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!
There was an incident in church one week when we were due to be away. I was disturbed by what had happened that my packing for the trip went completely haywire with me missing out a good number of essentials including my bible! Thankfully, these days you can access the bible online but sadly it is never the same as handling the physical book itself.
I am still shocked by that incident. I wish I could write about it… After witnessing that ugly incident, my first thought after I had composed myself was, is it any wonder that many clergy in the Church of England are signed off work when they have to regularly come face to face with intimidation tactics employed by some parishioners. However, I also wonder if clergy these days especially the younger ones are equipped for the real world. The ones that I know appear to live in lala land!
I love going to Church on Sundays but dread it when there is to be a baptism. I know of some people who don’t turn up when they know there is to be a baptism but that is not an option available to me. I go by the principle that if I am going to miss church on any particular Sunday then I must have an extremely good reason for doing so!
Before I go on, I would like to emphasise that I write this as an ordinary church goer and not as a Vicar’s wife!
Due to the pandemic and lockdowns, there is a backlog of baptisms in our churches that the Mhinisteir is only now able to clear. Some of the babies who were born during the first lockdown are already toddlers!!!!
There are many reasons why I dread going to church when there is be a baptism.
Ordinary church goers get sidelined. The church wardens and others get so excited by the prospect of a huge turnout that the baptismal party is assigned the choicest seats while we the ordinary folk get dumped in the back or side.
Almost always, the day of the baptism is the only time these folk darken the door of the church. That is fine by me but it is unfair to let them to take control of the church and turn it into a party venue. Despite reminders to not take photos in Church due to safeguarding rules they continue snapping away throughout the service. The Church is the house of God and we are all there to worship!
They rarely have any respect whatsoever for anything that goes on in Church. They are fidgety and distracting. The clothes they wear especially the ladies is much to be desired. I know that most of us can’t afford to dress like the Queen but one can’t turn up to church wearing almost next to nothing. It is not only disrespectful but distracting.
Strangely, the children who come with their parents to these services are immaculately behaved!!!!
The Church of England was rebuked at a recent inquest held into the death of a former priest. It mishandled inquiry into false child abuse allegations. The priest took his own life as he could not cope with the investigation. How is one supposed to cope when they are not even told of the nature of the investigation! How cruel! He is not the first priest to have died because of the CofE’s negligence and sadly he won’t be the last!
I think I have said enough on this matter in my previous posts so I won’t say anymore.
However, I would urge all CofE clergy to join the Church of England Clergy Advocates (CECA) who are members of the Faith Workers Branch of Unite the Union. There is a monthly membership fee but I am reliably informed that it will be money worth spent.
The Mhinisteir is a member. If you are a clergy or know of a clergy, please encourage them to join. They will provide clergy with all the necessary support including legal support should (God forbid!) the clergy require it.
By joining, you will also in a small way (through the membership fee) be able to support falsely accused clergy like the Chancellor of Lincoln.
I always look forward to going to church on a Sunday but sadly not this weekend. I am nervous. Very nervous. Since freedom day, things have gone awry. Covid cases are going up and up. Among other chaos, shops and supermarkets are struggling to keep the stores open.
For myself, I am just not ready to be without a mask or have someone sit immediately next to me in Church or anywhere for that matter. I am also nervous for the Mhinisteir. He has a wedding tomorrow and I dread to think how folk will behave.
The disappointing thing is that among the folk in our umpteen parishes, I am among a very tiny minority who feels this way! The rest are clamouring for the full works including singing without masks!
Now that summer is upon us, almost every other Sunday we hear at least one Banns of Marriage being read out in church.
In the Church of England, it is a legal requirement for Banns of Marriage to be read out in Church. Banns of Marriage are announcements that are made in the church that the wedding couple are due to be married in. They are read so that it will give anyone the opportunity to give a reason why the couple cannot be lawfully married.
The Banns of Marriage of a couple are read for three Sundays, three months before the actual wedding. After the Banns have been read, the congregation prays for the couple.
When I moved to England and started worshipping in the Church of England, I very quickly realised that these couples whose Banns of Marriage were announced were rarely present in Church. I mentioned earlier that the main aim of the announcement is to give anyone the opportunity to give a reason why the couple cannot be lawfully married. If you don’t even know who is getting married, how can you in good conscience say that you don’t know of any impediment?????????
After all these years, I still find the rules of the Church a bit strange but then it is not the rules is it?? The Church and her Vicars need to be more diligent in imposing them. The couple must be present when their Banns of Marriage is being read. If it is too much of an imposition, they should seriously consider why they wanted to get married in a Church in the first place!. Contrary to what senior clerics promote, the Church is NOT a wedding venue! You can’t pick and choose which bits of the church you like and which bits you don’t.
The General Synod under the aegis of the ABY is trying to increase the number of lay lead parishes and have services in homes. To put simply they are trying to “kill” the traditional parish churches.
Unless they have all been living under a rock, my observation especially since the first lockdown is that most people still value traditional parish churches and church services which is why there was such an outcry over the closing down of churches during the first lockdown. I also happen to know that not everyone is happy or comfortable with online services.
How about the Eucharist? Who is going to administer that? A traditional parish church is a neutral place that is welcome to anyone and everyone. That cannot be said of these so called home churches because the home belongs to an individual and he/she reserves the right to deny entry.
“Are you the Vicar?” barked the woman who was standing at the door. Seconds earlier, I saw through the kitchen window a very angry woman, wearing bright yellow wellies marching towards the Vicarage door. We have a door bell but she opted to bang on the door.
I wasn’t eavesdropping. I just happened to be preparing breakfast in the kitchen when this happened.
She went on a rant demanding the Mhinisteir do something about her unhappiness there and then.
She is unhappy that the churchyard is getting in the way of her garden. Seriously???? Did she not consider that when she bought the house all that yonks ago????
What a start to our Monday morning!
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. A few years back, a newcomer to the village complained about the church bells. The matter even went to court after this individual displayed threatening behaviour. Why buy a house right next to the parish church if you want peace and quiet????
I have been off colour for a few days now. I even spent the whole of yesterday in bed. The Mhinisteir thinks it is due to the disrupted sleep during our short break which has spectacularly upset my system!
The glorious weather has meant that the electric blanket has finally been packed away (again!) and the wee fan has made a grand appearance. It also has meant that I am having to leave the cool bag out for the milkman.
Yesterday, the postman brought a package like the one on Friday and this time he didn’t ring the bell and was able to put it through the letterbox so what was different on Friday??? The parcel was of the same size, from the same supplier and didn’t require a signature because it was a book that the Mhinisteir had ordered but unfortunately the supplier had sent him the wrong copy! The book that arrived yesterday was the correct one.
I renewed our Private Eye subscription this morning and boy they certainly don’t make it easy. I HAD to login to my account and I couldn’t remember my password so I had to reset my password. Once I was logged on, I had to remember when our subscription will end which meant I had to go back to the original email. Finally when it came to pay, I realised that I had to pay £2 more because I preferred to pay by PAYPAL instead of direct debit! We enjoy reading the Private Eye immensely so it was worth it!
This morning, the Mhinisteir received an email asking if he would be willing to take on another Curate! I am not saying anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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!!!!