Monthly Archives: November 2012

Cheerio – Minus 4

Four Days until Retirement


Once, while wearing my clerical collar, I asked at the Pizza place counter, do you do a ‘Wenceslas’?

“What’s that?”

“It’s deep pan, crisp and even”

(reminded of the Peter Kay joke: P. K. phones the pizza place and asks what they do – four seasons, pepperoni, ham, etc……….

PK – “Do you deliver?’

“No, we do four seasons, pepperoni, ham and so on!)

(but we do have on special offer, a “Wenceslas”   What’s that?  A really crap pun)

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Cheerio – Minus 5

The Meenister’s Log

Five days until retirement


New to a particular congregation, when visiting a particular family of Church Members, I was asked what I preferred to be called.

“Our last minister (who was very much of the old school) liked to be addressed as ‘Reverend Sir'”

“Oh, that’s much too formal” I replied.

And sang the first couple of lines of………..

“Call me irresponsible…..”

To which came the reply, “Oh, we couldn’t possibly do that, Reverend Sir!”

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Cheerio – Minus Six

The Meenister’s Log

Six days to retirement……


Quite soon after my induction to my first Charge, and the Kirk Session was discussing how as a congregation we should be advancing under our new ministry together.

After some talk about Elders’ Conferences and the like, one old boy interrupted, saying “I did realise being an Elder involved all this…. I was told that it just meant putting the Communion Cards through folks’ letterboxes”  (oops!)

“Well that’s something you can do – come to the Manse tomorrow and put your letter of resignation through the letterbox there”

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The Meenister’s Log

I was ordained on 26 June 1974 and a week today (4 December 2012) I’ll be hanging up the dog collar – after thirty-eight and a half’ years’Ministry.

A story a day, until then:-


1970 – first lecture in systematic theology.  As I entered the lecture room, a soto voce whisper from near the front “Look what they’re letting into the ministry these days.

From a mature student wearing a suit and tie – me: denim clad and very long hair.

Fast forward thirty-odd years, at a conference, and the same guy, but now with greasy grey hair tied in a pony-tail and wearing very casual clothes.

“You’ve come a long way from University days and the ‘Man at C & A look’ – I take it you failed to become a minister then”  (he had, of course, but it was good to wind him up)

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The Meenister’s Log

all sadly  true:

Minister to School Assembly:  “Boys and Girls, you’ll never guess what I’ve got in my pocket?”

Pulls out a packet of condoms

“Oops, wrong pocket”


Gretna Green is renown for the number of weddings conducted there each year.  A Pastor of a local independent church used to conduct hundreds of marriage ceremonies there  every  year in the several different venues which are licensed to allow such services, such as “The World’s Famous Old Blacksmiths” and so on.

On one occasion, his mobile phone rang while he was conducting a service.  Rather than ignore it, he answered it – it was from another “Blacksmith’s venue” asking where he was.

“Sorry, running a bit late – be with you in ten minutes or so, after I’ve finished with this lot!”


  • “Ladies and Gentlemen, there will be a slight delay – the Bride’s waters have just broken”
  • “Ladies and Gentlemen, the wedding is sadly cancelled” (the bridegroom en route to the ceremony was arrested for alleged theft at a Motorway Service Station on the M6)


This particular church was plagued by pigeons.  One day, the Church Officer was frantically trying to get rid of them before morning worship began.

He chased them here; he chased them there – “Bugger off!  Bugger off!” he shouted but to no avail.

With that, the minister arrived.  “John” he said to the Beadle, “Don’t be so coarse. Just go ‘Shoo!  Shoo! ………..

…. and they’ll bugger off in their own time!”

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“Father, I have sinned”
“I had sex twice with a prostitute last night”
“Three Hail Marys”
“But, Father, she’s a good Catholic”.
“Very well, two Hail Marys”
“And it was two for the price of one”
“Give me her address and I’ll pick up the freebie!”

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Reaction to the rejection of women as C of E Bishops

 …… I speak to those who are too angry to think straight at the moment – if the church isn’t working right now, try the kingdom. Throw yourself into life among the least, the last, and the lost and rediscover the church there. St Martin-in-the-Fields is committed to making the church look and become more like God’s kingdom every day. Sometimes when we feel furious with or hurt by the church, the only thing to do is to reinvest in the kingdom. Maybe, today, in this moment of despair, that’s where hope lies.

Revd Dr Sam Wells
Vicar, St Martin-in-the-Fields

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Ohh, Matron

The Meenister’s Log – Charlie Chaplain’s Tales

In one of my congregations, I had the most delightful elderly lady who was a retired Matron.

Miss T.- or “Matron” as she was still called – once told me a story of when, in the distant past, she was a student nurse on a ward where a patient died suddenly just before visiting time.

The Ward Sister told her and another student to make the newly deceased look “as natural as possible” before his relatives arrived.

So young “Matron” and her colleague propped up the old fellow with pillows, closed his eyes and  put on his spectacles,draped an open newspaper over his chest and put an (unlit) pipe in his hand (one could smoke in those days), giving the impression that the old boy had dozed off reading the paper.

The family duly arrived but stayed for only five minutes or so, saying “Auld soul, out for the count – but he looks so peaceful.  We’ll just let him catch up with his ‘beauty sleep'”

Now, I can’t vouch for the veracity of this tale (nor her story about cleaning all the patients’ dentures together at the same time in a “Belfast” sluice)

But she told the story with more than the usual twinkle in her eye!

She went on to become one of the most loved and respected Matrons in our local hospital.  RIP Miss T. (“Matron”)

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The Meenister’s Log

Two of my elderly lady members some years ago: “Och, that new (neighbouring) minister has no gravitas”

“he should try it – I find that it’s more effective than Rennies”

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Judging by appearance

Judging by appearance

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November 22, 2012 · 23:06