In Wednesday’s Telegraph, there was a photo of the Chancellor of the Exchequer (known as finance minister in other countries), shamelessly posing in his expensive sandals pairing it with white socks. The photo was taken at No 11 Downing Street (this is the residence of the chancellor) in the run up to Wednesday’s budget.
This is the man who stopped the extra £20 Universal credit (benefit payment to the unemployed or low income earners) that claimants were receiving during the pandemic but has got no qualms in posing in his £95 sandals. It is just vulgar!!!
How can a man who is so well off care about the poor? I thought he would at least PRETEND that he cared but the photo has just proved otherwise!!!!
After his second morning service on Sunday, a young girl came up to the Mhinisteir at the door and said that she wanted to have a word with him. This took the Mhinisteir by surprise as young girls are usually shy and tend to hide behind their parents!
Anyway, the Mhinisteir took the girl to a side, in full view of her parents of course and enquired as to how he might be able to assist her. The young girl started telling him about her friend’s father who had passed away very suddenly and that this friend and her family were struggling with grief and if the Mhinisteir could “send a prayer”. According to the Mhinisteir, he was a little confused as to what she meant by “send a prayer”; he had initially thought that she wanted him to write to her friend but thankfully he quickly realised that she wanted him to pray for her friend and family!
How sweet and thoughtful of this young girl to be moved by her friend’s plight and to ask for prayer!
ps: The Mhinisteir has just come into my study to inform me that a much loved cousin has suddenly passed away of a heart attack. As I type this, I am full of sorrow and so I can only repeat the words of Job from the Bible “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”.
I have had a beautiful Swarovski brooch with gold leaves. It was a wedding present from my childhood friend. I used it to church very often.
The last time I saw it was about 3 months ago. I had left it on the dressing table hoping to return it to the jewellery box in due course but that never happened. It was during this time that we were provided with a replacement cleaner as our regular one was off sick. We know the replacement cleaner as she had been before when our regular cleaner was recuperating from surgery. Unusually, the replacement cleaner started bringing along one of her colleagues. She just sprung it on me one day and I had no choice but to say yes but unfortunately it became a weekly occurance. By the way, pre Covid19, I used to discreetly supervise the cleaner but because of Covid19, the arrangement with the cleaner is that they let themselves in and do the cleaning while I remain in one of the rooms until they leave.
Anyway, by the time I discovered that the brooch was missing, the replacement cleaner had already quit her job and moved to another country! I am tempted to put two and two together but I know I must not. I do hope that one day the brooch will turn up.
A few weeks ago, I got a reminder from Ocado, our online supermarket to book my slots for Christmas! Until then, I had not even thought about Christmas! In fact, it was just two days ago that the Mhinisteir asked me what day Christmas falls on this year and I hadn’t a clue! I have since discovered that Christmas this year is on a Saturday!
In the Vicarage, Christmas is a very very important religious festival. However, our celebrations are always subdued. It ever was thus!
Back to Ocado, I am not even sure what I am going to be doing next week let alone Christmas. I don’t want to book a slot and then realise nearer the time that I won’t be available to accept delivery. In any case, I prefer not to deprive someone else of a much wanted slot.
This week is another busy week. The Mhinisteir had more meetings and on top of that we had to be at the Cathedral for a special service which was to be followed by supper for clergy and their spouses.
The trip to the Cathedral meant an overnight stay as it was going to be a long night. I am still very tired from last week and so headed straight back to the hotel after the service at the Cathedral. The Mhinisteir went ahead without me for supper. By the way, I had already informed the relevant people a week ago so that there will be no wastage.
This gave me the opportunity to make some notes of the hotel especially the room.
The welcome at the reception was warm. We were assigned room 6 and it turned out to be a suite. The room was huge!!!! There was a copper bath in the middle of the room. Call me old fashioned but I would be very uncomfortable to use the bath as I consider bath times sacred and need privacy!!!🤣
Anyway, as I was going to miss supper at the cathedral, I needed food. The plan was to just get room service. Upon arrival, I realised that there was no room service menu in the room; I was to ring reception. I also saw that the menu in the restaurant was going to be very limited due to….. Covid19!
I just couldn’t be bothered to ring reception and wait for them to bring me a limited room service menu and then to discover that nothing meets my dietary requirement! I brought some home made salad along and so that became my evening meal.
The room itself was very quiet which meant that we had a good night’s sleep. Unusally for a hotel, the heating in the room worked superbly. It was clean too. All in all, it is somewhere that we would stay again. At £210 a night for the room alone, it wasn’t inexpensive but then a peaceful night’s sleep is priceless!😁
There was a tragic incident on Friday which ended in the murder of a Tory MP. We have since learnt that a Catholic priest who tried to give the last rites to the MP who himself was a Catholic was denied access. It has of course created unhappiness among some people and rightly so.
I am not a Catholic and with my protestant upbringing, I am not too familiar with last rites however I know that to a Catholic and to some Anglicans the last rites are VERY important. It will be very easy to blame the police officer who together with his colleague made the decision to deny access to the Catholic priest but did they really know the meaning of last rites? With the UK becoming more and more secular, I am beginning to wonder whether the police are even aware of our Christian heritage. If they don’t, then they need to start learning fast before they make another mistake such as this.
For some unexplainable reason, I have started going to the earlier service on Sundays.
However, this Sunday past, I unexpectedly attended the later service; very soon after I entered church, I realised that the churchwarden who was at the door was full of the cold; I was horrified. The horror soon turned to anger! I hasten to add that I am not proud of myself! I was just so annoyed that some people can be so irresponsible!!!! Needless to say that this churchwarden was coughing and spluttering throughout the service.
As I wrote previously, most people in the UK have started operating like as if Covid19 has mysteriously disappeared. I wish that is the case but it is far from the truth; Covid19 is still very much with us and continuing to consume lives on a daily basis.
Recently I came across the term estate churches and so decided to ask the Mhinisteir about it. I’ve since learned that estate churches are churches that are within the estate of the landed gentry. These churches would have been funded and built by their forefathers.
Estate Churches are not uncommon in rural places. You may have seen an example of an estate church in period dramas like Downton Abbey.
Wherever there is an estate church, the gentry has some say in the appointment of a new vicar.
Thankfully, we do not have estate churches in any of our umpteen parishes! However, we do have a handful of landed gentry. Most of them behave impeccably but there are one or two who like to throw their weight about; they like to pretend that they are in possession of estate churches!