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!
For the first time ever, I felt overdressed at the dinner party hosted by a senior cleric. Thankfully the feeling just lasted for a few minutes but it was threatening to consume me! I was quite shocked I felt that way. The truth is I wasn’t overdressed. I certainly didn’t arrive like the Duchess of Cambridge when she attended the premiere of the new Bond movie this week. By the way, she looked lovely. I just wore a little black dress. About 97% of the invited guests were underdressed which meant that wherever you looked you only saw the underdressed! There was even someone in a tracksuit bottom! The dress code was smart casual.
The occasion itself was a very happy one and we got to meet new people. The food was lovely too. It was a proper sit down 3 course meal with coffee/tea afterwards. Unusually, I even got to sit adjacent to the Mhinisteir.
The icing on the cake was that we got to stay the night at a local bed and breakfast!
I am still feeling a bit out of sorts since the sad news at the weekend. It was my last surviving grandparent. I just can’t seem to focus on anything. Thankfully things are slowly beginning to get better.
Just when I thought I was done with social events for 2021, about a month ago the Mhinisteir dropped a bombshell. We have been invited to a formal dinner with a senior cleric in the CoE! Oh dear!
I find these dinners a little stressful because even though the Mhinisteir and I will be sitting at the same table, we will be sitting with other people. I find it difficult to make small talk!
Of course there is the question of what to wear? Mercifully it wasn’t difficult to decide at all!
I promise to write about it when the event is over!
Yes, I am referring to our own diocesan Bishop! It is not only I who thinks that but some in the wider Church of England think that too.
Whenever there is a vacancy, our Bishop’s name comes up. For example, when the Bishop of London retired, our Bishop’s name came up. The same happened when ABY’s position became vacant and now the suggestion is that our Bishop should be the next Bishop of Winchester to clean up the mess that has been left behind!!!! I am so proud that our bishop is held is such high regard but it is not good news for me! I prefer to have our Bishop with us in our own diocese until they retire.
This wonderful Bishop of ours is very kind and caring. Someone who is firm and exercises authority but never arrogant. A person who prays and most importantly believes in the life, death and resurrection of Christ! I know that some clergy in the CofE don’t believe in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!!!! What are they doing in the Church??? I digress….
Our Bishop is a well learned individual who never shows off but can get grumpy when tired😂😂😂
We are very blessed and most privileged to have this individual in our lives and my only prayer is that our Bishop will remain in post for a very long time.
By the way, please don’t ask me which diocese I belong to as my cover might be blown if I were to divulge!!!!🤣🤣🤣
I like a slow start to my day but the Thursday before our holiday was nothing like my usual start to the day. The Mhinisteir was out at a church service and we were expecting the tree surgeon to chop off the conifer trees. The Mhinisteir assured me that they will not be bothering me. Excellent I thought…..
Just as I was entering the shower room, the doorbell rang! I took a quick peek at the window and it was the tree surgeon and his chum. They were young men and I most definitely wasn’t going to meet them in my dressing gown so I ignored them and went ahead with my shower! When I came out, they were still in the driveway instead of the garden. Mmmm….. I got changed and went to greet them from a distance. They said all was well. Great!
I went to the kitchen to do the dishes when I suddenly saw two faces smiling at me through the kitchen window. Just for a split second, I assumed that they were that of the tree surgeon and his chum but no it wasn’t. Instead they were from OpenReach (British Telecom). They were not due until Monday!!!! I went to the door and they introduced themselves and said they were here to do some work on our telephone line. I said that we were told to expect them on Monday. Apparently, the people coming on Monday will be dealing with a different issue but these men were going to work on the telegraphic pole. Just then I remembered the Mhinisteir had an important zoom meeting with our Bishop!!!! Oh great I thought! The meeting was really important as it had to do with the safeguarding issue that I had wrote about some time ago. The men from Openreach assured me that the internet connection will not be affected.
The tree surgeon and his chum were working away in the garden until 3pm. Just as they were leaving, our cleaner arrived!!!! By then, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t wait for her to leave…..
Anyway, the good news is that the conifer trees are gone and there is so much light coming into the Vicarage which is wonderful.
The next day we got a telephone call from the Diocesan housing department informing us that the tree surgeon’s chum’s girlfriend had tested positive for Covid19 and so he is having to self isolate! Thank God that we didn’t have any close contact with him!!!
Another day and yet another safeguarding scandal in the Church of England! This time, the victim is the Canon Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral. You can read about his ordeal here.
The good news is that it has been concluded that there was “no case to answer” but the bad news is that in the name of safeguarding, the Canon and his wife have been treated so badly that I am not sure that they can ever recover from this ordeal!
On the same day, I heard that ABC has apologised for something that is not even his business( The Bishop of St Davids had tweeted an ill judged comment about the current ruling party in the UK). If only, he could use his time more diligently and support and defend his own clergy in the CoE!
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!!
I have just discovered to my dismay that the ABC has appointed a new chaplain!
It was only recently that it was announced that both the ABC and the ABY have jointly appointed a Bishop to serve them. My understanding is that this is a brand new appointment. Nobody has previously held this position before. Can this new bishop not do the job of a chaplain as well? This is becoming comical because on top of this, the ABY continues to advertise for a Chief of Staff. How many staff do these two men need to run their affairs while ordinary clergy have multiple parishes in their hands with very little or no help??!!!
Rumour has it that the ABC sees himself as the Anglican Pope!!!!