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

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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

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

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

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

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