The family service is beginning and, scanning the pews from behind my hymnal, I realise that the Sunday School teachers have forgotten to turn up again. Hastily I pluck up a pew sheet and skim through the gospel reading. It turns out it's All Saints Day. Luckily the introit hymn is a long one and grants me the duration of five verses to decide how to instruct an infant audience on the Lord's Chosen.
Unluckily the only saint that springs to mind is the one who had her breasts cut off and flourished on a platter. I do not feel equal to improvising mammaries with the only equipment I have to hand - three biros, a packet of tissues, a pen knife and a tube of peppermints excavated from the bottom of my handbag.
The hymn ends and the Vicar dispatches the Sunday School to the church hall and I bellow insights into meekness, humility and gentleness above the din of my small charges who are chasing each other shriekingly over the furniture. Despite a golden radiance, achieved by a glitter shaker discovered in the store room and hastily confiscated by me, I do not feel that my brood has fully absorbed the essential qualities of sainthood as we troop back into church.
The Vicar is telling the congregation that they need to be energised like the haloed faithful in the stained glass windows. I, scraping at the glitter that has stuck to my tweed, feel merely weary. The rows of backs sagging in front of me look pretty weary too.
Then, when the service ends, the nine-year-old rides in on his new electric scooter. The churchwarden's jaw drops. Abandoning her Bourbon Creme she seizes the handlebars, wrests it off him and speeds whooping down the nave at full throttle. The verger blocks her return route. He too mounts it and traces figures of eight round the sanctuary. The second church warden begs his turn and and so does the retired gentleman from the back pew.
Suddenly the placid building pulses with energy. I watch Churchwarden No 1 shooting past the choir stalls, one leg waving aloft and I realise that our church may lack saints, but we have an inspiring population of Hells Angels.