Whilst we are having this wonderful burst of hot sunny weather people have been dying. Covering for a friend who is having a much needed holiday I have done two funerals already and one more tomorrow.
This means that I have had to talk to church wardens, treasurers and secretaries of various churches and they have taken a fair bit of tracking down. Many are not answering their phones, presumably because they are also out in the sunshine but some urgent matters had to be attended to. All churches have their statutory fees which are easy to sort out but we have extras to add on and they are all different.
Yesterday I saw an appalling argument between two ladies as to who would get the verger fees in the absence of the actual verger. One lady said if she was getting the church ready she should be paid for it.I pointed out that being a church warden is not a paid post. She said she was putting in a claim for the last two years of looking after weddings and funerals. The real verger was almost in tears at all this...She really does need the money badly but had arranged to go out the day of the funeral . She will leave the church ready before she goes. I have had to do some juggling with both people and money to make sure she doesn't lose out
What I am left with is the feeling that this wonderful institution of ours has flaws...mostly to be fair its the people in them that are flawed but the notions of christianity, forgiveness and love has I regret to say passed some of them by.
I am ready armed for tomorrow. I have persuaded the funeral director to have one envelope with the fees for the church service and the burial after wards in one envelope and the money for the verger and the organist separate. That way I can dispense them myself...and make sure that justice is seen to be done! Fingers crossed!