Neighbours at war

Considerable anxiety, I hear, about parking outside the church on Easter Sunday. (There are those who drive their 4x4s just a few hundred yards rather than walk.)  I know in the past that Mr Kibble at no. 41 has very kindly allowed members of the congregation to park on his drive. But owing to a falling-out with neighbours over his thwarted plans for a kitchen extension, he is feeling less kindly towards the village as a whole and says his front gate will be padlocked over the holiday period. Such a shame when people living side by side end up daggers drawn. Personally, I have never had a problem with my neighbours. Giles (the barrister) says he has never met anyone like me. Which suggests, perhaps, that an easygoing nature  is not nearly as common as we think.

The case for gay marriage

‘So what do you think about gay marriage?’  I asked Mary, our vicar, this morning.

She smiled and said, ‘Why?’

(In my opinion, it’s not good manners to answer a question with a question.)

‘Where does the Church of England stand on the issue?’ I said.

Mary’s glasses are so sparklingly clean that you can see her expression very clearly.

She said, ‘So we’re talking theoretically?’

Mary is normally quite direct. So this made me wonder whether, in fact, there is a gay couple in Fitton asking to be married in church.

If so, would you like to put your case on this website? I often listen to the Moral Maze on Radio 4, and would so like a similarly intellectual standard of discussion in Fitton.

Civil partnership, after all  – though admirable in so many ways  – is not a religious ceremony, and I can quite understand why some would prefer to make their vows in St Jude’s.

Berta and I do not agree on this issue. Discussion became quite heated on Monday night, and we have resolved not to discuss it further.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

There is nothing less attractive, I believe, than a furred kettle. You don’t want flakes of limescale floating in a cup of tea. And the sight of  a calcified element glaring back at you like a vengeful gargoyle is almost, to borrow a favourite word from Cardinal Keith O’Brien, grotesque. As with all household tasks, regular maintenance is key. The cleaning of Venetian blinds, for example, is often overlooked. I once attempted to peep through the slats in Amanda’s house and ended up choking on a fine shower of dust.

May I take this opportunity to remind local residents that additional cleaners at St Jude’s are always welcome. Volunteers tell me that the work is very rewarding (although the brass eagle on the pulpit can be rather fiddly). For further details, contact Serena in the parish office.

Toilets in the church: part two

Further to my previous post, I understand that Mary’s plans for a disabled toilet and a small kitchen at the back of the church have taken a worrying turn. Some parishioners are arguing for both a ‘Ladies’ and a ‘Gents’ and a baby-changing area. While I am keen for facilities that reflect the needs of the whole community, is such large-scale development appropriate for a Victorian church? Views and concerns to Jackie Hemming, chair of the Fitton Preservation Society.

Toilets in the church

Considerable controversy has arisen over Mary’s plans to install a disabled toilet at the back of the church, together with a small area for making tea and coffee. The idea is to make St Jude’s more attractive as a ‘community meeting area’ when it is not being used for religious services.

There are clear arguments for and against this proposal. Those with reservations might wish to contact the Fitton Preservation Society for further information.