Wednesday 14 December 2016

Lament for a Newbie Minister Who Arrived too Early at a Crematorium

Woe is me, for I am two hours early for this Crematorium service.
I wanted not to be late. And I know the traffic on the A14* is a bit dodgy.
So I set off with plenty of time to spare.
So here I am.
10 minutes after I left.
I could go back home but then the traffic on the A14* might kick in.
Therefore shall I stay here.
Looking holy.
But a bit nervous.
Only two hours to go.

I shall take me to the notice board and look at the funerals before mine.
And ensure my one is on the list.
And I'm at the right chapel.
For they are twain.
And I wonder to myself who Alderman Mick Boswell was, to get a chapel named after him.
Other than an alderman, obviously.
But he's hardly St John of the Cross, is he?
Though he probably judged a few Fruit and Veg exhibitions in his time.
And probably voted in favour of the Kettering / Ridgmont / Chiswell Green** bypass.
Have mercy on his soul.

And who was Mrs Fitzstanley-Williams when she was at home?
And what did she do?
Hope she did something in her own right.
And let's face it with that moniker she could have done.
Hate to think she was the wife of Alderman  Fitzstanley-Williams
And just baked scones.

And now I'm worried about Alderman Mick Boswell.
Is his chain of office a crown in his life beyond the curtain?
Or more like Jacob Marley's affair?

Oh. Yeah. The curtain.
Hope I remember to press the button.
Or the organist does if I forget.
I've heard bad things about this organist.
Apparently if the sermon goes over time he starts playing the theme tune from "Star Wars."

Better check the hymns.
Is "The Lambeth Walk" really a hymn? It's been so hard to tell since we've replaced hymn books with data projectors.
And Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines?  I mean that's unsuitable in general.
But Elsie was 92.
Still, my incumbent tells me Elsie was a big fan.

I need to have a word with my incumbent.

She's dumped me with two dodgy "hymns" and a congregation of seven
At a Crem next to a dual carriageway.
While she's got the proper service
For a life long churchgoer
With a thousand friends
In the village church
With a still-open churchyard.
Nice day for it.

Still, I shall rejoice.
Elsie may have hated children
And eaten small mammals for lunch
Refused to talk to her family
And left all her money to the English Defence League.
But at least she was C of E.

One hour 55 to go....

That's a nice hymn the current service in "Mick Boswell" are singing. Must be Methodists.

Oo there's a swivel chair in the vestry.

I wonder how dizzy I'll be if I spin round on it for one hour and 43 minutes?

* The Newbie may substitute "A6", "Standing Way", "A404" or any other suitable road

** Delete as appropriate


  1. Oh the swivel chair! This story may be apocryphal, but I've been told that there is a university that has a professorship named in memory of a benefactor by the name of Swivel. I do so hope it's true!

  2. Crem's are strange places. A conveyor belt of coffins in and out, and lines of hearses waiting to go in. Crowds of mourners, struggling to find a parking space and a 30 minute slot to do the business.

    I recall the miitary funeral at a crem of an Afghan casualty. We had to book a double slot to have time for the firing party to do their bit and the mournful dirge of the piper playing the last post.
    The salvation for me was the going out music "I will walk 500 miles" by the Proclaimers, the deceased's favourite song, which he sang as his party piece.

    The family in full scottish regalia in the rural Kent crem. Memories that I will never forget.


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