2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · Observations · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

MYOB*

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

While we were on holiday, one of the news stories to catch my attention was that of a couple who were denied the opportunity to buy a property they liked because of their sexual orientation. The sellers had replied to the couple saying that due to their faith and beliefs, they would not be able to sell their house to this couple!

This story reminded me of the time when the Mhinisteir and I were invited by some friends for a long weekend at a famous hotel in Oxford. They had wanted us to meet some friends of theirs, husband and wife. Over afternoon tea, we got to know this couple a little. It just started with small talk over how their journey was etc. I was totally not expecting what came next. They apologised for being late in coming down for afternoon tea as they were busy “cleansing” and praying over the room. They must have seen the shock on my face and so started explaining that whenever they have a hotel stay, they will pray over the bed as it may have been used by adulterous couples etc!!!! Needless to say that we never kept it touch with this couple!!

*Mind your own business😁

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Observations · Rural · Sabbath Day · Vicarage · Winter

Strange Experience

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Many many years ago, the Mhinisteir and I were on holiday in Spain round about this time of the year. It was my first visit to Spain. I was not sure what to make of it as there were Brits everywhere! If that was not enough, every other cafe served all day English breakfast! I love a good cooked breakfast but just not in Spain!😁

One of the first things that we do whenever we arrive on foreign soil is to make sure we find out if there is an English speaking church so that we can go there for Sunday worship. The Mhinisteir found out that there was a fellowship that met in a local hotel on Sunday evenings.

The Sunday evening came and we excitedly walked to the hotel. Upon entering the hotel, we saw a lady from the fellowship with a signboard in English which we found so useful. The service was held in one of the hotel’s ballroom. When we arrived there, we got a very warm welcome. There were about 30 of us mainly holidaymakers. The service was led by a husband and wife team with lots of quotes from the Daily Mail! In some ways, it felt like as if we never left the country!

After the service, just as we were planning a quick exit, the wife came up to us and asked if she could pray for us. She said that she felt that God was asking her to do it and that it had something to do with our imminent future. Before I continue the story, I must stress that this fellowship was run by Charismatic Evangelicals whereas we are high church. Anyway, the Mhinisteir gave her the go ahead and so she placed her hands on both our heads and she said a heartfelt prayer. She might have spoken in tongues for a bit but I can’t remember as I was so nervous. By the way, she didn’t know ANYTHING about us especially the Mhinisteir’s occupation as that can sometimes put people off.

Fast forward to six months later, The Mhinisteir and I had very unexpectedly moved for him to start his incumbency in a Church in a different area! Needless to say that we never forgot this experience.

If God could speak to Balaam through his donkey (Numbers 22:28-31) then this experience should not have come as a shock to me but it did.

2021 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Observations · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

In the Bleak Mid Winter

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

The Church of England has released its first ever Christmas single! You can watch and listen to it here.

Sadly, it is a thumbs down from me as everything about the choir looks funereal but more importantly I prefer the traditional version. Sorry!

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Death · England · Faith · Funeral · God · Observations · Rural · Vicarage

Shock

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

“So is the body in the morgue?” I quizzed the Mhinisteir. I added that I wished to attend the funeral service. The Mhinisteir looking confused asked me whose funeral I was referring to. “P’s of course.” I said. “The funeral is over.” he said. I was too shocked to reply.

According to the Mhinisteir, the funeral was over a good few weeks ago. I was of course wondering why he hadn’t told me about it. He said he too didn’t know about it as it was a direct cremation. As I am not familiar with the term “direct cremation”, I thought it was the name of the funeral directors!

He went on to explain that P had opted for direct cremation which means that nobody would have been present at the crematorium and that there was no service. I was so shocked that I struggled to get the right words out of my mouth.

The Mhinisteir went on to explain that people are increasingly opting for direct cremations. One reason is the cost but the more popular reason is that they don’t want sad farewells!

I am beginning to wonder if in this modern world, we are trying to remove the “sting of death”. Funerals help us in the grieving process. If we don’t grief properly, then it might come back to bite us!

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Church Warden · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Multi Parish Benefice · Observations · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage

Give Way!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Being in a multi parish benefice means that we have an army of church wardens! One of the things that I have observed is that Church wardens become too controlling and defensive of their position; they find it very difficult to involve others in the work of the church. Basically they want to do everything! Sadly they have all become a bit too long in the tooth and are no longer able to serve effectively. I find it all very comical because in a multi parish like ours we have very gifted people. They can very easily do tasks that does not require the churchwardens input.

Furthermore, there are others in the congregation who are ready to become church wardens. The pandemic has meant that there are newly retired people who have moved to our villages and are wanting to be more involved in the churches but in order for that to happen the current church wardens need to give way!!!!

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Butcher · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Food · Observations · Parishioners · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Vicarage · Vicarage Kitchen

Bambi Vs Nemo

Photo by Yoss Traore on Pexels.com

On Sunday, we had pan fried wild Scottish venison haunch for lunch. As I was preparing the meal, I got transported to Scotland as it usually happens!!!

When we lived in Scotland, we ate a lot of venison as it is my favourite red meat. I prefer it to beef; I don’t like lamb as I find the flavour a bit too strong for me.

At least one of our parishioners was a ghillie (one who attends to deer stalking expeditions) which meant that we always had venison in our freezer! In bygone days when I was fighting fit, we used to entertain quite extensively but strangely, I have never ever served venison to any of my dinner guests.

As a host, I always like to ask guests before hand their likes and dislikes together with their dietary requirements and every single time, I was told that they don’t like to eat bambi!!!!

However, they had no trouble with the Scottish Salmon that I served which has made me wonder how is it that they had no trouble eating nemo but not bambi???πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Observations · Rural · Vicarage

Over Remembering

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We live in a world of over sharing and quite frankly over everything including over remembering.

As an introvert, I observe more than I talk, much to the annoyance of those around me. I have tried to talk more but it just does not suit me. Anyway, it is this observation. that has made me think about over remembering.

Every year during this time of remembrance, this subject matter comes to my mind. However, I have always deemed it insensitive and so have refrained from comment. This year, a local restaurant’s advertisement that I saw online has encouraged me to embark on this subject matter. I would like to reiterate that the content of this blog post is solely based on my observation and is not in anyway a criticism.

I always remember Armistice Day/Remembrance Sunday as a day with a quiet but a poignant act of remembrance. However in recent years, there seems to be more and more being said and done to mark these days but they often lose their poignancy.

Coming back to the advertisement that I saw…. it said that on Armistice Day, they would be marking a 2 minute silence starting at 11am. Is it right to impose this on their customers? Maybe they came to the restaurant to avoid it!!!! Imagine being in the middle of your breakfast/brunch with your mouth full of food when it is time to mark the 2 minutes silence????

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Eco · England · Left Handed · Observations · Rural · Summer · Supermarket · Tesco · Vicarage

Where are all the refills?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Am I the only one to notice that most UK supermarkets love getting on their moral high horses when it comes to the environment?

Supermarkets like Tesco no longer bring our orders in bags. Instead, they are scattered in a plastic crate and it is up to me to scramble like crazy while the delivery driver just stands there and watches!

The only supermarket to continue bringing our groceries in bags is Ocado and so a big well done to them. Again they appear to be the only one who happen to sell refills for Method and ECover.

I am quite sure that half the products that we buy and use can be refilled so why are the manufacturers not producing them and even if they did why are supermarkets like Tesco not stocking them???

I am not an eco warrior but I do care about the environment. When I lived in the Far East in the late 80s, they had already started selling refill packs for coffee, washing up liquid, detergent etc. Why are we in the western world so slow to move on to refill packs? Most importantly what gives us the right to lecture other countries about the environment??

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Observations · Rural · Summer · Vicarage

Fascination with Astrology

Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

I have always associated astrology with the East. In recent times, I have observed that star signs are part of every other magazine and newspaper that I come across. Sometimes, there are two separate readings in the one magazine!!!

I am somewhat taken aback by the fascination with astrology here in the West. As a Christian, I don’t read my star signs but I am interested to know why people read them especially the young.

Anyway, I think I got the answer to that question at the weekend.

“Our obsession with star signs is simply a desperation for a belief system. In the absence of organised religion, we have turned to something equally inexplicable to give us a sense of rules, order and outcome in a world of unpredictable chaos.”

Sunday Times Style Magazine,18 July 2021

2021 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Archbishop of York · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Observations · Parish Church · Parish Life · Prayer · Rural · Summer · Vicarage · Wedding · Wedding Couples

Banns of Marriage

Photo by Marina Ryazantseva on Pexels.com

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.