Their evidence is the benefice Sunday service rota of a scattering of villages in North Norfolk:
Little Mizzling - BCP Holy Communion - 8 am
Great Mithering - Low Mass - 8.30 am
Upper Mithering - Parish Family Eucharist - 9 am
Lower Ratrace - Family Communion - 9.30 am
Lower Mithering - Parish Communion - 10 am
Great Mizzling - High Mass - 10.30 am
Little Mithering - Family Service (3rd Sunday) - 11 am
You see the issue - the service rota looks entirely reasonable at first glance, in a multi-parish benefice. But there's only the one minister. No retired clergy, no self-supporting, not even a Reader. And there's no way any vicar, no matter how fast they drove, could actually manage to have 30 - 80 minute services in each of those parishes, every Sunday. And there's the fact that, having been in post for 75 years, the vicar still looks like this......
|"Choose the time for Bertie's baptism? |
And would you like him "done" in Mineral water?"
Naturally the Church Commissioners are also showing an interest. An immortal alien who can travel in time is wasted in Norfolk. He would make a fantastic minister simultaneously in large benefices all over the country - solving the Church of England's staffing, finance and pension problems at one fell swoop.
So, in my position as chief religious adviser to Torchwood, naturally I ran down to East Anglia with them to talk to "The Father's" PCC. I was a bit disappointed.
|"We preferred it in old Father Grinham's time. He used to wear a cope"|
I mean, don't get me wrong. They were as friendly and co-operative as any other church committee. But they could best be described as "stiff and unbending", and wanted to keep the vicar to themselves.
I think it's best if we leave "The Father" where he is. After all, we don't want his PCC getting grumpy and "upgrading" the General Synod. Not again.