2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · First World Problems · Post Office · Rural · Summer · Vicarage

Dreaded Trip to the Post Office

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I used to love going to the post office to send things off to faraway lands. It used to be such a happy experience but these days the thought of a trip to the post office leaves me with dread. Why? A. the queues are always long. B. You have to pay for your stationery separately before you go ahead to use them to post your item. C. The person at the counter rarely has a smile.

However on this occasion, the trip to the post office was extremely pleasant. I had three parcels for faraway lands. I had to buy the jiffy bags and boxes separately but the Mhinisteir was with me so he took care of most of the things. The young girl behind the counter was very helpful. She even used her own sellotape to seal one of the parcels that was not too secure. Oh and she was smiling too!

2022 · Anglican · BBC · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Multi Parish Benefice · Parishioners · Post Office · Rural · Television · Vicarage · Winter

When Neighbours become good friends…

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It was reported this week that Neighbours, the long running Australian drama will no longer be aired on British television. The reason given is that the television company wants to promote more British dramas.

I don’t watch Neighbours but I used to watch it when it was still aired on BBC one but that was so long ago when the character Susan Kennedy had long thick flowing hair!

I was slightly miffed to read that they were axing Neighbours because I know of many older friends and parishioners who enjoy watching it. Some watch the same episode twice each day; once in the afternoon and once in the evening! I have no idea why though😁.

I really feel very sorry for the older people because bit by bit things that are familiar to them are being taken away from them. Especially in rural places in the UK, the bus services together with banks and post offices are among other things that are slowly disappearing. The little comfort and enjoyment that these pensioners get from soap operas like Neighbours are also disappearing right before their eyes.

Sadly, the Church too has no time for older people. They appear to cater to young people and young families at the expense of the older people who are the stalwarts of the Church.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · First World Problems · Post Office · Royal Mail · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Royal Mail, Please get a grip!

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I love receiving letters with beautiful postage stamps something which is a rarity these days. In turn, I too use pretty postage stamps when I am sending cards and letters. As I find the everyday stamps in blue and red quite boring, I use a mixture of make up value stamps and non adhesive special issue stamps so that the recipient has an element of surprise.

Imagine my annoyance when I read that Royal Mail is introducing postage stamps with barcodes and that the stamps that I now possess will soon become obsolete.

According to Royal Mail, people will be able to scan the barcodes and watch an animation featuring Shaun the Sheep and in future, we will be able to watch videos and greetings from senders. As an adult, why would I want to watch Shaun the Sheep? Furthermore if I wanted to send videos and greetings, why would I spend money buying a postage stamp when I could use my smart phone to do it???? Royal Mail, please get a grip!!!!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Post Office · Protestant · Rural · Scotland · Spring · Vicarage

The Post Office Scandal and the COE

For the last two years, I have been closely following the Post Office scandal thanks to the Private Eye. I think it is absolutely shameful that some post office workers had to go to prison thanks to an almighty IT glitch. It beggars belief that alarm bells were not ringing when the workers expressed concern about the phantom shortfalls.

What shocked me most was to discover yesterday that the former Chief Executive of the Post Office is an ordained minister in the Church of England! She is a non stipendiary minister.

In the tradition that I grew up in, being a minister is a calling and a vocation so I had never heard of a non stipendiary minister before I joined the Church of England. I still am not sure about non stipendiary clergy as I am not convinced that they can commit a 100% to their calling if you can call that.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Post Office · Royal Mail · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Beautiful Postage Stamps

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Here in the Vicarage, occasionally, we receive letters from abroad. The envelopes that the letters come in usually have very beautiful stamps of their native flora, fauna and sometimes of their buildings and tourist spots. It made me wonder why here in the UK, our stamps are so unattractive. It never used to be like that. In the past, I used to look forward to letters in the post and would admire the stamps for a good few minutes before I opened the envelope. These days, I rarely receive a local envelope which has a beautiful stamp. It is always the plain blue (2nd class) or orange red (1st class) self adhesive stamp. I have tried buying stamps at the post office but I just get the same old plain ones. The only exception is at Christmas when we might get some Christmas themed stamps.

I am always writing to people and really want to use beautiful stamps to compliment the pretty envelopes that I use. I started trawling the Royal Mail website for beautiful stamps. For a start, they only offer free delivery for orders over £50 or more! Then I discovered that there are very few choices when it came to second class stamps. It was a choice between Coronation street and Roman Britain! I opted for the latter.

I have now received the stamps and am enjoying using them. I sincerely hope that the recipients will like these stamps as much as I do!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Post Office · Rural · Vicarage · Village

Encounter at the Village Post Office

“There is no room to paste the postage label” said the man at our village post office. He shook his head while looking at the small parcel. Just that I had over 20 of the same sized parcels to be posted.!

“What do you want me to do?” I asked. The man continued shaking his head. At that point, I realised that I had to take matters into my own hands. There is no way I was going to redo everything! I asked him to sell me sufficient postage stamps so that I will be able to paste them myself.

He shook his head again! He didn’t have sufficient stamps!!! He finally concluded that he will be able to affix the computer generated postage label after all. Hooray! Battle won!

However, he won’t be able to do it right away. Fine. I was happy to pay for them first. He shook his head again! For some strange reason because he wasn’t going to process them them right away, I won’t be able to pay by credit card, it had to be debit card. Fine.

Can I please have a receipt? No… I think one can guess where this is going. He shook his head yet again!!!!!!!!!! I can’t have a receipt because he wasn’t going to process them immediately. He suggested that I come back either on Thursday or Friday for the receipt?????? Mmm… It was only Tuesday and he said that the parcels will be processed the same day so why would the receipt only be available on Thursday or Friday???!!!

Anyway, I was exhausted by then and the Mhinisteir was waiting in the cold for me so I decided to leave it at that and pray that the parcels will reach the intended recipients!

2020 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Observations · Post Office · Royal Mail · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage

Class war

I have always favoured 2nd class stamp to first. Why? I don’t usually require my post to reach the recipient the next day. I am fairly organised so I always post my letter a few days in advance so that it will arrive at the right time. I only use a first class stamp if I am needing to act upon something urgently.

After moving to England, one of my many observations was that almost everybody here only use First class stamp!

I began to feel self conscious and tried to change my habit. Old habits die hard! I went back to second class stamps after a few months! Years later I am still using second class stamps!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · FT Weekend · God · Left Handed · Post Office · Private Eye · Rural · Vicarage

Witch Hunt

I was really pleased to read that the Dean of Christ Church has been cleared of all safeguarding charges.

I knew that there was an investigation going on but after reading the Private Eye it sounded more of a witch hunt.

I don’t know the Dean of Christ Church personally and I am not even sure that I will see eye to eye with this person but this is not the way to treat people.

Once again thanks to the Private Eye for investigating, the same way they brought the Post Office Scandal to light.

Church of England · England · Faith · God · Parish Life · Post Office · PPI · Royal Bank of Scotland · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage

Royal Bank of Scotland

We have always banked with RBS.

Here in rural England, there is no RBS branch.  In fact, most of the banks on the High Street nearest to us have closed down.  Those of us in rural communities are being asked to use the Post Office to do our banking.  In theory, it is all well and good.   In order to bank in anything, you need a quick deposit envelope, paying in slip etc.  I don’t know where I can get quick deposit envelopes. Cheque books come with just a handful of paying in slips and so I quickly run out of them!!! These Post Offices are half Post Offices and half shops so you don’t get the full service of the “proper” post office!

Last week, I had to sadly break open my piggy bank!  I was very reluctant to bring the cash contents to the Post Office/shop to deposit.  I couldn’t stop wondering if the person behind the counter might be tempted to pocket the contents.  I know we will get a confirmation slip but what if the person absconds with the money? I don’t mind depositing cheques but I have serious doubts about depositing cash! I suppose this is when I have to exercise faith!!!!

PPI

There was an advert in yesterday’s newspaper to remind the public that the last date to submit any PPI claim is 29 August 2019

As usual, I got reminded of my own PPI story….It happened about 7 years ago!

One day,  the Mhinisteir received a letter from RBS.  He said it was just another marketing letter and handed it to me for shredding.

As I took it to the shredder, curiosity got the better of me and I started reading the letter.  It was a very wordy 2 page letter.  When I turned to page two, I read that we were owed over £900 in mis-sold PPI!!!!

I marched back to the Mhinisteir’s study and made him read the letter again.  That’s when the penny dropped for him.

Anyway, God works in mysterious ways because thanks to PPI, we were finally able to go on a holiday after 12 long months without a single break!