Readings Isaiah 44.6-8; Romans 8.12-25; Matthew 13.24-30,36-43
NOTICES FOR THE WEEK
Today – Trinity 6
9.00a.m.Holy Communion – Longford
9.30a.m. Holy Communion – Boyleston
11.00a.m. Family Service – Sutton
12.15p.m. Holy Communion – Long Lane NOTE TIME
5.00p.m. Evensong – Trusley
6.30p.m. Evensong – Radbourne
7.30p.m. Sutton PCC meeting
Next Sunday – Trinity 7
10.30a.m. United Holy Communion – Long Lane
On the joys of exchanging parishes for the summer
From: The Rectory, St. John the Faster, Waterhouses-on-Sea
My dear Nephew Darren
You will see that I write to you this month from the Norfolk coast, where I am spending August, on an annual exchange of parishes with a clerical colleague. You may have had two weeks in July sunning yourself on an exotic beach on a Pacific island, but I am content with a bracing east wind, punctuated by heavy showers.
Come the happy day when you are an incumbent and have to arrange parish exchanges as a way of getting a holiday, let me give you some advice. First, always exchange with someone who is a worse preacher than you are and whose sermons are at least twice as long; you are then sure to be welcomed back with open arms.
Secondly, since it is normally assumed that you will take care of one another’s gardens during the month, make sure that the incumbent you exchange with has an insignificant plot. My colleague should now be largely occupied for most of the month mowing several acres of lawn. The only gardening I intend to do will be in the last week, so I can return with a car full of plums from his trees.
An exchange also gives one an opportunity to undertake helpful improvements in another’s home. I have discovered that my colleague’s library is carefully organised with books according to subject and then author. On his return he will find a new system in operation: they will be ordered according to size and colour. The poor man also naively thought I would never discover his stock of claret in the cellars; it will be much depleted on his return – although I shall naturally leave a note thanking him profusely for laying on such a splendid present for my visit.
Ministering to someone else’s congregation can create another opportunity. For one month in the year, you are able to say exactly what you want. If a dear lady should be foolish enough to ask you after Mattins what you think of her hat, you can tell her with total honesty, knowing that someone else will have to pour oil the following month. Upsetting organists, choristers, vergers, flower arrangers and anyone else who happens to cross your path can be bracingly therapeutic when you do not have to face the consequences.
You may have returned from sunnier climes relaxed and tanned, but I shall arrive at September refreshed from knowing I leave behind a trail of devastation and chaos, which will ensure that my host will also be welcomed back by a relieved congregation. Remember the golden rule of parishioners: every new incumbent is worse than his predecessor.
Your loving uncle,
The Parish Pump can be found on the internet at https://churchbroughtonchurch.wordpress.com