Friday, 27 September 2013

Church Vacancies - Midsomer Diocese

Team Rector: Upper Midsomer with Little Midsomer and Midsomer St Giles with Midsomer Thorpe, and Nether Midsomer with Midsomer-cum-Chorlton

The Midsomer Benefice is a friendly group of parishes in the fictional West of England. We are now looking for a new Team Rector, on  account of the death of the previous incumbent (stabbed by a jealous girlfriend).

The villages are unique in England in that an endless series of community activities take place. Cycle rides, sponsored runs, amateur dramatics, opera, motorised treasure hunts - there is literally no end to the different ways our inhabitants can die tragically and unexpectedly.

Although this is a team ministry, there are currently no staff. The curate is now doing a minimum of 30 years, having taken out the SSM with a chainsaw. The retired priest was a great help in the parish, but fell from Midsomer Thorpe tower in circumstances that the coroner still can't quite work out.

There is a variety of patterns of worship within the Benefice. Upper Midsomer uses BCP,  Little Midsomer has Common Worship, Midsomer St Giles has Church Family Worship. The Bishop did try to stop them, as it's illegal now, but he backed off after he received that letter. Nobody lives in Midsomer Thorpe since that bloke with the broadsword moved into "Honeysuckle Cottage", and Nether Midsomer with Midsomer-cum-Chorlton just use the order for burial at sea.

We have a thriving inter-faith group. Apart from the Church of England, living in the parishes of Midsomer we have a variety of New Age groups, including Beaker People, Feng Shui fundamentalists, people who try to conjure up the spirit of the Great Badger and some people who just have sex all the time.

The new incumbent will have to be a great bridge builder, as the one on the A4321 was blown up when the Squire of Little Midsomer was assassinated. He will also have to be a great fence-sitter, as he will have no views that bear much relationship to Christianity. His diplomatic skills will be at a premium, as the people of Upper Midsomer are currently engaged in a blood-feud with the people of Nether Midsomer. We say "currently". It's been 400 years now. Ever since that Duke of Monmouth business.

There are seven schools in the benefice, but the incumbent is unlikely to be visiting any. He'll be too busy conducting funerals. Since all normal church activities are apparently suspended, the vicar will have to spend his time hanging around the church and attending endless fetes. Any experience of police chaplaincy would be handy, as you'll be talking to them a lot of the time.

The successful candidate would ideally be a man. Nobody has actually bothered to pass Resolutions A,B or C - but that's because they reckon having a debate would be more effort than reaching for the blowpipe.


  1. What I want to know is, is it a "vibrant" benefice? Almost every advertisement in the Church Times seems to say that, which is a shame, as I really need a non-vibrating parish – vibration makes me sea-sick.

    (I've long suspected that "vibrant" is Church Times-speak for "still twitching".)

  2. But just think of the extra income from the film rights.


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