NOTICES FOR THE WEEK
Today – Trinity 8
9.30a.m. Mattins – Boylestone
10.00a.m. Family Service – Church Broughton
11.15a.m. Holy Communion – Longford
12.15p.m. Holy Communion – Sutton
3.00p.m. Evensong – Dalbury
7.00p.m. Evensong – Long Lane
Next Sunday – Trinity 9
8.30a.m. Holy Communion – Long Lane
9.30a.m. Holy Communion – Church Broughton
11.00a.m. Mattins – Sutton
11.00a.m. Holy Communion – Radbourne
12.10p.m. Holy Communion – Trusley
5.00p.m. Holy Communion – Boylestone
6.30p.m. Evensong – Longford
On why the parish goes to war over pumpkin-growing
From The Rectory
St. James the Least
My dear Nephew Darren
Anyone who thinks that the English are a peaceful race has obviously never organised the annual pumpkin growing competition. Very regrettably, one of the Pilgrim Fathers sent a handful of pumpkin seeds to a relation in this parish in the 17th century and ever since, the church has been obliged to hold an annual competition to see who can grow the largest. I suspect some of the original recipients of those seeds still compete. There is a certain irony that the church, which is supposed to promote peace and harmony, sponsors the most war-like activity in the annual calendar.
Mobilisation starts at the beginning of the year when seeds are planted. From that moment on, every other potential entrant is regarded as the Enemy. Once seedlings are planted out, then heavy armaments are placed at boundaries to deter possible invasion. By late Spring, paranoia has taken over and rumours begin to circulate of espionage and sinister undetectable herbicides. Anyone in the village with a beard is looked on with deep suspicion.
In the weeks before the competition, homes, partners and children are abandoned, as contestants talk to their pumpkins by day and snuggle up with them at night. Should bad weather arrive at this point, then I am blamed for not having prayed sufficiently fervently for sunshine and light rain. If only I had such influence.
On the day before the show, tables are put out and woe betide anyone who places their cake stand where Mrs Cholmondeley has put her tea urn for the past 25 years; she now believes she has squatters rights to that place and any challenge to her claim would probably result in litigation.
I find this competitive spirit a little bemusing, as for the last 25 years, the Earl of Stowe has always won first prize. That his mother, the Dowager Countess, is the judge, is, I am sure, pure coincidence. That she has arrived for the past three years with a white stick and accompanied by a golden Labrador does, however, raise doubts.
To award the Earl any prize at all does seem a little unfair, when the only time he ever gets mud on his boots is when he falls off his horse while hunting. I suspect he would be hard pressed to find where the kitchen garden is on his estate. But to give any credit to his gardening staff would be seen as bad form, so we all keep quiet.
It has been tentatively suggested that another judge should be appointed, but no one has so far had the courage to step forward. They may have the privilege of nominating the winner, but would also have to face a twelve month period of hatred from all those who were not successful. Christmas card lists will be amended. Families may have sat next to them in church for generations, but would suddenly find it more congenial to worship in another part of the church. Letters would be strangely mis-delivered and the butcher’s boy would suddenly deliver lamb when pork had been ordered. Who could dare to take on such a poisoned chalice?
Your loving uncle,
Music festival as parent drops off teenagers…
Daughter: Did you ever hear anything so amazing as that band?
Father: Well, I once heard a collision between
a milk float and a little van filled with ducks.
The Parish Pump can be found on the internet at https://churchbroughtonchurch.wordpress.com