Inappropriate calls

The Meenister’s Log

One Christmas Day, we had just sat down to lunch, with the first forkful of turkey just about to be popped into my mouth, when the phone rings – it’s about 1.30 p.m.  The local friendly Funeral Director, Peter Ness.  

Hi, Sandy, it’s Peter – “Merry Christmas; hope you enjoy your lunch later”

“I’m actually eating it just now, Peter”

“Oh we’re off to a restaurant for ours at three o’clock”

“Peter, you didn’t phone me up on Christmas Day in the afternoon to talk about what we and when we were eating”

“Er no, one of your parishioners has just died – you don’t know them; they’re not members of your congregation – but they’d like a visit from you this afternoon.  Listen, don’t rush – you can have your main course just now, and save the Christmas pudding for when you come back from seeing them!”



On holiday in Glossop, Derbyshire staying with my father-in-law.

We were just about to set off home, when the car wouldn’t start, and the AA were taking ages to come.

Phone call from my Session Clerk, “Thought that you were back today?”

Yes, but the car won’t start and I’m waiting for the AA, so will be a while yet”

“It’s just that old Miss Jones is in hospital and is very ill; her sister wants you to visit her.  Can you come as quickly as you can?”

OK, the car got fixed, I drove quickly up the motorway, dropped Helen and the boys at the Manse, got changed into something more “ministerial” and raced off to the hospital for this urgent visit at 9.00 p.m or thereabouts.

And there was Miss Jones, sitting up in bed, drinking a cup of tea, and reading a magazine

She lived for about a dozen or more years thereafter!


Following a long drive from Suffolk where we’d spent a holiday with Helen’s parents, we arrived home (near Stirling), tired and weary and with two small boys, one just a toddler, to find one of my Elders waiting for me at the Manse gates.

“Ah thoucht ye’d be back by this time” he said earnestly and somewhat gravely.

“What’s happened, Willie, is Mary (his wife) all right?”

“Aye, she’s no bad, thanks.  It’s just to let ye know that her physiotherapy session at the Hospital on Monday has been cancelled and you’d said ye wid drive her there”

This was a Friday evening.  I would be at home on the Saturday, preparing my sermon – ever heard of a phone, Wullie?  Oh yes, and the day after Saturday is Sunday, last time I looked – when both would be at the Kirk.


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Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

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