Sunday, 10 February 2013

A Brief Guide to Vicarage Life


It can happen to any man. One minute they're running an oil company from a mansion in Mayfair, the next they're living off a clergy stipend on a council estate. I've seen the shock on the faces of wives who married a publican and ended up ironing cassocks when the Calling came.

There's no telling at what stage of life the Church can claim them. All you can do, ladies, is to lay in some tweed and some cake tins, so that you are ready if the time should come. In the meantime, here are some pointers to recognise whether your home has become a vicarage:

Women you've never met before are liable to emerge at any time of day and evening from your husband's study. 

Men you've never met before are liable to require admittance at any time of day and evening when you're alone in the house in your Marigolds.

You are gyrating to the Bee Gees with a potato-masher mike when you discover an archdeacon in the hallway.

Your children are cataloguing your maternal failings within earshot of two unannounced churchwardens behind the study door.

Your daughter replaces your virtuous flatties with a row of her faux Uggs on the hall stand so that her teacher will reckon Christianity is cool when dropping off hymn sheets. 

You find white detergent bottles are shredded for use as emergency dog collars.

There is a regular rupturing of the Hoover belt when the mislaid dog collars turn up.

You discover that the breakfast honey/washing up gloves/candlesticks/your jewellery box are missing - and turn up as props the next Sunday for a sermon. 

Your husband organises an intimate get-together on Valentines Day evening - just you and the other half dozen Sunday School teachers. 

Don't be fazed - it's a wonderful life.  But don't say I didn't warn you...






18 comments:

  1. Notes down emergency dog collar advice 'just in case'
    Fab post!

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  2. This brings back memories for me, a vicar's daughter. I recall stumbling into our front room after a night on the alcopops to find the entire parish council deep in conversation.

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    1. I'm realising it's far harder to be a vicarage child than a vicarage wife. I'd love to have been on that PCC!

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  3. Oh lord! I'm just loving Rachel's comment! Goodness knows how my lot would cope if Actually Daddy heard the calling!

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  4. *snigger* .... But you are so right - it could happen at any time - time to import the tweed, and hide the candle holders! :o).

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    1. It's not the candle holders I mind about so much - it's the rubber gloves!

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  5. For once I can say I'm well prepared for something. I already own tweed and cake tins.:-)

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  6. Just wanted to say...I love your writing

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  7. My eyes have been opened! Is that true about the emergency dog collars?!

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    1. In our first parish he used a strip from a Fairy Liquid bottle when those were white but put it in te wrong way round and had By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, purveyor of detergents neatly framed in the dog collar slot. His flock didn't mention it cos they thought it was a special occasion collar!

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  8. Ohh I love it, I can picture all those scenes. My dh declared the other day life will change when he is 40 and God has something in store for him - oh dear, only a few months to go then....

    Mich x

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    1. You hold on in there! Just one tip: lay in some lager!

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  9. Oh this created some funny images! Would love to see you singing into your spud masher! My mum used to be a Sunday school teacher, so I have fairly fond memories of helping to make hundreds of christingles, mother's day posies and endless cups of tea at the church hall. Ah, the idyllic seventies. Do your children get roped into helping out?
    (anon rach)

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  10. In my case it was coming out of the shower to find my son (then aged 4) had invited the funeral director in and offered him a cool drink,'Mummy will be with you shortly"! (From down under)

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