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Derek the Cleric and the Bishop’s Ultimatum

The Firmly fixed faithful

Dear friends

Not before time am I preparing to bid a none-too-fond farewell to the last vestiges of winter.

Spring is most definitely in the air at St Cliff’s which, to tell the truth, is not the only thing.

It would certainly not even have required the services of a nasally-enhanced bloodhound to have detected the disturbing aroma that has recently graced this hallowed building. I was reliably informed that Mrs Bidmarsh and her cleaning ladies had given our pews the ‘once over’ with Mr Sheen or some such branded wood-reviving agent in their usually quick-off-the-mark spring clean (it still being only early March) but, as I suspected, what they intended to use and what they actually ended up coating our ecclesiastical leg rests with were not one and the same thing.

It was noticeable last Sunday morning that the usual high speed evacuation of St. Cliff’s sanctuary which typically proceeds my ‘that’s all folks’ benediction appeared to have been supernaturally put on hold as the entire congregation remained firmly seated as if secured to the pews by some unseen hand.

This perceptive diagnosis of mine was not as far off the mark as you might have imagined when to everyone’s surprise but my own (being well aware of the composite nature of the St. Cliff’s Cleaning Committee; they being either 100% dotty, blind as a bat or a frightening combination of both) that in fact the services of one Mr Sheen had never been employed in this comparatively simple task but rather one
Mr SprayFix (patent pending), no less who, whilst displaying himself within the confines of (one has to in all fairness admit), a similarly shaped and coloured receptacle, did not confer upon our oaken heirlooms the hoped for result.

The next ten minutes were spent persuading Mr Potts, our duty deacon who had had the good fortune not to have been sitting down but instead standing at the back of the church minding the entrance door against the unlikely sudden invasion from gatecrashers, the local criminal underworld or worse, in his doctrinally prejudiced book, charismatics to put to one side his entrenched opinions on Sunday trading and to pop down the road to Fags and Mags forthwith to procure on behalf of the firmly fixed faithful a dozen tins of lighter fuel which, when applied, would hopefully guarantee their freedom.

The departure of Mr Potts was only finally agreed and his conscience temporarily salved by reminding him that even Jesus sometimes ‘broke the rules’ on the Sabbath.

My conscience, on the other hand, still weighs very heavy having found it necessary to dip into the offering plate to fund this expedient initiative.

Onward and upward


Watch out for more posts in this ongoing saga

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