A Fishy Business!
A Fishy Business!

August 16, 2010

Dear Friends

Having been challenged of late by my good lady wife with respect to what she claims are my lacklustre attempts to foster the spirit of ecumenism within our fair parish I resolved (perhaps a tad reluctantly I will confess) to make a little more effort in this respect.

A brief foray to the local shops to replace my emergency supply of Tic Tacs presented me with an opportunity for the rubber to hit the proverbial road. I should add that fresh breath (of the minty variety) is now a top priority within St Cliff’s prayer ministry team since an unfortunate ‘punter’ was laid low not by the power of God but, rather, the less than savoury, but most certainly all-consuming, breath of one of our number.

On entering ‘Fags and Mags’, the nearest purveyors of the the aforementioned minty morsels, I could not believe my good fortune in being presented with such a ready opportunity to engage with a fellow citizen of heaven. Whilst I did think it a little odd that the man in question was buying up lottery tickets as if there was no tomorrow I shelved any unhelpful inclination I might have had to judge a brother and, as he turned to make his exit, I flung my open arms around him in the manner of the father in the parable of the prodigal son, clasping the gentleman to my chest in a vice-like embrace.

Things did not turn out quite as I would have hoped and his immediate suspicion was that he was in the process of being mugged and not entering into an act of ecumenical harmony. This was only abated by his catching sight of my protruding dog collar. I shudder to think what he would have done with his hastily clenched fist otherwise.

In a bid to shed light on this temporary misunderstanding I quickly pointed to my Icthus ‘fish’ badge that matched his similar silver lapel badge (this being my rationale for identifying the fellow as a fellow believer in the first place).

Sadly I was mistaken.

It turns out that my ecumenical advances were in vain and what he was in fact sporting was the mark of a garden shears salesman and not a brother in Christ.

To add to my shame the unconvinced proprietor of ‘Fags and Mags’ has slapped his own version of an ASBO on my good self for the duration of one month (subject to good behaviour) whence I will be allowed back into his shop.

Let us hope that the prayer line at St Cliff’s is a little lighter this summer season while the opportunity to replenish my mint supply is temporarily put on hold.

Onward and upward

Derek