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!

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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

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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???😂😂😂

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

Over Remembering

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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?

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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

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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

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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.

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

Ignoramus

On Saturday morning when I opened the front door to bring the milk bottle in, I was faced with a battalion of what I can only describe as maggots! The porch was covered with these whitish grey creatures. Needless to say that the cool bag containing the milk bottle was crawling with them too. I just assumed that the torrential rain had brought these maggot out of the ground!

I was horrified to be later told that they were caterpillars!!!!!!!! Aren’t caterpillars not meant to be green in colour??? Maybe I was thinking of Colin the caterpillar but on a serious note I really thought that caterpillars are green in colour!!!!!

Another thing that happened that weekend was overnight the stormy weather had blown away ALL the leaves from a certain plant that was next to the porch. I didn’t like that plant (planted by a previous occupant) so I wasn’t at all sorry and quite frankly didn’t care.

Fast forward to today, I learnt that it was the caterpillars that had eaten all the leaves which explains why there was not a single leave on the ground!!!!!!!!!

This is what is left of the plant!!!

2021 · Anglican · Bishop · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Observations · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Safeguarding · Spring · Vicarage

Bear with a sore head!

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Here in the Vicarage, we have a bear with a sore head!

As you can imagine, it is very difficult to live with a bear let alone one with a very sore head!!!!!

Things haven’t been going too well for the Mhinisteir this week. One of it is a safeguarding/church discipline matter. Historical abuse cases in the Church of England mean that these days safeguarding is treated very seriously. I know some people will refute this but I can only base it on my experience. Generally, rural folk tend to pooh pooh safeguarding regulations thus making the Mhinisteir’s job doubly hard.

We hear a lot about clergy abuse but very little is reported about abuse to clergy.

If someone were to make a safeguarding complaint against a clergy, the Bishop has the power to suspend the clergy in question even before the matter has been investigated. Just like the world, the Church of England too doesn’t believe in Innocent until proven guilty anymore.

Before I continue, I must emphasise that the Mhinisteir DOES NOT find himself in this position. What I am trying to say is that safeguarding matters cannot be ignored but have to be treated with a lot of God’s wisdom and sensitivity because things can spiral out of control very quickly.

I am a little frustrated as I wish I can be more of a support to the Mhinisteir but I can’t but what I can do is pray which I always do anyway.

In other news, I heard the doorbell just as I was entering the shower. I assumed it was the postman and that he would leave the parcel on the doorstep. I thought I would wait so that I can hear him driving off before I re-entered the shower. When I couldn’t hear his van, I went to the window and there he was writing the “Sorry we missed you” postcard. I quickly opened the window and asked if he needed a signature and he said no. Why could he not just leave the parcel on the door step like he usually does????

Finally, I came across a new blog the other day and because I decided to read one of this person’s blogpost, I liked the article out of courtesy. Strangely, I came across the same blog again today and saw something that bothered me. This person had used the SAME title for their most recent blogpost. It is a title that I had first used in my blogpost earlier in the week. This person doesn’t follow me or has not liked my blogposts. Should I be worried? Maybe I should be more worried about the bear with a sore head than trivial things like this!!!! Ha ha!!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Observations · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage · Weather · Winter

Let there be light!

What is it with rural churches and lights? For some very strange reason, ALL of our parish churches refuse to turn on the church lights on Sundays! This is in the dead of winter. The lack of light makes reading very difficult.

Personally I find it depressing to go into a Church with no lights turned on. Without the lights, the Churches look dead from the outside. Surely we worship a living saviour not a dead one??! How is one to know if the churches are even open for worship?

Psychologically, in the winter months, the Church “feels” a lot warmer with the lights turned on bearing in mind that the Churches have very little heating.

No wonder the Church is struggling to attract worshippers!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Christmas · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Left Handed · Observations · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Countdown to Christmas 2021. Seriously??

It was just yesterday that I put away our Christmas decorations into storage even though I had taken them down on Epiphany. Imagine my shock when I came across a personal blog where the owner has already started countdown to Christmas 2021. I couldn’t believe my eyes so I had to read it twice just to be sure.

In the Church Calendar, we have just entered Epiphany and on Sunday we marked the baptism of Jesus. There is still a long way to go before Christmas 2021. Don’t you think?