Here in the Vicarage, we have a bear with a sore head!
As you can imagine, it is very difficult to live with a bear let alone one with a very sore head!!!!!
Things haven’t been going too well for the Mhinisteir this week. One of it is a safeguarding/church discipline matter. Historical abuse cases in the Church of England mean that these days safeguarding is treated very seriously. I know some people will refute this but I can only base it on my experience. Generally, rural folk tend to pooh pooh safeguarding regulations thus making the Mhinisteir’s job doubly hard.
We hear a lot about clergy abuse but very little is reported about abuse to clergy.
If someone were to make a safeguarding complaint against a clergy, the Bishop has the power to suspend the clergy in question even before the matter has been investigated. Just like the world, the Church of England too doesn’t believe in Innocent until proven guilty anymore.
Before I continue, I must emphasise that the Mhinisteir DOES NOT find himself in this position. What I am trying to say is that safeguarding matters cannot be ignored but have to be treated with a lot of God’s wisdom and sensitivity because things can spiral out of control very quickly.
I am a little frustrated as I wish I can be more of a support to the Mhinisteir but I can’t but what I can do is pray which I always do anyway.
In other news, I heard the doorbell just as I was entering the shower. I assumed it was the postman and that he would leave the parcel on the doorstep. I thought I would wait so that I can hear him driving off before I re-entered the shower. When I couldn’t hear his van, I went to the window and there he was writing the “Sorry we missed you” postcard. I quickly opened the window and asked if he needed a signature and he said no. Why could he not just leave the parcel on the door step like he usually does????
Finally, I came across a new blog the other day and because I decided to read one of this person’s blogpost, I liked the article out of courtesy. Strangely, I came across the same blog again today and saw something that bothered me. This person had used the SAME title for their most recent blogpost. It is a title that I had first used in my blogpost earlier in the week. This person doesn’t follow me or has not liked my blogposts. Should I be worried? Maybe I should be more worried about the bear with a sore head than trivial things like this!!!! Ha ha!!
The Mhinisteir loves Thai food. Occasionally, we would go to our favourite Thai restaurant usually for a takeaway. The restaurant is about an hour’s drive from the Vicarage. My stomach can’t cope with any form of spice so I avoid spicy food like the plague. However at this restaurant, I found a dish called Pad Thai that does not contain any spice. I am reliably informed that the traditional way of cooking Pad Thai is without spice but it has not been the case in my experience in other Thai restaurants!.
Imagine my shock when I heard from the Mhinisteir that our favourite Thai Restaurant has closed down. I don’t think I have gotten over it yet. What will the staff do? Where can they go? Where can I go for my Pad Thai fix?
Sadly, our favourite Thai restaurant has become yet another victim of the pandemic.
The Mhinisteir bought a super expensive, super comfy ergonomic desk chair in the winter. The unassembled chair arrived in a humungous box that could not be lifted with bare hands. As with most things these days, he had to assemble the chair himself. Since then, the empty box has been in our sitting room. Why the sitting room you might ask? It is because that was where the desk chair was assembled! The humungous box has been there since January 2021 until this very minute. Just out of the blue, the Mhinisteir blurted out that he will move the box to the garage before the weekend. Watch the space!
ps: I am not sure why it is being moved to the garage because I would just put it in the recycling bin.
When we got up this morning, the Mhinisteir made a radical suggestion. He emphasised that it was only a suggestion. How about we leave for home this afternoon instead of tomorrow morning?? Wonderful I said and I meant it. We both felt rested despite this. However, as a light sleeper, I was struggling to sleep at night due to the traffic and all the noise associated with a University city. The Mhinisteir has very little trouble sleeping but he was concerned that I had hardly slept and thus the suggestion to head home earlier. It was very thoughtful of him! We are now back home and it is wonderful to be home again. I am so looking forward to sleeping in our own bed. Bliss!
Today marks the first day of our 3 day mini break. Just 2 nights to be precise!
The Mhinisteir had some errands to run and so he suggested we turn it into a mini holiday and visit the city of his alma mater and so here we are in the famous city. It is a few hours drive but it was worth the journey. I have been reminded once again how important a change of scenery is.
The moment we stepped into our self catering apartment, the Mhinisteir’s mobile started pinging. Yes, you have guessed it right. It was a very silly trivial church business! Unusually the Mhinisteir was irritated and his irritation showed when I asked him a question. How dare he? I mumbled to myself but I decided to let it go. We were both probably tired after a longish drive!
Soon, he went off to run some errands and I decided to unpack. By the time he came back, we were both back to our normal selves. Thank God! We went for a walk and got ourselves a takeaway lunch.
Shortly after we finished lunch, he got a warning phone call that an almighty safeguarding problem was threatening to erupt and that there needs to be an urgent telephone meeting. I blurted out that there has never been a holiday without a church crisis! ” You know that Vicars can never have a complete holiday”! he said. I do, I do, I do!!!! He went on to add that his colleagues are usually very considerate of his days off and holidays. Are they really? I asked. Like a petulant child, I gave him a long list of the times when he had been rudely disturbed during his holidays. As you can tell, I almost lost it today. I decided to leave it at that and started typing this.
I am not proud of my behaviour because I knew very well what I was signing up for but surely we are allowed to a few hours of peace without being disturbed. However, this is a common problem when you are the Vicar especially of a multi parish benefice aka Vicar of everything! I think I have cooled down now.
The weather has been pretty atrocious for the last one week. It has been raining every single day reminding me of my beloved Scotland. Last night, I had to eat humble pie and reintroduce the electric blanket much to the Mhinisteir’s delight. With grey skies, low temperature and persistent rain, it feels more like autumn than spring!
Wonderful excuse for our cooked breakfast this morning!!!!
One of my frustrations as a church goer is the total lack of respect displayed by visitors to our churches. This becomes very obvious when we have baptisms, weddings and even funerals. For some strange reason, these visitors feel that they can behave however they want in the church.
These days people appear to have a lot of respect for other religious institutions but none for the church! ALL religious institutions should be treated with respect. Period.
I recall an incident involving an octogenarian parishioner. She had arrived in church one Sunday but the moment she realised it was a baptism service, she demanded to be driven back home! Her behaviour might have seemed extreme to some people but I do sympathise with her. I was a visitor to that church myself and I was appalled by the behaviour of the friends and relatives of the baby who was being baptised. The church had successfully been turned into a market place by endless noisy chatter. The visitors outfits were more suited for the beach. It was intimated that due to safeguarding rules no photos were to be taken during the service but that didn’t stop some from clicking away. The Vicar unashamedly said that he was going to rush through the service so that the baptismal family can begin their party at the pub next door. What about us? The ordinary church goers who go to church to worship God.
These visitors often leave a lot of rubbish (used tissues, sweetie wrappers etc) behind after the services too. Our church wardens are volunteers and it is so unfair to them.
Last week, the Mhinisteir and I went for our afternoon walk around our little village. As usual, we saw many little activities.
Our neck of the woods is currently very popular among house buyers and so houses that are up for sale get snapped up instantly. There is a little house that has gone up for sale but so far no buyers yet which is quite strange but then it is a strange looking little house with lots of plastic flowers. I am not even sure that it is occupied.
Anyway, as I was walking and thinking about this little house, the Mhinisteir exclaimed “That’s our postman”!
“Are you sure”?? I asked. He said he was quite sure. Mmmmm. The woman that he went into the house with actually lives with another man in that house so what was the postie doing there? From the looks of it, they had just come back from a big grocery shopping. Maybe our postie is her new partner!!! Mmmmm…. These kind of things make exciting village
Rumour has it that there is a thief prowling about in our village. Apparently, someone walked into the home of an elderly villager and stole some cash. I am not sure if it really happened. It could be that the elderly villager had used the cash for something and had completely forgotten about it. It is easy done. Anyway, that has made me a little nervous. We don’t have a burglar alarm. I am not sure what use it is anyway. We used to have one in our previous Vicarage but I would say it was pretty pointless as it doesn’t get connected to the police. Usually only townies have burglar alarms in rural areas!!
Since last week, we have two muntjacs (small deers) visiting us daily. They look really cute. I saw them in the churchyard first thing this morning. They were busy having their breakfast. I sincerely hope that they will leave the fresh flowers on the tombstones alone and focus on the other vegetation available in abundance.
The Church of England has set up a new National Register of Clergy giving the public access to verify the authenticity of anyone who claims to be a Church of England clergy.
I have been reliably informed that there have been a few teething problems which is to be expected in anything new. However, I was horrified when informed that my name has been added to the list!!! Surely it has reached beyond teething problems!!!