a new year begins
a new year begins

January 06, 2011

Dear friends,

    A new year begins and this, I am certain, is going to be St Cliff’s year. I can feel it in my water. Which reminds me, I must make a point of removing my emergency supply of effervescent Alka Seltzer tablets from my trouser pocket when called upon to conduct baptisms.

    When Mrs Philpott sprung back to new life from the tepid depths of St Cliff’s baptistry last month she all but cleared the first two rows of the congregation who, fearing that having been buried to her old life she had now risen up, foaming at the mouth, as the first of a new breed of rabid

    I have taken it upon myself to write to the chairman of the pharmaceutical company responsible suggesting that perhaps a little less fizz in their product would be no bad thing.

    Every cloud has a silver lining and Mrs Philpott assures me that since that unfortunate day she hasn’t suffered half as much from indigestion as she used to. A blessing indeed!

    With the festive season but a fading memory I have taken it upon myself to propose to the Christmas Decorations Committee that it would perhaps be in everyone’s interest if next year we purchase either an artificial tree or one that has not the least hint of a root. Notwithstanding, that is, the rather vociferous objections from old Mr McMurtry that allowing a Christmas tree into St Cliff’s is tantamount to heresy being that “there be no mention of them, there pagan abominations in the Holy scriptures”.

    In that the Bible is also somewhat silent on the subject of Christmas cards I feel duty bound to scrub Mr McMurtry from my Christmas card list post-haste lest I be accused of straying into heresy in this matter also.

    With regard to the said Christmas tree, whilst I recognise that Mrs Roberts’ flower ladies were more than keen to use up the somewhat excessive ‘job lot’ of Baby Bio that came their way courtesy of   Mr Roberts (and no doubt the rear end of a lorry at some point if I know her husband), their daily routine of generous plant food top-ups for our tree only served to encourage the already over-sized tinsel tower that the Christmas Decorations Committee had seen to inflict upon us, to sprout
heavenward at a rate of knots that would have put any Apollo rocket launch to shame and left us with not only a superlative hole in the roof but also the only church in the parish that could boast a ‘spire’ at both ends - one of which sported the slightly more garish crowning glory of an intermittently flashing Christmas fairy.

    Let us hope that when the bishop joined us for ‘Carol’s at St Cliff’s’ his perennial neck ailment kept his gaze fixed firmly earthbound.

  We can only but wonder what this year has in store for us at St Cliff’s.


    Onward and upward.