At the weekend, my biggest nightmare became true when a dear family member passed away after contracting Covid19. As a mark of respect, I will not be posting anything for the next few days but I hope to return soon.
Before I go any further, I hasten to add that in the Vicarage we don’t own a television. Actually, we do have an old television (a hand me down) but it is locked in a cupboard somewhere so obviously not plugged in. In case, you are wondering no, we don’t pay TV Licence fee.
Whatever I am going to write is based on a newspaper article so may not be fact.
I read in the Sunday Times that the female BBC newsreader when announcing the death of the Duke of Edinburgh was wearing a brown top and a necklace but within minutes of her announcing the sad news, she had added a jacket to her wardrobe and had REMOVED her necklace! I had to reread the article a few times to understand what was being written. Why did she feel the need to do both? In my humble opinion, she should have been wearing her jacket in the first place sad news or not. Maybe the viewers of the BBC news channel are not worthy of “that level” of respect. I really can’t get my head round as to why on earth she would have felt the need to remove her necklace???!!!
I did wear black to Church on Sunday. I am not a Royalist but it was out of a mark of respect just like the way the Union Jack is flying half mast. By the way, I was the only one in black!
The Church of England has an online book of condolence on their website should you wish to post a condolence message.
The first thing that caught my eye when I woke up this morning was that of the grave digger. Together with his two assistants, he was busy digging the grave in preparation for the funeral of a villager that was due to take place later in the day. I often wonder what goes through their minds as they do their job. Do they think about death at all?
As for me, I am glad to have woken up to that view because it immediately caused me to be thankful. Thankful to be alive!
As I paid my respects through the Vicarage window, I saw for the first time ever, two female pallbearers!!!! They looked petite but must be very strong. Anyway, due to strict Covid rules, There were only a handful of mourners.
Another wet day here so the Mhinisteir came back with muddy feet and he was soaked down to his socks!!!! His cassock alb would have looked very good in a detergent advertisement (the before version)!!!
He also came back with news that Covid19 getting closer and closer to home. Several people in at least 2 of our parishes have tested positive! I most sincerely wish that the penny will finally drop for people because I cannot see anyone treating this deadly pandemic seriously.
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. – Psalm 8:1
I listen to the Daily Service on Radio 4 long wave but am not always very pleased with the choice of presenters. I am surprised by the high number of non clergy who present it.
I am High Church but not Anglo Catholic: I like the service to be traditional and preferably by a member of the clergy. I am happy with a fair balance of traditional and non traditional services but often times, they are more non traditional than traditional.
The theme yesterday was the Criminal Justice System. During prayer, the clergy person addressed prisoners as God’s children! I am no theologian but I was taken aback by that particular description. I know that God is our Creator and We on earth are his Creation. As far as I know, we call God our Father when we enter into a relationship with Him.
Anyway, this subject was a thorn in my flesh as I had just finished reading about the widow of the policeman who was so brutally killed last year. I was very sad to know that they had only been married for a month and that the widow was not even allowed to see his body for one last time as his body was so mangled. How cruel!
Heresy of Universalism means there is no hell. I think one is clever enough to know what I am trying to say. There is forgiveness but only if we repent.
By the way, I got this big term from the Mhinisteir so please don’t be too impressed with my blog title!!!! As I say, I am no theologian!!!
On good days, I spend most of my time in my study which is located next to our bedroom. I get a lovely view of the trees in our churchyard often making me feel like as if I am in a rainforest especially during the summer months when the trees are lush with leaves. On bad days, I spend my time in bed snuggled under the duvet with a view of the tombstones in our churchyard reminding me of the fragility of human life.
One day last week as I was working at my desk in the study, I heard an almighty thud. It was loud enough to make me twitch but I was too lazy to investigate. It sounded as if someone had thrown a blunt object at the window. I assumed it was one of the many pigeons that congregate in our garden causing menace. I soon forgot about the loud thud until I opened our front door. There lay the lifeless body of a small garden bird. It made me sad. The sadness quickly turned to anger. Could he not have been a little more careful? Maybe a little less playful???
RIP little bird.
The Mhinisteir deals a lot with Funeral Directors. Unfortunately from what I hear from him, they seem to be very unpleasant people to deal with. It appears that they like to employ a lot of underhand methods. I’m sure there are some honest ones too.
I would have thought that they will be kind as they would be dealing with people who are at their lowest. Looks can be deceiving indeed!
This week has been a strange one. The lockdown itself is not bothering me because even before the Coronavirus pandemic, I have been self isolating due to health reason.
For the Mhinisteir, the weeks leading up to Easter is always busy. Holy Week is especially busy. My Protestant upbringing means that every week is Holy Week and every Sunday is Easter! For that reason I don’t do anything special. Health permitting, I usually try and go to the Chrism service in the Cathedral. This week has been fairly quiet in that sense. The Mhinisteir is still busy. Being in rural parishes mean that we have more elderly people in our Churches and in the last few weeks, a good number have been taken ill some critically.
We heard this week that a friend of ours had passed away quite suddenly. He had collapsed at home. Taken to hospital. When his wife phone the next morning, She was told that he was doing well. He passed away around lunchtime that day when he collapsed for the second time!
Despite the lockdown, we had a good number of Easter Cards & Chocolates from our Parishioners. A few of them have been sneaking out when dark falls. Something that we don’t encourage of course!
I baked a banana cake on Friday! It was only after I had baked that I remembered it was Good Friday even though I had watched an online service!!!!
Again on Good Friday, The Mhinisteir got a phone call from a parishioner wishing him a Happy Easter. Happy Easter on Good Friday??? We are living through strange times after all!!!!
The Coronavirus lockdown has meant that the Mhinisteir is working from home except when he has to conduct funerals. The Vicarage telephone has been very busy with both incoming and outgoing calls. Everyday among other things, the Mhinisteir has been trying to ring his parishioners to enquire and pray with them. With us being in a multi parish benefice, he has a lot of parishioners! He has also been receiving telephone calls from parishioners especially the elderly who are afraid and are already thinking about their funerals and are making tentative arrangements! So it is business as usual with at the Vicarage.
As for me, I am quite enjoying the peace and quiet as we don’t have anyone knocking on the door except delivery people. It is also nice to have the house to ourselves as there are no meetings held at the Vicarage.
Sadly, we have had a couple of suicides in our parishes which is worrying.
Finally, as more and more people lose their jobs, I have put together some tinned food etc for anyone who might knock on the Vicarage door.
Last week was a sad week as we received news of the death of an old friend.
Old Mrs Bear had been poorly for a while. She lived up in Scotland with Old Mr Bear who is poorly too. Mr and Mrs Bear were such dear Christian friends.
Unfortunately, due to geographical reasons, we were not able to to be at the funeral which was just a few days ago.
It is always sad when friends pass away. After I had finished writing a sympathy card to be sent off to Old Mr Bear, I ended up looking at my old and tattered address book. It was a shock to be reminded that 80% of our friends in the address book have passed away!!!! What a solemn thought!
“I shall go to him, he shall not return to me” – 2 Samuel 12:23