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The Church of England was rebuked at a recent inquest held into the death of a former priest. It mishandled inquiry into false child abuse allegations. The priest took his own life as he could not cope with the investigation. How is one supposed to cope when they are not even told of the nature of the investigation! How cruel! He is not the first priest to have died because of the CofE’s negligence and sadly he won’t be the last!

I think I have said enough on this matter in my previous posts so I won’t say anymore.

However, I would urge all CofE clergy to join the Church of England Clergy Advocates (CECA) who are members of the Faith Workers Branch of Unite the Union. There is a monthly membership fee but I am reliably informed that it will be money worth spent.

The Mhinisteir is a member. If you are a clergy or know of a clergy, please encourage them to join. They will provide clergy with all the necessary support including legal support should (God forbid!) the clergy require it.

By joining, you will also in a small way (through the membership fee) be able to support falsely accused clergy like the Chancellor of Lincoln.

Bundle of Nerves

Bundle of Nerves

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I always look forward to going to church on a Sunday but sadly not this weekend. I am nervous. Very nervous. Since freedom day, things have gone awry. Covid cases are going up and up. Among other chaos, shops and supermarkets are struggling to keep the stores open.

For myself, I am just not ready to be without a mask or have someone sit immediately next to me in Church or anywhere for that matter. I am also nervous for the Mhinisteir. He has a wedding tomorrow and I dread to think how folk will behave.

The disappointing thing is that among the folk in our umpteen parishes, I am among a very tiny minority who feels this way! The rest are clamouring for the full works including singing without masks!

I am speechless!

Fascination with Astrology

Fascination with Astrology

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I have always associated astrology with the East. In recent times, I have observed that star signs are part of every other magazine and newspaper that I come across. Sometimes, there are two separate readings in the one magazine!!!

I am somewhat taken aback by the fascination with astrology here in the West. As a Christian, I don’t read my star signs but I am interested to know why people read them especially the young.

Anyway, I think I got the answer to that question at the weekend.

“Our obsession with star signs is simply a desperation for a belief system. In the absence of organised religion, we have turned to something equally inexplicable to give us a sense of rules, order and outcome in a world of unpredictable chaos.”

Sunday Times Style Magazine,18 July 2021

Rescue Mission

Rescue Mission

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I was involved in a rescue mission at the weekend. The Mhinisteir told me that he had heard a loud thud on his study window when he was on a zoom meeting. We both immediately went outside to look for the bird. It wasn’t difficult to find it. It was a female black bird. She was lying on her back and I could tell from afar that she was breathing. I went to take a closer look but she started flapping her wings without much success. The Mhinisteir told me to back off as he thought I was frightening her!!!

Anyway, I went back inside the house and did a quick google search on bird rescue! I put on a pair of gardening gloves and went back out again, this time without the Mhinisteir as I didn’t want him to hamper my rescue mission. As I went closer to the bird, it started chirping loudly, very loudly. I gently nudged her to her side and within seconds she was off or so I thought!!! She certainly did fly away.

When we came back from Church on Sunday, I decided to water the plants. Something which I don’t tend to do on the Sabbath but it was a really hot day and the plants were withering. Just as I was watering the plants, I heard some noise. Upon closer inspection, it was the female black bird and again she was on her back. It was obvious she was badly injured and she didn’t want me near her. There was absolutely nothing I could do apart from ensuring she was in a dark place and away from the village cats!!!! I also gently sprayed some water on the bush that she was hiding under so that some water might seep through to her beak.

Sadly, she was dead the next day. It was sad but I think it is for the best because there was no point in her suffering.

Freedom Day???

Freedom Day???

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England has become the first country in the world to lift Covid19 restrictions. Who in their right mind will outsource public health to the public??? We won’t be getting a gold medal for making such a foolish decision. Sometimes I wonder how on earth we ruled the Empire!!!!

I will continue to use my mask and maintain social distancing. I am nervous about how things are going to be in Church as in the past few weeks, I have seen a handful who have had their masks under their chins. I am also concerned about how these new rulings will affect the Mhinisteir in his work.

I am a little fedup with people going on about how doubly vaccinated people will only get mild covid symptoms. Have they not heard of long Covid? It is not just the feeling of breathlessness etc. There are some people who have had their lives turned upside down. About 6 months ago, I read about a young female British doctor with long Covid who lost the use of her legs and is now wheelchair bound!!!! Long Covid is serious!!!!

During the first lockdown, there was all this hoo haa about how as a nation we would put on masks so that we can protect the vulnerable in our communities. What happened to that??? The vulnerable people in our communities still exist. They are the ones who are not able to have their vaccines for various reasons.

We should stop treating those who are not vaccinated with contempt. In this country, we have freedom of choice so people should be allowed to exercise it no matter how difficult those who have been vaccinated find it.

At the moment, I will be more worried of people without masks than those who haven’t been vaccinated.

What is Smart Casual?

What is Smart Casual?

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Can someone please tell me what smart casual means? I have an invite to an evening garden party and the dress code is smart casual. I don’t do smart casual because I don’t like the sound of it and in any case I only do formal.

I had already decided on what I was going to wear until the Mhinisteir dropped the dress code bombshell. I think it is a bit too late to go clothes shopping but I am not sure that I need more clothes. The biggest challenge that I have now is to try and “convert” my formal outfit to smart casual which seems like an impossible task.

Mundane News

Mundane News

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Our weather compared to this time last year is very different. It is humid and wet. I for one am not complaining as I quite like this weather compared to the extreme heat where you can’t sleep at night!

One of the big tasks this week was to tackle the mountain of washing that needed ironing. I am the sort who irons everything that goes into the washing machine so I inevitably accumulate more things to iron. I also have been doing something naughty. I have been leaving some of my dresses in the ironing basket for another day but whenever that day comes along, I have new washing that needs ironing so the dresses never got a second look!

My new found hobby has also been taking me away from the mundane but very necessary task of ironing! I am not even sure I like ironing??!! Some days I think I love ironing but other days it feels laboured.

At the end of last week, I gave myself a bit of a scare while gardening. I began to feel quite unwell and had to get back inside the house. Since then, I have decided to stay away from the garden for a wee while. It is a blessing in disguise as it means I have more time to focus on ironing. I am pleased to report that I have ironed every item that found its way into the ironing basket!!!!

Finally, another good thing to happen this week is that the gardener is back! He has come back with great gusto and has transformed the garden. Well done to him!

Banns of Marriage

Banns of Marriage

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Now that summer is upon us, almost every other Sunday we hear at least one Banns of Marriage being read out in church.

In the Church of England, it is a legal requirement for Banns of Marriage to be read out in Church. Banns of Marriage are announcements that are made in the church that the wedding couple are due to be married in. They are read so that it will give anyone the opportunity to give a reason why the couple cannot be lawfully married.

The Banns of Marriage of a couple are read for three Sundays, three months before the actual wedding. After the Banns have been read, the congregation prays for the couple.

When I moved to England and started worshipping in the Church of England, I very quickly realised that these couples whose Banns of Marriage were announced were rarely present in Church. I mentioned earlier that the main aim of the announcement is to give anyone the opportunity to give a reason why the couple cannot be lawfully married. If you don’t even know who is getting married, how can you in good conscience say that you don’t know of any impediment?????????

After all these years, I still find the rules of the Church a bit strange but then it is not the rules is it?? The Church and her Vicars need to be more diligent in imposing them. The couple must be present when their Banns of Marriage is being read. If it is too much of an imposition, they should seriously consider why they wanted to get married in a Church in the first place!. Contrary to what senior clerics promote, the Church is NOT a wedding venue! You can’t pick and choose which bits of the church you like and which bits you don’t.

And then she breathed….

And then she breathed….

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Last week saw us making a trip to our local independent optician. This time it was to make a second pair of spectacles for the both of us. When we made our first pairs in February, we were informed of a promotion where if you bought a first pair you get the second at half price! It was a very good deal but we had just spent a fortune making our first pairs but thankfully we were given six months to decide which I think is very decent of them.

We both wear spectacles all the time and it seemed like a good idea to own a second pair. This will be the first time in our lives where we will have the luxury of owning a second pair!!!!

Anyway, off we went to our local optician. I was disappointed that the person that we had requested to see wasn’t available. No explanation offered. It was another person, a lady. We both decided on our frames within 5 minutes. The Mhinisteir went for his second silhouette pair while I too chose a silhouette. My first is a pair of Japanese frames.

Then it came to prescriptions. Again, this was done very quickly as they already have our records. It was just a matter of copying them down. However, the lady wasn’t sure if my lenses were special anti fog ones. She was puzzled that both our spectacles were not steaming up despite us wearing masks. I was quite sure mine were not anti fog but she thought otherwise so she decided to do a test…..

She took my spectacles off me, took off her own mask and breathed on my lenses!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost died when I saw her do that!!!!!!!! She very casually wiped the lenses and returned my spectacles to me!!!!! I asked if it was safe for me to use my spectacles now that she has breathed on them. It was a serious question but she thought it was a joke and started laughing. She assured me that she has wiped them. Certainly not with any chemical solution I thought to myself!!!!!

Without my spectacles, I am as blind as a bat so I had no choice but to put them on. However the first thing that I did when I got home was to give my spectacles a VERY good clean!!!!!!

Jubilant Sunday

Jubilant Sunday

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As I entered our ancient church building for Sunday service, there was a certain buzz in the air. Rural churches are usually more OAP heavy and there tend to be more women than men. Our churches aren’t any different. We do have a handful of young people but they were not in church yesterday. I quickly gathered that the reason for the buzz was obviously the football match later that evening. I was very surprised as I wasn’t expecting that at all.

Since moving to England, I have never come across such excitement in church but then England have never qualified to the final of a men’s football tournament in many years.

I have never experienced this in Scotland either albeit for a different reason. There the people that I encountered in church felt that they shouldn’t be talking about “unholy” things on the Sabbath. Sadly, it was difficult to get them to talk about sports on other days too. The men I knew loved football. Rangers to be precise but felt that they couldn’t declare their love for football. I think it is very sad when one has to suppress their feelings in order to be religious! No wonder the heathen thinks that the God of the bible is a monster!

Anyway, back to our parishioners….. There was a 90 year old lady who was wearing England’s colour (Red and White). She looked so cute!!! In fact, there were quite a few of the ladies in red and white. I spoilt the party by turning up in something totally different!!!!!

Sadly, England lost the game but I will remember 11 July 2021 for a very long time because of the lovely buzz that I experienced in church that Sunday!!!!