, unmarried vicar, I can see I will need to keep a close eye on the goings on in the vicarage.

Yours etc

Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

A poem for the departure of the year…

The Death of the Year

I gaze, on its death, at the year.
Which brought mostly sadness and fear.
And I wonder, as the new year draws its first breath
what shall it bring us?
Probably death.

Death death death
Death death death

A Happy New Year to you all. May you all be blessed

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

Letters to the Church Magazine: October 2018

Dear Sir

It is such a shame that the bulb has blown in the overhead projector. That projector has displayed the lyrics of songs on the wall for nearly thirty years. Indeed, it’s still mostly showing the same acetates.

However, noting that it’s so old, spares are unavailable, we must realise that it is a fad that has had its day.

My mother, Jennie, left some money in her will for me to allocate to the church “for whatever seems fit.” I have therefore purchased a laptop computer, data projector and new projector screen: all inscribed in her memory. I hope this will be a suitable replacement.

Yours etc

Christine Gringle, Dag Lane

Dear Sir

It is such a shame that the bulb has blown in the overhead projector. That projector has displayed the lyrics of songs on the wall for nearly thirty years. Indeed, it’s still mostly showing the same acetates.

However, noting that it’s so old that spares are unavailable, we must realise that we need a replacement.

Conveniently, I was considered particularly trendy in church circles in my day (which I believe was 4 March, 1972). So I am glad to present to the parish the projector we used for the Woodby Chapel production of “Hair” in that year. I hope this will be a suitable replacement. In fact, I will be mortified if it is not. That particularly embarrassing case of frostbite will have been in vain.

Yours etc

Jim Beem, Stable Lane

Dear Sir

It is such a shame that the bulb has blown in the overhead projector. That projector has displayed the lyrics of songs on the wall for nearly thirty years. Indeed, it’s still showing the same acetates.

However, noting that it’s so old that spares are unavailable, we must realise that it is a fad that has had its day.

My uncle, Cyril Dibble, left some money in his will for me to allocate to the church “for whatever seems fit.” I have therefore purchased 100 copies of the Redemption Hymnal, each individually dedicated to my uncle’s memory. I hope this will be a suitable replacement.

Yours etc

Dr Ireland, Dunphlebbin’

Dear Sir

It is such a shame that the bulb has blown in the overhead projector. That projector has displayed the lyrics of songs on the wall for nearly thirty years. Indeed, it’s still showing the same acetates.

However, noting that it’s so old that spares are unavailable, we must realise that it is a fad that has had its day.

The good news is that I have kept in my garage a job lot of the “Spring Harvest Songbook 1997”, which I had prophesied I needed for the massive revival I believed I would see in my house group as the Millennium loomed. I now realise that I had misunderstood my prophecy, and that the bringer of doom and devastation I foresaw was actually Brexit.

I have therefore inscribed each book with my best wishes to the parish, in what will be a troubling time. I hope this will be a suitable replacement.

Yours etc

Chas “Charlie” Charkles, Hangman’s Close

Dear Sir

Good news! After the discovery that the bulb had blown in the overhead projector, we thought we would need to find some replacement.

But perusing the minutes of the “OHP Purchase Sub-Committee (June 1989)”, we discovered that, in their wisdom, they had bought 400 replacement bulbs “just in case”.

Looks like we we’re good for another 12,000 years!

Does anyone have any spare acetates? We’re still just singing the original five songs. And we’re bored of “Think of a World Without any Flowers”.

Yours etc

Harvey Garvey, “Dreamboat”, Tremlett Marina

Dear Sir

I find that we need a new rota, for “which medium we shall use in Gt Tremlett for the songs each Sunday”. If anyone is foolish enough to volunteer to tread this tightrope over that valley of tears, please let me know.

Yours etc

Morgan the Warden, Rosebud Cottage

Boycotting Rota : Michaelmas to Candlemas

I would like, as magazine editor and notice sheet compiler, to apologise for the total lack of activity the last few months. I have been too busy tracking down where Revd Nathan, the former vicar, now lives so I can continue with the poison pen letters.

However I am now glad to share with you the official “reasons for boycotting” rota for the five churches for the next few months. We live in hope that a new Priest in Charge will be appointed, so we can have some new reasons.

Week Gt Tremlett Lt Tremlett Grilsby Woodby Woodby Chapel
1 Reserved for Baptisms Family Service Run by congregation All Age Service Joint service with the URC
2 “Songs of Praise” Service Harold on the Organ Baptisms Doreen leading the service Methodist guest preacher
3 Modern music Ancient music Shorter service Yeah, Baptisms Communion
4 Starts too late Starts too early BCP Modern English Just in case there’s ever a baptism
5 “All churches together” “All churches together” “All churches together” “All churches together” “All churches together”

These are for “normal” Sundays of course. We will publish the official reasons for boycotting Christmas special services next month. “Too Incarnational” has already been suggested.