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 · Faith · God · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Spring · Vicarage

Then there were 2…

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Warning: This blogpost may not be suitable for dog lovers.

I am not a pet lover. I don’t mind dogs from a distance but I get slightly annoyed when I see them in church! I don’t know what it is with rural folk and dogs and why they feel obliged to bring them to church. By the way I have got absolutely no problem with guide dogs etc. For years, I lived in both urban and rural Scotland but no one has ever brought their dog to church. The dogs are usually waiting for their owners in the car. If you are reading this and have spotted dogs in other churches please do let me know so that I will know that this is not just a tradition in rural England.

Warning: If you are a dog owner and are still reading this, please refrain from sending me hate emails!🤣

The pandemic meant that dogs were forced to stay at home on Sundays but since the restrictions were lifted they have started coming to church again.

One Sunday, there were two instead of the usual one in one of the churches. I have never seen the second one before but I avoided eye contact with him and needless to say that I was the first one out of church after the service!

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Rude Awakening

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The Mhinisteir and I live in rural England where 99.9% of our parishioners are “Brexiteers”. The wonderful thing about democracy is that we have freedom to choose so we have no problem with “Brexiteers”. Actually, we co-exist very well.

When we first moved here, we started buying a right wing broadsheet newspaper to better understand our parishioners and stuck with it until a month ago. We of course read the Private Eye, FT Weekend and the Sunday Times so that we will have different view points.

However, I gave myself a rude shock when I started dismissing “partygate”. I couldn’t believe that the newspaper was beginning to shape my thinking. I was disappointed with myself. I had a wee chat with the Mhinisteir about it and to my great relief he told me that he had been feeling the same way for a wee while so that is when we decided to cancel our subscription and change our newspaper subscription.

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Lock Horns

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This is exactly what the Mhinisteir was forced to do several weeks ago. Regular readers will know that for more than a year now there has been a serious safeguarding issue that has been going on with very little support from the relevant person. The problem had become so big that the Mhinisteir had to do something about it before it turned into a giant fireball.

However, the relevant person was not happy with the Mhinisteir’s decision making and told him so to which the Mhinisteir replied that if this person had done their job probably, the Mhinisteir wouldn’t have had to step in! Ouch!

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

Where is the ambulance?

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Since the pandemic started, here in the UK, it is not uncommon to hear that people especially older folk are having to wait for about 12 hours when they ring for an ambulance.

We personally know of a parishioner who waited for 12 hours in pain after breaking her hip in a fall. What is the reason for all these long waits? I haven’t a clue but what I witnessed several weeks ago has left me with some doubts.

I wrote about an incident that happened in the churchyard some weeks ago. There were three police cars and two ambulances. One of the ambulances was parked in our driveway. The other ambulance took away the casualty who have since sadly passed away. The ambulance in our driveway was there in until 2.45am after which it left empty. I have since learned that there was only one person involved in the whole tragedy so why were there two ambulances? Furthermore, why did the other ambulance that was in our driveway not leave pronto?

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. 💔

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 · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Spring · Vicarage

Unholy Thoughts (Again!)

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On Palm Sunday, one of the services was in one of my least favourite churches. It is my least favourite church because this is where the “incident” happened.

As I was walking towards the church while trying to avoid the rabbit holes, I saw the walking aid of one of the trouble makers. My first thought was to grab it and hide it among the tall grass in the church yard!!!!!

I am not at all proud of my thoughts but I wanted to write about it because I often fear that I might give regular readers this impression of myself as a wonderful sinless human person to ever walk on earth 😀!