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Is this Postmodernism?

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Every Friday, I look forward to the postie bringing us the latest Church Times. I love reading the Church Times as it contains Church news from around the world. The last page of the newspaper is dedicated to interviews and they interview one person each week. It used to be very interesting but these days I just glance through.

Last Friday’s last page interview looked interesting and so I read it in full. However, I was groaning with irritation after I had completed reading the interview.

The reason for my groaning was this…. The interviewee claimed to be a Christian but when asked who she would like to be with if she was locked in a church. She answered that it would probably be Buddha as she believes that he came to understand the essence of existence better than most of us have, or ever will.

Is Christ not the BEST person to understand the essence of existence since he came down from heaven to take on human form?

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Spring · Vicarage

Then there were 2…

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Warning: This blogpost may not be suitable for dog lovers.

I am not a pet lover. I don’t mind dogs from a distance but I get slightly annoyed when I see them in church! I don’t know what it is with rural folk and dogs and why they feel obliged to bring them to church. By the way I have got absolutely no problem with guide dogs etc. For years, I lived in both urban and rural Scotland but no one has ever brought their dog to church. The dogs are usually waiting for their owners in the car. If you are reading this and have spotted dogs in other churches please do let me know so that I will know that this is not just a tradition in rural England.

Warning: If you are a dog owner and are still reading this, please refrain from sending me hate emails!🤣

The pandemic meant that dogs were forced to stay at home on Sundays but since the restrictions were lifted they have started coming to church again.

One Sunday, there were two instead of the usual one in one of the churches. I have never seen the second one before but I avoided eye contact with him and needless to say that I was the first one out of church after the service!

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · First World Problems · God · Rural · Spring · Vicarage

Unbelievable!

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There was a national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s cathedral to celebrate the platinum jubilee of Elizabeth II last Friday morning. The Mhinisteir and I were very keen to watch the service and decided that we will watch a delayed version in the evening once the Mhinisteir had finished work! Yes, the Mhinisteir was working on both days to catch up on paperwork.

Once we had our dinner and our baths, we settled in bed to watch the service online. Surely it must be online right? All I could find was hours and hours of who was coming and going but not the actual service itself! I soon discovered that the service was only available on BBC Iplayer. We don’t pay TV licence as we don’t own a television so we weren’t able to access BBC Iplayer. We could have accessed it illegally but we weren’t going to go down that route!

I was disappointed that the Church of England didn’t make the effort to make the service available online more freely.

We ended up catching up on Only fools and horses but even that was shortlived because Britbox was playing up so we just went to bed.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Spring · Vicarage

Hat with a red pom pom

The Mhinisteir was recently gifted with a biretta by a friend.

According to Wikipedia, a biretta is a square hat with three or four peaks usually worn by Catholic clergy and by some Anglican and Lutheran clergy.

In the Church of England, in terms of our tradition, the Mhinisteir and I would be considered “high” but we are not Anglo Catholics. I am assuming that a biretta is usually worn by the Anglo Catholics in the CofE so I don’t think the Mhinisteir will have an opportunity to wear it but I have made sure that it is on full display in the vicarage as I think that it was very kind and thoughtful of this clergy friend to present the Mhinisteir with such a precious gift.

ps: According to this friend, only those with a Doctorate in Theology like the Mhinisteir are allowed to wear a biretta with the red pom pom.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Spring · Vicarage

Killjoy or Wetblanket?

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This time next week, here in the United Kingdom many will be celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s platinum jubilee anniversary. We have two days of bank holiday to celebrate Her Majesty’s seventy years of service.

Unfortunately, I will not be among those who will be celebrating. I am all for having a church service to mark this day and to thank God for Her Majesty’s life and reign but it seems very inappropriate to be having a nationwide celebration when many in the country are having to decide between eating and heating.

Personally, I had hoped that HM would have requested the nation to have a subdued celebration in light of all that has happened in the world in the last three years but alas it didn’t happen!

2022 · Bishop · Blogging · Cathedral · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Spring · Vicarage

Trip to the Cathedral

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One Sunday in early May, the Mhinisteir and I were invited to attend a special evensong in the cathedral followed by light refreshments. I was a little excited about the trip.

Our cathedral is always cold so I decided to add a layer of thermal wear under my spring frock. We had to be there about half an hour before evensong commenced as the Mhinisteir had to robe.

We rarely sit together in church services because he is usually presiding or like on this occasion part of the procession which meant that he together with the rest of the procession were seated away from us.

I managed to sit with someone I know. That worked out well as we had plenty to chat about before the service. It was only when I was there that I realised what a grand event it was as it was attended not only by the local mayor but also by the Queen’s representative.

The cathedral was quite full but very few were wearing masks. I was among the few and kept it on at all times which meant that I didn’t partake in the refreshments.

All in all, it was a good trip to the cathedral especially as the sun was shining.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Spring · Vicarage

Easter Embarrassment

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Last week I wrote about my Easter Monday Mayhem where I touched on what happened on Easter Sunday. I promised to follow up with another blog post and so here it is.

The Mhinisteir and I were both running slightly late on Easter Sunday. Partly because of the burnt breakfast and partly because of the faulty window that I wrote about yesterday. The truth is I just wasn’t well.

We arrived in church two minutes before the service was due to start. We are never late so the churchwardens began to panic.

Anyway, I went into the church after the Mhinisteir. I sanitised my hands and saw that there was only one set of books. I looked around and there were no other books. The couple sitting near the table looked at me and so I said hello. I grabbed that one set of book but for some reason felt a little uneasy so I went up to the church warden who was “messing” about at the back of the church and asked if it was ok to take the last set of books that were on the table. She went “those belong to him”. It was then that I realised that I had taken the man’s books. Oh help! I went to the man, apologised and gave him his books back. Why on earth did he leave his books on the main table?

I was a little displeased with the church wardens because they were clearly unprepared for the number of people who came to church that Easter Sunday and they were not making any effort to get me a set of books either.

Anyway, I didn’t have time to wait around for the books and in any case I know most of the responses by heart. When it came to the hymns, I knew that with a mask on nobody will know if I am singing!

I walked straight to the front of the church in full view of those already seated and asked my best friend in church if I could join him. Thankfully he said yes. It was at that point that the church warden came running to me with a set of books and by then I was flustered!

After church, I went up to the man and apologised to him once again. We started chatting and he asked me where I lived so I just pointed to the Mhinisteir who was busy shaking the hands of the faithful. The man was genuinely shocked to learn that I am the Mhinisteir’s other half. I don’t know what to make of that!

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Death · England · Funeral · God · Rural · Scotland · Spring · Tears · Vicarage

Ugly Cry

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I rarely answer the vicarage telephone as 99.9% of the phones calls are for the Mhinisteir. One day last week, the Mhinisteir had to be away and because it was his day off I decided to ignore the telephone. The answering machine gets turned off on his days off.

However, one caller in particular was very persistant that I had to get out of bed where I had been resting to check the caller id. The caller id revealed a mobile number. I was convinced that it was a church warden and decided to ignore because they should know by now that it was the Mhinisteir’s day off.

The caller rang again five minutes later and I picked up the phone. It wasn’t the church warden but an unfamiliar voice. The person introduced himself and knew my name. I didn’t recognise that name. My heart was racing because I thought that the Mhinisteir was in some kind of trouble. Thankfully, very quickly the person told me who his parents were and that he was ringing with some sad news. The penny dropped – Mr Bear had passed away. Baby Bear was very sad. I tried my best to comfort him before he rang off.

I am someone who is always on “screensaver” mode meaning I don’t display my emotions very easily. I didn’t know how sad I was until I went to have a shower that evening and ended up having an ugly cry. The first in many years! I was sad that I would not be able to go Mr Bear’s funeral. Mr & Mrs Bear lived on a small Scottish island. I was also sad when I thought of all the good times that we had.

By the time, I came out of the shower. I felt so much better and ended up having a good sleep.

The next day something similar happened. News came via the Mhinisteir of the death of another dear friend! 2 deaths in 2 days was just too much to bear. They were older friends. Being in their late 80s meant that they were nearly half my age but it is still sad when you lose people whom you hold dear. Thankfully, there were no more tears left for another ugly cry. The good news is I am hoping to go to the funeral of this friend. It will be hard but at least it will give me a proper closure.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · God · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Spring · Vicarage

Sticky Situation

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This year’s Palm Sunday was eventful for all the wrong reasons.

Due to a muscle pull, I was forced to take a couple of ibuprofens. I tried to resist them but by the time the weekend came the pain was unbearable. Unfortunately, the tablets didn’t agree with me and so I had the runs.

Sunday morning came and my stomach was still a little iffy. I had to make a decision about going to church. I decided to get ready as per usual and see how I fared. I was very nervous because none of the churches have a loo. I even contemplated stuffing my handbag with a change of clothes in case the unimaginable happened!

In the event, I did go to church and nothing untoward happened. Phew!

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Spring · Vicarage

Blasphemy Law

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I love to have the radio on when I am working in the kitchen. The kitchen radio is always tuned to Radio 4 while my study radio which is a DAB is tuned to BBC World Service.

A few weeks ago one Saturday, I was preparing lunch in the kitchen with the radio blaring in the background when I heard the name Jesus at least three times. I was so shocked that I almost sliced off part of my finger! I quickly rushed to the radio and turned up the volume and there it was again followed by laughter. At that point I knew that it definitely was not a religious programme. I was slightly disturbed but continued with my lunch preparation while pondering.

Why is it that one is rightly not allowed to use the name of other gods in non religious context but not so when it comes to the name of Jesus. Is there not such a thing as a blasphemy law? I am genuinely intrigued.