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.

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

From Nuisance to Devil

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Warning: If you are a retired clergy, please look away NOW!

There has been a lot of hoo-ha over the last ten days over the imminent retirement of the Dean of Canterbury. Several letters in the Telegraph. He will turn 75 on the day of his retirement.

His “fan club” is upset because this means an end to the morning prayer he conducts online. I have never watched them and didn’t know they existed.

As the Mhinisteir and I were discussing this over dinner, we moved to a slightly contentious subject of retired clergy. Some clergy go into complete retirement while others obtain something called the PTO (permission to officiate) from their respective Bishops. In my observation, these retired clergy with PTOs can become a real nuisance. I know of many instances where they have been very very naughty causing the incumbent grieve! One of the ways they try to do this is by undermining the incumbent.

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

Unusual bed time reading

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The Mhinisteir’s library is teeming with books. They are mostly theological books but there is a small selection for light reading which is bliss.

On this occasion, I decided to go for the heavy duty stuff. The canons of the Church of England and the 39 Articles of religion as I have been a little concerned about certain things in the Church of England and have not been satisfied with the explanations offered.

The 39 Articles of the Church of England is a fairly easy read. It is very similar to the Westminster confession of faith which I grew up with.

The canons of the Church of England is a bit like a summarised version of the bible. It is very informative and helped to clear all the doubts that I had.

After having read both the canons and the 39 articles, I have been left wondering why the Church of England struggles to abide by them!๐Ÿ˜

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

Hostility on Sundays

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Since the start of the year, I have started going to ALL the services on Sundays and to the midweek services too. As you can imagine, it is a LOT of services to attend in a week. No wonder I am knackered for the rest of the week!

With umpteen parishes and me just attending two services on a Sunday, it was difficult to see most of the parishioners on a regular basis. I wanted to see more of them and I know they wanted to see a bit more of me too because some have told me so! This was the reason I gave the Mhinisteir for my decision to attend all the services. However, that is not the main reason; I have no intention of telling him the main reason either!

Regular readers will know that some time ago there was an incident in one of the parishes. Sadly, it isn’t a one off incident or exclusive to that one parish. The Mhinisteir has to deal with such behaviour on a weekly basis. Thankfully, it is not personal. The churchwardens are angry with every decision maker in the Church of England especially those in the diocese because they don’t want to belong to a multi parish benefice.

They want to function in the old way when there was a priest for EVERY parish. With just A HANDFUL of people attending church in these parishes on a Sunday, it isn’t viable.

Sitting in these churches, helplessly witnessing these horrible behaviours towards the Mhinisteir is painful. On one such occasion, I remember wishing that I wasn’t there but then I decided to put myself in the Mhinisteir’s shoes; how lonely he must feel?

I cannot and must not interfere in church matters but I can be there for him. As we said in our marriage vows… for better, for worse.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Face Masks · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Friday Night’s Dinner

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Friday night’s dinner didn’t go as planned. Being away from the vicarage meant that I wasn’t up to date with the news. Meanwhile, the newspapers were piling up back at the vicarage๐Ÿ˜! I had the radio on all week but the news was all about the war and nothing else. I knew that Covid-19 rules were being further eased but I had no idea that things had gone back to pre Covid19 times until the night before.

Sadly, that news put the kibosh to our plans for dinner. We both didn’t feel comfortable going to a place full of maskless people. The Mhinisteir has a few parishioners on their death beds who need visiting and it is not fair on them or anybody else for that matter so we just got a Japanese takeaway which turned out to be very enjoyable!