From Autumn 2010 Issue
The Flock That Christendom Forgot
Or an animal padre’s uphill pilgrimage
The months of activity in a parish where one might
think ‘butter would not melt' speedily passed by. The time of my second
annual church meeting approached. But this time there was a difference.
People turned up to vote whom I'd never ever seen in church before! Yet,
so many loopholes existed in the C of E that each was legally entitled
to vote, as they resided within the parish boundaries and could always
say that they had made their annual Easter communion elsewhere!
Truly legal but horribly wrong
Soon, the one I had dismissed as Rector's warden the
previous year was voted on as People's warden; and others - some whom I
had never met, and chiefly from the farming community - would now have
an unhealthy control over the finances which - once in the red - would
reflect very badly on myself as Rector. Yet I could do nothing about it.
Like vivisection, it was undoubtedly legal yet terribly wrong! An
earlier 24 hours of vigil and fast, confined within the mother church
(the parish had two places of worship), where I pleaded that good would
conquer evil, had not stopped this latest opposition to my prophetic
The Godliest of men, a local chemist with roots in
South Wales, uttered memorable words to me at the close of this my final
AGM: “Rector, you have taken a strong stand for God and He will not let
you down. Very sadly I feel the powers of evil seem to have prevailed. I
think God has something else for you Rector, away from this parish!”.
And it appeared as if he was going to cry. My previous wife had already
walked out of the meeting, her eyes full of tears. The vet and gentleman
farmer (my ex-warden) had been constantly sniggering across to each
other, while they'd constantly sought to trip me up on trumped up
'points of order'. “If these folk claim to be Christians, I want nothing
to do with it!” she'd affirmed.
- to be continued
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