Country clergy like Joan nearly always have to take at least two services on a Sunday morning, so if my cover for her was going to help it was important to complete the job and go on to Feltwell for round 2 of Grimshoe Benefice’s worship today. Highlights of the service were enjoying the ministry of a whole gang of young robed acolytes, carrying on the tradition of the 15tth century ones carved in the roof right above where they sat – and a birthday cake and finger food lunch to follow.
I was pretty fed up to hear that the Heritage Lottery Fund had turned down a really good grant bid, supported by lots of local groups and services, to turn the big north aisle that a Victorian Vicar built onto the church (oh dear…) into a community centre. On the grounds that not enough footfall could be guaranteed. Sometimes I think that no-one in national government or agencies really “gets” what rural is like. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.