Sunday, 29 August 2010

Aggressive rough sleeper

Following complaints by both lady church wardens that our present sleeper was still hassling them David and I got to church fairly early this morning. I shook Peters hand and said we needed to talk. I intended that we should go into the vestry but he turned his back on me and went to sit in a pew. The conversation that followed was acrimonious on his part but something had to be done. He had gone out last night yet again to try to get something else for his stay in the pews but neither church warden would open the door to him. He was not in a good mood this morning. He complained that it was cold in church, that he had only been given old stuff and told me that in most parishes they gave him money and food and what sort of Christians were we anyway!
I told him that we knew he had been out trying to get money from people and wanted to know how long he planned to stay!
That did it. He roared at me flung his stuff around and went up to the altar. We watched in amazement as bags of stuff were pulled out. He had moved in! Taken up residence!
I was shouted at some more and then he made a dramatic exit wondering if maybe we were due to be vandalized. On the way down the hill he encountered one of the church wardens, was equally rude to her and stormed off telling me he would report me to the bishop!
It was not the best way to start Sunday especially as I then had two services and a christening to do.
I hope we've seen the back of him. but the remark about vandalism has worried me.
I am also worried that our proud tradition of not locking the church could now be in question. We are not ungenerous in this area but in this instance our hospitality was being abused.

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