We had a lot of people in church this morning which is not unusual for this time of the year. One or two of them did say though...
".I don't suppose there are many services in this old church any more." What? Its not the first time that I have been asked if its still a "proper" church by which I think they mean having a vicar and doing normal services.
Just because its a very old church does not mean its a museum. It is a living breathing organism which self repairs as it goes in that when we need a new roof like at the moment it throws up people able to get the money together.
I once seriously offended a group of people who arrived to look at the church whilst I was doing a wedding rehearsal. We were having a laugh....they needed to get over some nerves...and we were waiting till the groom moved his van and trailer from the turning circle where he'd thoughtfully left it.
This was a groom who wasn't having much luck at all. He had lost his passport and the day before the wedding was still unable to find it. The honeymoon, paid for by his new in laws looked as though it would never happen.
If anyone needed a laugh that day it was the bride. She appeared in church absolutely furious.
When the vehicle had been shifted and I'd finally got them to the altar to rehearse their vows she refused to speak.
"Come on " I said,
"I'm not speaking to him" she insisted.
It was very difficult as I pointed out, they could hardly get married the next day of they weren't speaking.
She shook her head. The boy looked embarrassed.
At this point I went into my stand up routine. I made them all laugh just as a group appeared through the door. They stood in the middle of the aisle and then flounced out again. One of the wedding party outside said that they had expressed disgust at the laughter and the noise....it was not what they had been expecting in such a beautiful church.
Can't win them all. The wedding went ahead, the passport was never found and six months later I had a visit from the groom.
"Erm look Jean."
He held out the wedding certificate. It was chewed. Lots of little holes all over it and a delicate shade of khaki.
He'd left it a pocket of his jacket in the barn....
"Rats I think," he said gazing at it mournfully.
"Is she back to not speaking to you again?" I asked him.
"Oh well we did have a honeymoon you know....not in Spain, country house job in Devon. It was alright though! Huge guffaws all round." Wink wink, nudge nudge. Just as well we were not in church.
Who know how many we may have offended?