Dear Sir

This would not be the first time that I sensed I was being ‘set up’ as I believe it is termed. I think I am correct in saying that it was Jesus who encouraged us to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves, thus rest assured that on this occasion I will be employing as much reptilian cunning as I can muster that I may not fall into the trap that you have endeavoured to ensnare me with.

Having, on one occasion, fallen prey to the April Fool japery of our youth worker Millie (who convinced me to impress my flock by telling them that a cassock is the national dress of Kazakhstan) I now need little persuading to keep my guard up.

Whilst not having a reputation for being a lover of dogs myself (a rather unfortunate incident involving a chiuaua foraging under the autumn leaves in St.Cliff’s grounds and my penchant for kicking the fallen foliage in a childish and carefree manner, has blotted my copybook in the eyes of local dog owners for all time) I have enough knowledge of ‘man’s best friend’ to understand the pejorative terminology used to define a dog of the feminine gender.

As to having an opinion with regard to what ecclesiastical apparel a female vicar ought to wear I fear that I am on uneasy ground. In that I once inadvertently said my good lady wife looked flab (and not fab as I had intended) on one of our infrequent shared shopping excursions is something that I will probably never quite live down.

It is for this reason that I have resolved to forever remain silent on matters pertaining to female attire.

Onward and upward

Derek