2023 · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

New Year, Old Problems Disguised as New Ones!

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Thursday, 26th of January 2023

It has only been a month since Christmas but it feels like a distant memory.

The Mhinisteir had a “quiet” period workwise between Christmas and New Year but since the start of the year new problems have been coming out of the woodwork. I say new problems but they are really old ones disguised as ssomething brand new which is what infuriates me. I quite enjoyed the quiet period when I got the “old” Mhinisteir to myself.

There have been a lot of changes on the diocesan front which also makes his work difficult. The turnover has been quite phenomenal. Whenever someone new comes in, they have got a thousand and one ideas which they think will solve ALL the problems. No wonder they say new broom sweeps clean!

There are also other changes happening in the background which I’m afraid is not one for the blog. Maybe I might be able to touch on that some day.

In the meantime, I just have to remain supportive towards all that the Mhinisteir does which I confess is not always easy because I would definitely not be as patient as he is!!!!!

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

The Cat & The Tortoise

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Miss JV was asking after you and specifically told me to tell you that she had to put down her cat” said the Mhinisteir two Sundays ago. He had just come through the door . I had to miss church that Sunday due to ill health.

I forgot all about Miss JV and her cat until Thursday last week when I decided to give her a wee ring. The phone rang for a very long time. Just as I was about to ring off, a quite hello came on the other side.

It was Miss JV. I told her how sorry I was to hear about her cat. What she said next put the fear of God in me!. She said “I can’t believe you have rang me at precisely this time because it was exactly at this time six weeks ago that I had to put the cat down”. Miss JV was very grateful that I rang to enquire about her well being. She said I was too kind but I see it as my duty as a vicar’s wife to empathise and sympathise.

She also has a pet tortoise that is 52 years old! She was concerned that there will be no one to look after it upon her translation. At that point I almost volunteered to look after it! I am so relieved that I didn’t allow my emotions to get the better of me! The Mhinisteir was even more relieved when I told him about it!

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

What shouldn’t happen on a typical day off!

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Clergy are entitled to one day off a week and so the Mhinisteir takes a day off during the week. EVERYBODY involved in the churches know when his day off is however most people struggle to respect it. It is the same every week. Quite frankly I don’t think anyone cares about clergy well being, all they want is someone to solve their problem when they want it. One recent day off was memorable because of the turn of events. It wasn’t funny when it happened but now when I think back it is kind of humourous.

We had just down in the Vicarage dining room for our leisurely breakfast when the telephone rang. A mini drama had unfolded in the church office and they were needing the Mhinisteir.

A few hours later, we sat down for our lunch. Would you believe it dear reader when I say the telephone rang again? It did and this time it was one of the church wardens. Nobody was willing to have a look at the pigeons living in the bell tower of one of the churches.

We tend to have our evening meals between 6.00pm and 6.30pm. We were halfway through our dinner when the telephone rang๐Ÿ˜. A parishioner had been given days to live and so they needed to get married super fast.

Only the last phone call was a real emergency. The rest could have waited until the following day when the Mhinisteir was back at work but that is the life of a vicar!

2022 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Sabbath Day · Vicarage

Sunday Encounter

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“Do you need a pew sheet?” asked the person at the church door. “Yes, please.” I answered. “Oh I thought you would have brought your own.” Brought my own????? I told the person that I don’t have online access to it; collected the pew sheet together with the prayer book, thanked the person and went to my usual pew.

As rural churches our parishioners are not tech savy at all. Some are completely off grid while others struggle and find it all a big nuisance so we still operate in a very “old fashioned” way with pew sheets etc which is perfectly fine with me. Only the person who does the pew sheet has access to it and no one else. With the Mhinisteir being responsible for umpteen churches, I often lose track as to which churches he will be in that particular Sunday. I just go where ever the car goes! I will not be printing pewsheets even if they were all made available online because I won’t know which church I will be in!!!!

The person who asked me that question themselves does not do technology so I don’t know what that was all about.

By the way, the pew sheet is very important because that is where one can find the bible readings for that morning.

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

The Lows of Rural Living

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The soaring cost of living means that we who live in the country side are beginning to be weighed down by it.

Rural living means that one needs a car even to get a pint of milk! The Mhinisteir’s job means that he does a lot of mileage. You need three hands to count the number of parishes that he is responsible for and church services are held in all the parishes. On top of that, the parishioners who are spread across the villages need pastoral visits and home communions to those who are housebound.

We also need heating oil to provide us with heating especially during the cold months. Did you know that heating oil is not monitored by Ofgem so there is no price cap? This just means that the supplier can mark up the price of oil which they have already done so since the war started.

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

Gormless Grave Diggers

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Our vicarage is in the same grounds as the church and the churchyard so we get a good view of the churchyard from our bedroom. Every morning when the curtains are drawn the first thing that I get to see is the churchyard. I know that some people will be uncomfortable with the thought but I find that it keeps me grounded.

One morning last month, I saw two young men holding a spade walking up and down the churchyard.

I knew there was going to be a burial that afternoon and so was expecting to see the gravedigger. Just then the phone rang and guess what? The grave diggers couldn’t find the marked plot. Are they serious? I could see the marked plot clearly from the bedroom. The church warden is the one who marks the plot.

What I saw next caused me to burst out laughing because it reminded me of Del Boy and Rodney from Only Fools and Horses. The grave diggers were literally moving at snail’s pace and it took them a whopping two hours to dig a SINGLE grave. This was with the aid of a digger!

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

Why write to the newspapers?

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A few weeks ago, I was shocked to see a letter published in our local newspaper about a missing tombstone from one of our parish churchyards.

I was genuinely baffled. If it was me, I will contact the church wardens to get some answers. Writing to the newspaper seems like a very antagonistic approach to take.

I suppose each to his own.

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 · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Spring · Vicarage

Dog Friendly? No Thanks!

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I write this on a week when I have heard that a “blogger dog” that I had been secretly following has sadly died. ๐Ÿ’”

I have been recently discovering much to my annoyance that more and more hotels and restaurants in the UK are becoming dog friendly. I like to admire a well behaved dog from a distance but sharing hotels and restaurants with them is just a step too far.

We have someone who brings their dog to one of our churches; I hasten to add that it is neither a guide dog nor a therapy dog. Sadly, God worship turns into dog worship because the rest of the congregation are oohing and aahing at every sound the dog makes while I sit with a grump on my face.

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

Holy Week

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Since this is Holy Week, I have decided to take a break from blogging for the rest of the week. It is going to be a busy week with services every day which means that blogging will become a chore instead of a pleasure.

In the meantime, I wish those who celebrate Easter, a contemplative holy week and a Blessed Easter!

To the rest, I wish you Happy Holidays!

All being well, normal services will resume next week.