It is the Sunday morning service and we are gutsily singing 'For all the saints who from their labours rest', while above our heads is a painful sizzling sound, like ripping Sellotape, as a myriad cluster flies are zapped by an ultra-violet exterminator.
As, in the musical climax, the saintly deceased reach the 'calm of paradise', our voices are drowned by a long and mighty fizzing. Something large and airborne is having trouble shaking off the mortal coil. Even the Vicar, in his gold-trimmed chasuble, looks uncomfortable. My peaceable husband has a warrior outlook when it comes to the lower links of the food chain. On summer evenings he leaps gymnastically about the bedroom, swatting midges with the Church Times until the walls dribble blood.
This morning's violence is inevitable. Cluster flies have colonised the church in readiness for winter. Their whine gives an Amazonian flavour to the chancel, and they are dropping dead into the Jammy Dodgers. There is something Not Right, though, about mass murder during Mass.
But mass murder is worryingly infectious. Later I'm vacuuming the stairs and spy a tiny spider crouched on the skirting. Usually I liberate spiders through the window, but this one is too small to grasp and after a squeamish hesitation I aim the nozzle and suck it into oblivion. And suddenly a mad thrill of power seizes me and I patrol the house with the Miele, eliminating unwanted lodgers.
My house is now cleaner than it's been in a long while, but my conscience is not and it occurs to me that church may purify the soul, but it doesn't do much for my character.