Letters to the Church Magazine: Synod Special

Dear all

Being fortunate enough to get a preview of the “case studies” that the Church of England Synod is discussing today, I was able to run them past Monday night’s Great Tremlett PCC.

For each of the case studies, I asked the PCC to role-play their approach.

The results were oddly consistent. For each study they told me how wise old Canon Westclyffe was when he was in charge, and this sort of thing would never have caused a problem.

Yours etc

Revd Nathan, The Rectory

 Letters to the Church Magazine: February 2017

Dear Sir

Anyone can forget to switch their phone to “silent” before they go to church. We should all forgive them that simple mistake.

But actually taking the call. That’s a bit much. The correct response is an embarassed, whispered apology while switching the phone off. Not answering it and dealing with a three minute discussion about the plumbing.

But during the sermon? That’s just plain rude.

What was  the vicar thinking of?

Yours etc

Maisie Daisy, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

The last PCC may have set some kind of record.

Three resignations by church officers. And all over the question of the cost of the candles over Christmas.

Paying for all the farewell cards is itself now a strain on the expenses of the church. That’s why I have been investigating the possibly of producing cards for outgoing church officers “on the spot” on the printer in the church office.

In the process of carrying out these experiments, I have of course incurred some expenses. I therefore include an invoice to the value £74.22. The good news is that, now I have been elected treasurer, I will have less trouble getting reimbursed.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

In these troubled times, we need strong leadership more than ever.

I have been pushing the details of job opportunities in other counties through the Vicar’s door since November. When will he take the hint?

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbing”, Lt Tremlett



Dear Sir

I apologise for the over-excitement I showed last Sunday when we had a visit from a lovely group of Anglican nuns.

I had consumed a gallon of my friend Daniel Winship’s crab-apple cider and I am afraid he may have left the fungal “bloom” on the skins. With the result that I thought the church had been occupied by a group of oversized mutant badgers.

In retrospect, chasing a group of terrified, whimpled octogenarians from the church with a candlestick is not the highlight of my previously distinguished military career.

Yours etc

Major J Dumpling, “Rodney’s Rest”


Dear Sir

I don’t know which is worse.

The hysteria that Norbert exhibited at Tremlett Stores when I was buying a packet of sanitary towels. He having presumably deduced that this means I am a sexually mature woman and not some kind of robot or disembodied spirit.

Then his offer to carry my basket back to the car in case I was “feeling a bit weak.” I hope the right hook he received put him right on that matter.

Yours etc

Revd Joanna, The Old Chapel, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I was shocked by the Vicar’s performance at the Church Quiz.

A whole round I set on “The History of the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion.” And he didn’t get a single question right. I thought he was a man of the cloth.

Yours etc

Charmander McBrayne, Woodby Lane, Grilsby


Dear Sir

Clearly Revd Nathan has been trawling the internet again for the lyrics to modern songs, as printed on the service sheet. How else to explain the references to a “neighbor”? If St Paul had known we would sing about ” blessing and honor” I do not suppose he would have bothered writing Romans at all.

Really, Wycliffe would turn in his grave. If they hadn’t thrown his bones in the river. I used to be in  the Home Office.

Yours etc

Chas “Charlie” Charkles, Hangman’s Close, Gt Tremlett

Dear Sir

Once again a delight to cover for the current Vicar, as he hid himself in his study to deal with six months of administration and claimed he was “on post-Xmas holiday”.

The people at Woodby were so delighted when we restored the use of Lauds instead of the degenerate modern worship they have been used to! 

But a strange thing occurred as I was setting off to Great Tremlett on the Sunday morning. I was stopped by the police in Woodby Lane and told that, under President Trump’s ” Hatred of Foreigners Act” I had to be arrested.

I spent the next four hours tied and gagged in a ditch until a passing cyclist heard my cries for help.

In retrospect I am not sure that was a real police car. It was a 1980 Mini Metro. And the blue flashing light was probably a bike lamp with some kind of blue scarf wrapped round it.

The good news is that the Reader, Doreen, was able to step in and lead the service for me. And even had  a sermon conveniently written for the week! What a treasure she is.

Yours etc

Canon Vyvyan Westclyffe (Retired but still available to take properly-run Occasional Offices), The Old Vicarage, Woodby
Dear Sir

Week five of the vicar’s plan to “make the church more open, less set in its ways.” And there are certainly radical results.

The vicar’s theory, to give us new perspectives on church, was that every week we should sit in a different pew to our traditional place. Well he’s right. I’ve got very different perspectives. In just five weeks.

It is very peaceful staying at home on Sundays. And I get to stay in bed a lot later.

Yours etc

Gabrielle Fitch Thompson, the Old Market House, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

I may have caused some distress and confusion to Revd Joanne at the Burns Night celebration in the Church Hall. Blame it on the moonlight, blame it on the good times, blame it on the whisky.

I remarked to our lovely lady curate that I didn’t know how she had time and energy for it – what with her four children, full-time ministry and hospital chaplaincy. Said she must be absolutely exhausted at night and  just ready to sleep.

What I was referring to was her prayer life. There was absolutely no need for her to set fire to my tie.

Yours etc

Philemon Doyle, Chestnut Lane, Lt Tremlett 


Dear Sir

You’d better watch out, you’d better beware.

Albert said that e = mc squared.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

When I heard that the vicar was now allowed to conduct “informal prayers of blessing” I presumed he was referring to rabbit weddings.

Now it turns out that the Church of England was talking about blessings for gay couples.

Not rabbits.

Once again, nobody cares about the rabbits. I suppose they do not buy enough cakes.

Yours etc

Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

A little poem for St Valentine.

Roses are red
Violets are blue.
Most things are dead
soon we will be too.

Death death death

Death death death

Death death death

Death.

And some nice chocolates.

Yours wishing you a loving “special day”

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

Letters to the Church Magazine: January 2017

Dear Sir

A couple of years ago, a row of coniferous trees was planted along the northern edge of Gt Tremlett churchyard.

I am pleased to see that they have settled in nicely and are already attracting the wildlife. What an addition they have been to our village! I was impressed with the idea from the start.

Yours etc,

Fennel Bailey, The Old Orchard House.


Dear Sir
Thanks to everyone in the “Golden Girls” over-80s Bingo group for their fund—raising event for the new kitchen. In retrospect, the sponsored Bog Snorkel through Tremlett Marsh may have been ambitious. Still, adding two legacies to the sponsorship money has brought in a tidy sum.
Yours with the funeral fees,

Revd Nathan, The Rectory, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Over the last year, the Church Wardens have given me many reasons why there are only 27 people in Church on a Sunday:

  • Weather too hot
  • People on holiday
  • Weather too cold
  • Rain
  • Children playing football on Sunday mornings
  • Everyone too hung over after the Harvest Supper
  • Everyone gone away for Christmas
  • “A rumour went round that the bishop would be here so they’ve stayed away”

I suspect that there are only in fact 27 church members, but the vicar is trying to keep this a secret.

Yours with the counting machine,

Philemon Doyle, Chestnut Lane, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

With a new year comes a new resolution!

I suggest one for the vicar.  Why does he not visit every single house in the benefice, every month? In this way he will be achieving the church’s mission, getting himself fit, and – most of all – doing his job.

Old Fr Honeywicke managed to visit everybody in the parish every month in 1935. Admittedly he had just the parish of Grilsby, and only nine people lived there in those days. But Revd Nathan has a car. There is no excuse.

Yours etc

Charmander McBrayne, Woodby Lane, Grilsby


Dear Sir

How I loved the traditional Christmas events! And yet at this time of purity and holiness, I bet some members of the congregation were still considering the sins of the flesh.

I did invite everyone to fill in a questionnaire – “How long is it since you succumbed to the temptations of your lower beastly nature?” I thought it would help the vicar to get some better control over his congregation’s enthusiasms – something he has paid no attention to over the last few years.

But only one person – Mrs Sparrow – filled it in. And included far more detail than I was expecting. I have not been able to sleep for a week since reading it. I suspect I now understand how Mr Sparrow feels.

Yours etc

Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

I can only apologise for my behaviour at this time of festive celebration.

I know I have occasionally allowed my susceptibility to aromatic substances and ardent spirits to influence my behaviour in church and around the village. So this December I felt sticking to natural, wholesome produce would be sure to keep me on the straight and narrow. I kept to a strict diet of the mushrooms I found growing under the compost bin.

I have no idea what possessed me to scream “Aliens! Run!” throughout the Christingle. Nor challenge my friend Mr Charkles to a  throwing competition. I apologise to Maisie, and promise that if I every throw Christmas Puddings competitively again, I won’t light the brandy first.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Once again Dr Ireland has posted a list of the year’s “notorious sinners” around the village. I would like to make it clear that I have no interest in Mrs Dermer, except as a faithful member of the congregation and able mezzo soprano.

Yours etc

Revd Nathan, the Rectory, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I see the Creme Eggs have appeared in the shops. Outrageous, at this time of year. If they came out in early December, I could eat them at Christmas.

Yours etc

Solomon Snodgrass, Station Road, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Thanks for letting me advertise our inter-faith event on 2nd February: “Imbolc Awareness”.

If you’re coming please bring a lamb and some mint sauce. “Cutlery” will be provided.

Yours etc

Mildred Flossett (Mothers’ Union Branch Secretary), Jasmine Road, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
‘This could be heaven or this could be Hell.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

A new year brings a new one of my famous “vicar jokes.

Q: What’s black and white and flat out?

A: The vicar on Christmas Day after lunch.

Yours etc

Tom Chancellor, Primrose Path, Woodby


Dear Sir

A poem at the end of a year of goodbyes.

“2016”

David Gest, David Bowie,

Carrie Fisher, Cliff Mitchelmore,

Arnold Palmer. Jean Alexandra,

Paul Daniels, Zsa Zsa Gabor

Jimmy Perry, Bobby Vee,

Jimmy Young and Harper Lee,

Rick Parfitt, Peter Vaughan,

Liz Smith, Caroline Aherne,

Johann Cruff – magician with a ball

“Boutros Boutros-Ghali” to you all.

Death death death

death death death

death death death.

Death.

Wishing you a joyful 2017.

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


Dear Sir

What a lovely Christmas Nativity Play that was! Seeing the little ones so nervous, and yet so proud as they told us the greatest story every told! And what a nice twist – the baby Jesus receiving a Hatchimal along with the more traditional gifts. You have to move with the times, while keeping the important ingredients of the season.

Although I am a regular Christmas attendee, I will certainly be joining the congregation more often in the New Year!

Yours etc

Jasmine Jones, “Chitterings”, Wheezy Lane, Gt Tremlett

Letters to the Church Magazine: December 2016

Dear Sir

The people who have voted for Donald Trump in the United States seem to have disliked Mexicans, Muslims and gay people. This is outrageous. There are far more people that need to be put on a register. These include:

  • Catholics
  • Radicals
  • Catholic Radicals
  • Catholic Radicals in Chasubles
  • Giles Fraser
  • Agnostics
  • Writers of acrostics
  • Funambulists
  • Acrobats
  • Clowns
  • Choir members who are allergic to cats
  • Gays
  • Greys
  • People who drink Thatcher’s “Haze”
  • People from Bakewell
  • Drivers who don’t brake well
  • Nicolaitans
  • Appalachians
  • People who dress up as Father Christmas at the slightest excuse
  • Environmentalists

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

When will Revd Nathan ever make it into social media or the television as a celebrity vicar?

How can we hope to develop a radical new mission strategy if Natahn’s face is unfamiliar to the typical chap on the Tremlett Circuit Bus (now defunct due to austerity measures at Banburyshire Council?)

He hasn’t even got onto the Gafcon list of Notorious Sinners. At the least, maybe he could shave his legs or wear a feather boa.

Yours etc

Gabrielle Fitch Thompson, the Old Market House, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

 After the unfortunate double-booking of the Church Hall, I am afraid the Rabbit Breeders Club next few meetings will be cancelled. The Banburyshire Ferret Fanciers would like to apologise.

On the bright side, Flossy and Scut did survive the Bunny Apocalypse so we hope the Rabbit Breeders will be back to full strength next summer.

Yours etc,

Fennel Bailey, The Old Orchard House, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Last week’s service sheet referred to a “narthex” when we clearly have a “vestibule.” This would never have been allowed at St Martin in the Fields. I used to be in the Civil Service.

Yours etc

Chas “Charlie” Charkles, Hanged Man’s Close, Gt Tremlett.


Dear Sir

Players, put yo’ pinky rings up to the moon
Girls, what y’all trying to do?
Twenty four karat magic in the air
Head to toe soul player
Look out uh.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

As Christmas approaches, once again I realise that I have totally failed to attend worship at St Mary’s since that lovely Nativity Play.

Still, not long now.  I always look forward to seeing how they’ve grown!

Yours etc

Jasmine Jones, “Chitterings”, Wheezy Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

When I first left the army I got into the habit, every Christmas, of buying a bottle of white wine for every member of the last battery I commanded. A tradition I have continued ever since.

Of course, as time has gone by the number of my old colleagues has reduced until, these days, there are only 17 of them left. This leaves me a lot of wine to drink myself, but these old traditions have to be kept up.

With any luck I hope I shall be able to focus again by Candlemas.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

My nephew Wilbur kindly let me borrow his computer to look at the Church website. Once again, nothing to see.

Wilbur has suggested that this may be because I do not have broadband. But I do not want to rush into things.

Yours etc

Chesney Peterson, Walnut Grove, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

During the winter the heating bill rises steeply – causing a substantial increase in our running costs.

We could easily make savings if we cancel all services from December to April. Of course, we should still hold the Nativity Play. We can keep people warm by burning the chopped up old choir wardrobes.

In order to chop up the wardrobes I did have to buy  a  cheap but functional chainsaw. I therefore include an invoice to the value of £74.22.

I would like to apologise to the choir for the state of their robes.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Our “Bring a Friend to Harvest” missional activity was both a massive success and total failure.

Everybody brought a friend. But they were all friends who already come to Church.

Next year’s missional drive will be called “Find Some More Friends Who Aren’t Christians Sunday.”

Yours etc

Chloe Joey, “El Nino Cottage”, Woodby Chapel End 


Dear Sir

I hear that Miss Joey is suggesting we should make friends with non-Christians. A terrible idea! As the Apostle said, “Do not be yoked with unbelievers.” We should pray for people to become Christians, and then become their friends and take them to Church.

Yours etc

Mary England,  Carstairs House, Woodby

Letters to the Church Magazine: November 2016

Dear Sir

I do not understand why we have so few young people attending church in Woodby nowadays.

We had decided to bring the worship up to date. We have a “music group” consisting of two women playing tambourine and a male accordionist. We regularly play only music that was written in the 1970s.

Why are the young people still not coming to church?

Yours etc

Anna Kee, Chafing Lane, Woodby, UK


Dear Sir

The rise of chutney stalls at the Christmas Fayre has, of late, been something to behold. I blame the ready availability, in these amoral days, of tomato plants and pickling vinegar. Can I propose a maximum of twenty jars of chutney per stall? Any more than that and the Major will have another of his “binges”.

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

I dropped into last week’s jumble sale. I had no idea what jumbles are – some sort of relative of the Jumblies in the Edward Lear poem, I presumed. And I wondered whetther they had the green heads and blue hands of their cousins.

Instead when I got there all I saw was old women selling tatty jumpers and other such brocante. There was a sieve for sale, but no sign of any nautical activity. I was most disappointed.

Yours etc

Rt Hon Alicia Cholmondley-Cholmonley, Cholmondeley Manor, Woodby Chapel End.


Dear Sir

Surely innovations in the Church have gone too far. In which Synod of the Church was it decided that breastfeeding infants was acceptable?

The young lady concerned had the offending infant under a blanket throughout the entire operation, it is true. But it was still clearly happening. Put me right off the service. I yearn for the good old days before breastfeeding was invented.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Every Saturday, four or five people come to church to sweep the floor, polish the candles and other metal fittings, and generally get the place ready for Sunday. They are stalwarts of the church.

But what on earth do they think the clergy are for?

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby


Dear Sir

What a masterpiece of negotiation and democracy! I refer, of course, to the new monthly “family service” at Little Tremlett.

Because the Vicar wanted a modern worship group, and the organist did not want to reduce his input into the service, a compromise was required. I am glad to say we found one.

Now, each First Sunday, we sing 7 modern choruses, plus 5 hymns. The service now lasts nearly two hours, and the only people who attend are musicians. But at least, through tolerance and love, we have modelled the kingdom!

Yours etc

Marais de Sandeman, The Old Brewhouse, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir
Ah, the mellow, nostalgic days of autumn! Walking back from church last week I smelt the aroma of the apples in the vicarage garden and it took me back to those times – long and merry ago, now – when I used to “scrump” from the old vicarage orchard in Father Tranwell’s time.

Of course these days, climbing over the vicarage wall is not as easy as it once was. So I called into the Hanged Man for some lubrication before attempting a recreation of my youthful exploits. After five hours, I felt sufficiently lubricated.

In the old days, “Buffy” and I would climb to the top of the trees to get the ripest apples. Of course, Fr Tranwell’s trees were old-fashioned standard trees, twenty or thirty feet high. These modern “bush” trees are not so high. Nor, it seems, so sturdy. When I woke, I realised I was in the midst of five or six flattened apple trees, sitting in the dusk in the vicarage garden.

The other game “Buffy” and I would play – when the vicar was out! – was to throw apples over the vicarage roof for the other to catch. Sadly Buffy is no longer with us after that incident with the Swedish navy and the paddling pool. So it was down to me to recreate the  good old days by heaving apples over the vicar’s roof.

By all accounts it was a Bramley that knocked Revd Nathan out as he left the church for Evensong. whereas the people getting off the Banbury bus were taken out by the volley of Ashmead’s Kernels.

I would like to apologise to the vicar, the evening congregation, and indeed  the entire village.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

What’s black and white and goes up and down?

The vicar with his foot caught in a bell rope!

Yours etc

Jeremy Stairswell, Crow Lane, Grilsby on the Hill


Dear Sir

It’s hard to believe that there’s nobody out there. It’s hard to believe that I’m all alone
At least I have her love, the city, she loves me. Lonely as I am, together we cry.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

I am sorry to announce the disbanding of the Interfaith Group.

There’s only Mr Patel at the shop who’s a member of a non-Christian congregation. And he says he doesn’t really believe in any of it. I did tell him neither do we; but he didn’t care.

I am now starting a new Buddhism Group in the village hall. If this catches on, in a couple of years it might be worth starting the Inter Faith group again.

Yours etc

Romilly Randers, Cave Road, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

The news story about Kumbuka the Gorilla gripped the nation last month. A 29 stone gorilla on the loose in Camden – how could he possibly last more than ten minutes? I had visions of him resorting to pushing canabbis on the Regents Canal towpath.

I attribute his survival entirely to the intercession of his patron saint, the martyred Harambe the Gorilla. Surely more proof that the Vatican should act now to progress his canonisation.

Yours etc

Barbara E Ape, “Tiggywinkles”, Meadow Leys.

Letters to the Church Magazine – August 2016

Dear Sir

The recent “Brexit” vote appears to have been swung by the number of people who voted in the belief that a “Leave” vote meant many people from other countries would have to leave. This attitude is deplorable. There are far more people we should be looking to remove. Specifically:

  • Liberals
  • People who wear chasubles
  • Liberals who wear chasubles
  • Giles Fraser
  • Organists
  • Nudists
  • Nudist organists
  • People who are still ripping off jokes from “Reggie Perrin” 40 years on
  • Atheists
  • Socialists
  • Nudist atheist socialist organists
  • People who read the New International Version of the Bible
  • Animal Liberationists
  • The quiz show “Pointless”, which accepts people even if they are in the groups above
  • People who can’t quite hit high F# but keep trying
  • Lesbians
  • Thespians
  • Pedestrians
  • Latvians.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

Once again six months have passed and Revd Nathan has not made it into the news.

In these days when there are many famous, attractive priests on the telly I feel he is not trying hard enough. He should maybe rob a bank, become a pop star or develop a radical  theory that St Timothy was Welsh.

Yours etc

Gabrielle Fitch Thompson, the Old Market House, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

I note from last month’s magazine that every inhabitant of Woodby Chapel End is now past the age of retirement. A remarkable tribute to the attractiveness of the village, its health-giving climate and the way our beautiful Trim Valley encourages active lives even in the 8th and 9th decades.

Of course the downside is that property prices are stupidly expensive now, and nobody else can afford to retire there! Like me.  That’s why I’m starting a course on “Extreme Eurythmics” in the chapel hall on Wednesdays at 8.

Yours etc,

Fennel Bailey, The Old Orchard House, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

The hymn sheet on Sunday said “Savior”, not “Saviour”. Clearly the vicar had downloaded the song from an American website. It could have been owned by Donald Trump.

I used to work for the “Socialist Worker” newspaper. This would never have been allowed.

Yours etc

Chas “Charlie” Charkles, Hanged Man’s Close, Gt Tremlett.


Dear Sir

My oh my, you’re such a big boy
On a Saturday night.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

It has been seven months since Christmas and I regret that I have not managed to return to St Mary’s since that lovely Nativity Play.

Wherever I have been since that beautiful performance – on holiday, away on business or (typically) in bed – I have always intended to pop into a Sunday service. I am sure I will make it before next Christmas.

Yours etc

Jasmine Jones, “Chitterings”, Wheezy Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

That is a fantastic new  range of polish the church cleaners are using. After a hard day at the allotment, I have found there is nothing like having a quick “buffing up” with the brass cleaner. Quite sets me up for the evening.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

I hear that the new version of the Church website has been cleverly programmed so that it can be viewed on a phone! What will our social medium, Doris, think of next. I tried to look at it on my phone but where will it appear? All I can see is some numbers. Do I need to look down the receiver?

Yours etc

Chesney Peterson, Walnut Grove, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Is it just me that has noticed that, increasingly, there is nothing to do with the smaller decimal coins – 1p, 2p and 1/2p? Certainly I have been spending a lot of time moving it around on the sideboard without ever quite getting round to spending it. When one buys the weekly shop or, as it may be, a round at the Hanged Man, with a bagful of pennies people can get quite annoyed. And lots of small change can wear holes in one’s trousers.

Which is why last year I came up with the concept of the “Change Bucket” in the church porch. Over the last 12 months we have raised £5.33 in loose change from passers-by!

Of course, to prevent theft I had to have the bucket made out of stainless steel, fastened by a five-level padlock, and brazed to the railings – and had to get a faculty to do so. I therefore include an invoice for the treasurer to the value of £74.22.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

After twelve months we have decided to stop the “Messy Church” at Woodby Chapel due to low attendances. People told us we were foolish to try, that it had never worked before and that it was against God’s law. But we are not disheartened. It is still my fervent belief that we have a mission to the young families of the village.

Yours etc

Chloe Joey, “El Nino Cottage”, Woodby Chapel End 


Dear Sir

Once again the vicar has been suggesting that we should put money into the collection plate – on the flimsy grounds that this will enable the church to pay the wages of priests. When will this naked socialism end? Why can the church not pay him out of its own money?

Yours etc

Mary England,  Carstairs House, Woodby

Letters to the Church Magazine – July 2016

Dear Sir

Candles are expensive. We use two candles on the altar, two around the altar, and two for the acolytes. That’s six candles lit every week. It soon adds up.

I have invented viable solar-powered candles by embedding LED lights into the tops of wax candles, and solar panels and batteries into the candlesticks. Their use would save an average of £14.22 per annum. Services would have to be shorter in the winter, but nobody would mind.

In the course of my experiments I have run up some expenses. I therefore include an invoice for £74.22.

Yours etc

Norbert Dranesqueezer, Chester Street


Dear Sir

The middle of the summer and still we have not seen a nudist bishop, despite all the promises earlier in the year.

This is not what I pay my entrance fee for.

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

My seventeen-greats grandfather built Woodby Chapel so he could have a church conveniently placed next to his house. He then knocked down all the copyholders’ cottages so he did not have to put up with the site and smell of the peasants, except on Sundays and at Christmas.

And yet, when I asked the vicar if we could hold our Sunday service on Mondays, when he is less busy, he said he was afraid not.

If one cannot get one’s own clergy to do what they are told, I no longer know what the Church of England stands for.

Yours etc

Rt Hon Alicia Cholmondley-Cholmonley, Cholmondeley Manor, Woodby Chapel End.


Dear Sir

So many people telling us how great it was to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday with a special church service.
A special united benefice-and-ecumenical church service. If it had not been that the people from all the other churches refused to turn up, St Mary’s could have been full.
On balance, I am glad we marked her Majesty’s 90th. But I hope we do not do it every year.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

In my 66th year as Church Warden, people often ask me how I manage to keep St Leodegarius so neat and tidy.

It’s simple. I have persuaded the local builders that I am a witch, and they carry out free maintenance as long as I do not put a curse on them.

Obviously, I am just using simple suggestion. And the week that Young Larry the bricklayer spent as a 6 foot tall Rhode Island Red chicken was a coincidence.

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby


Dear Sir

I would like to apologise for the Children’s Church presentation of “Our Glorious Queen” at the 90th Birthday service.

In our rehearsals they had pretended to be corgies, they waved Union Jacks and sang “Happy Birthday Dear Ma’am.” I suspect they got their ideas from Mr Corbyn, the “trendy” teacher at Tremlett Primary. But calling for “class war” and a republic. and demanding that the “Hanoverian leeches cease feeding on the blood of the working class” was definitely not in the script the previous Sunday.

Yours etc

Cassandra Chamois, Peanut Cottage, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

I heard that the wardens at Woodby were having trouble with bats.

Bats can be seen as a nuisance – their droppings mean that all items of value have to be covered, and they make an awful mess on the church floor. But they are rare animals, and protected by law.

That is why I nipped in when the church was unlocked and shot the lot with an air gun. Figured that would save the vicar and church wardens a lot of trouble.

Ask no questions etc….

Yours etc

The “Masked Avenger”


Dear Sir

An apology and a plea, after last month’s celebration of  Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.

I now know that by “Joint Service”, what was meant was a service with our ecumenical friends, and the other parishes in the benefice.

I realised my mistake when, handing out a few spliffs, people pointed out to me that the Health Act 2006 made the tobacco element illegal in church. Also, the Baptists complained, thinking it was incense. Although when I handed out the “turbo chocolate brownies”  instead, I did get an invitation to contribute to the next fete cake stall.

As a result of my mistake, and the subsequent raid by Her Majesty’s Constabulary (ironic considering whom we were celebrating) I am £100 worse off. Also I now have quite a lot of space in my greenhouse. So if anyone has a few tomato plants they can let me have, I will be grateful.

Yours etc

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


Dear Sir

In the light of the Referendum result I am sad to announce that our old friends the Club des Randonneurs  de St Cast will not be accepting our annual invitation to join the Trim Valley Trotters on the annual “Friendship Wamble”.

On the bright side, we didn’t really like them. It’ll be a relief to do the rounds without them this year.

Yours etc

Romilly Randers, Cave Road, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

At this summer time, our thoughts turn to the seaside; the hills; foreign travel; encountering interesting people and new and exotic customs. In accordance with this, I have been inspired to write this short haiku, as a variant on my normal, more traditional poetic style.

“A partridge dreams of summer”

Death death death

Death death death death death

Death death death.

Wishing everybody a restful summer holiday.

Yours etc

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