2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Death · England · Faith · Funeral · God · Observations · Rural · Vicarage

Shock

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“So is the body in the morgue?” I quizzed the Mhinisteir. I added that I wished to attend the funeral service. The Mhinisteir looking confused asked me whose funeral I was referring to. “P’s of course.” I said. “The funeral is over.” he said. I was too shocked to reply.

According to the Mhinisteir, the funeral was over a good few weeks ago. I was of course wondering why he hadn’t told me about it. He said he too didn’t know about it as it was a direct cremation. As I am not familiar with the term “direct cremation”, I thought it was the name of the funeral directors!

He went on to explain that P had opted for direct cremation which means that nobody would have been present at the crematorium and that there was no service. I was so shocked that I struggled to get the right words out of my mouth.

The Mhinisteir went on to explain that people are increasingly opting for direct cremations. One reason is the cost but the more popular reason is that they don’t want sad farewells!

I am beginning to wonder if in this modern world, we are trying to remove the “sting of death”. Funerals help us in the grieving process. If we don’t grief properly, then it might come back to bite us!

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Baking · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Food · Freezer · Rural · Vicarage · Vicarage Kitchen

Sunday Morning Treat | Croissants

On Sundays, the Mhinisteir has 2 warm croissants for breakfast instead of his usual soft boiled eggs and porridge.

Until a few weeks ago, his croissants came from Marks and Spencer via Ocado. All I had to do was to warm them up in the oven.

Unfortunately, the M&S croissants are often out of stock and so I have had to find an alternative; that is when I found Picard Frozen Croissants. At Ocado, it costs Β£3.99 for 8 frozen croissants. You put them in a hot oven at 180c for 18 minutes and voila! you have soft and buttery croissants to enjoy. The Mhinisteir tells me that these croissants taste much better than the M&S croissants. I can’t eat them due to my food intolerance.

As the weather gets colder, you might want to keep a bag in your freezer for that occasional treat.

ps: I am not paid to promote these croissants.

Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · England · Faith · God · Vicarage

New Diary

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Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent. It also marked the start of a new liturgical year.

I have yet to buy a new diary for 2022 whereas the Mhinisteir has already bought his new Smythson diary and it is already half full!

Unusually, I am trying to delay purchasing one for as long as possible. For the first time ever, I am not looking forward to the new year. I am a little nervous as to what the new year will bring….. It is a really strange feeling as I have never felt this way before!

I already have a few dates for my prospective new diary so I better put on my skates and get a move on!

2021 · Agatha Raisin · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Book Review · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Vicarage · Vicarage Library

From the Vicarage Library | Agatha Raisin Series

I first came across M C Beaton‘s Agatha Raisin series of books when we first moved to England. Prior to that, I had read her Hamish Macbeth series while living in Scotland and thoroughly enjoyed it because my life resembled that of the inhabitants of the fictitious village of Lochdubh.

When I first looked at the Agatha Raisin series of books in the library, they didn’t interest me. It was set in the Cotswolds and I didn’t think that it would be as exciting as the Hamish Macbeth series of books. How wrong I was! Out of curiosity, in Autumn 2019, I started buying and reading the Agatha Raisin series book by book and got hooked. I still have not finished the whole series and the pandemic meant that I got a bit side tracked.

Fast forward to Autumn 2021, I decided to re read the Agatha Raisin series of books in my bookshelf and order the remaining books from the series so that there will be a steady flow to the storyline. I started with the very first book “Agatha Raisin and Quiche of Death”; I couldn’t remember the story which is not a bad think. I have also read “Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet”. Tonight, I should finish the third book of the series “Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener”.

A little bit about Agatha Raisin herself, Agatha Raisin is a 50 something woman who retires to the Cotsworld village of Carsely after a successful career in PR in London. However, Carsely is not the quiet village that she had imagined it to be. The first murder happens very shortly after she arrives and Agatha Raisin becomes a suspect!!!! It is this experience that causes her to turn into an amateur sleuth much to the annoyance of the local police.

M C Beaton’s books are known as cosy crime books so they won’t give you a nightmare when you sleep at night!

This book is for you if you have always wanted to live in a cosy little English village.

If you have enjoyed this blog, then you will enjoy Mrs Bloxby, the vicar’s wife!!!😁

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Goodhousekeeping · Iron · Rural · Vicarage

Memory as a sieve!

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That is how my memory has been this week! Thankfully, there is nothing to worry about as it is something that happens whenever I get too tired and as mentioned in my earlier post, tiredness is a problem this week.

On Tuesday, I tackled the ironing as the clothes won’t iron themselves.🀣 I was pretty chuffed with myself until the Mhinisteir went to the laundry room and discovered that I had forgotten to turn off the iron! This was at 7pm; I had finished ironing at half three!!!!

Yesterday, I had to order a gift voucher for one of the Mhinisteir’s young colleague who is expecting her first baby in December. I toyed between Marks and Spencers and John Lewis. I finally settled for John Lewis as I had some gift vouchers myself that needed using up. Thankfully, it was a very straightforward task unlike the last time. As I was putting away my credit card, I realised that the gift vouchers that I am supposed to have used remained untouched on my desk!!!!! Honestly!

A few hours later, as the Mhinisteir and I were putting away our Ocado shopping delivery, I discovered that a regular item that we buy was missing; I assumed that there were more bags in the hallway. Sadly, there were no other bags. I had simply forgotten to order the item even though it was on my paper shopping list and I had ticked it off. πŸ™„

We are due a holiday soon so hopefully this tiredness will go away and I will come back refreshed!!!

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Church Warden · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Multi Parish Benefice · Observations · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage

Give Way!

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Being in a multi parish benefice means that we have an army of church wardens! One of the things that I have observed is that Church wardens become too controlling and defensive of their position; they find it very difficult to involve others in the work of the church. Basically they want to do everything! Sadly they have all become a bit too long in the tooth and are no longer able to serve effectively. I find it all very comical because in a multi parish like ours we have very gifted people. They can very easily do tasks that does not require the churchwardens input.

Furthermore, there are others in the congregation who are ready to become church wardens. The pandemic has meant that there are newly retired people who have moved to our villages and are wanting to be more involved in the churches but in order for that to happen the current church wardens need to give way!!!!

2021 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Archbishop of York · Autumn · Blogging · Book of Common Prayer · Church of England · Church Times · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage

Younger & Diverse

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There was an article in last week’s Church Times about a Β£4.8 million Innovation Fund that has been launched by the Archbishops’ Council.

As I read the article, I quickly realised that rural churches will never be able to qualify for one because the projects must support the official Vision and Strategy for the 2020s; the priority of becoming a Church which is younger and more diverse.

In rural parishes like ours, We do not have young families moving into our villages. The problem is so acute that one of our village primary schools has already closed down.

As for diversity, rural areas tend to be quite traditional which is why the parish churches tend to be more middle of the road CofE than very high or very low.

What rural churches really need is priests of good calibre but sadly the Church of England is unwilling to fund that and prefers to waste her money away.

2021 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Autumn · Blogging · Cathedral · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Telegraph · Vicarage

Unfair Headlines

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Church under fire in wake of Liverpool suicide bombing for helping asylum seekers to β€˜game’ system

The above was the headlines in Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph. It is of course very unfair. I am irked! Apparently, these are the sentiments of the Home Secretary too.

There would be a massive public outcry if we were to remove the word Church and replace it with the name of any another religious institution. However, because it is the Church, the Home Secretary and the likes will get away with it.

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Butcher · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Food · Observations · Parishioners · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Vicarage · Vicarage Kitchen

Bambi Vs Nemo

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On Sunday, we had pan fried wild Scottish venison haunch for lunch. As I was preparing the meal, I got transported to Scotland as it usually happens!!!

When we lived in Scotland, we ate a lot of venison as it is my favourite red meat. I prefer it to beef; I don’t like lamb as I find the flavour a bit too strong for me.

At least one of our parishioners was a ghillie (one who attends to deer stalking expeditions) which meant that we always had venison in our freezer! In bygone days when I was fighting fit, we used to entertain quite extensively but strangely, I have never ever served venison to any of my dinner guests.

As a host, I always like to ask guests before hand their likes and dislikes together with their dietary requirements and every single time, I was told that they don’t like to eat bambi!!!!

However, they had no trouble with the Scottish Salmon that I served which has made me wonder how is it that they had no trouble eating nemo but not bambi???πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

2021 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Archbishop of York · Autumn · Bishop · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · General Synod 2021 · God · Rural · Vicarage

Who is that woman???

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The Church of England’s General Synod 2021 began on Monday with an inauguration service in Westminster Abbey yesterday. Today is the final day of the Synod. For those interested, you can follow the proceedings here.

I watched a catch up of yesterday’s proceedings before bed last night. I found it to be very interesting but I was constantly distracted by a woman who was knitting!!!! Every time she was in focus which was very often because she was seated facing the camera, she was knitting; if she wasn’t knitting she was fiddling with her mobile phone!!!! By the way, She is there again today still busy knitting!!!!

Personally, I am quite shocked by the audacity of this individual. Will she be doing that if it was Her Majesty the Queen addressing the conference??? Is the person addressing the conference unworthy of this individual’s undivided attention?? It is very sad that in this present day and age, we no longer know right from wrong. There is no longer a place for rules and regulations. We only want to do what suits us! In other words, we have become very selfish.