The Vicar Writes

Our new guest columnist, The Rev.Humphrey Blytherington, Vicar of St Hilda’s, Little Snoring and All Souls, Great Snoring, comments on all things Anglican and English.


Now lads, it’s awfully good of you to buy me another round, but I promised Mrs. Vicar I would keep to just this half pint, and you know how much she’s a stickler for the rules! Well, I wanted to say a few words to you all about a bit of a sticky topic. I know it’s not a manly thing to discuss here at the Goose and Garter, but to be perfectly frank, it’s a subject in our church that just won’t go away.
You might be able to guess what I’m going to talk about. It’s the old schoolboy problem: falling in love with another fella. Yes, I know it’s not awfully nice, but it’s something we have to look straight in the eye.
You probably never thought of it like this, but what’s a chap to do when he finds himself falling in love with one of his mates? Let’s say you’re down in the mines and you’ve forgotten your chip butty and pint of tea and one of your mates shares his with you. It makes you feel fond of him doesn’t it? Before long you’ve got an especially close friendship with him. You meet at the pub. You play dominoes together. You dig your allotment and share your tools. On a Sunday afternoon you have a pint together and light your pipes. Now there’s nothing in the world wrong with that.
Well, nowadays in our church a good number of our vicars have got friendships like that. In fact, they have lots of friends who have good friendships like that too. They enjoy each other’s company and share harmless past times together. They collect china and antiques and enjoy visiting Italy. Some of them even share the vicarage and are married to one another. There are some close minded folk who think that sort of thing is wrong.
Is it wrong? Not in my book. Let me tell you lads, there is nothing wrong with good, hearty manly friendship. Why I remember when I was up at Oxford a rather weedy lad with pimples named Nigel Proudie fell for me. He wanted to go punting and read poetry, but I had the cure for him. We went out on the lawn and worked up a good sweat playing croquet. He soon got over his infatuation and married the archdeacon’s daughter. Sadly it didn’t last, but today Mrs. Proudie is the Bishop of Jeeves and Wooster and Nigel is precentor of the cathedral and lives in a nice little house in the close with his good friend Kevin.
You might be tempted to condemn Nigel, but I’ve learned not to. You remember what Our Lord said? “Let him who never made a mistake cast the first stone?” and don’t forget how he said to the woman who made a mistake, “Go and make no more mistakes.”
That’s my final word lads! Let’s live and let live. Life’s too short to judge others. My view on the whole subject is simple: ours is a broad church. It’s for everyone. We’ve got to accept those who seem a little bit different from us. I say, “To each his own, and love your neighbor as yourself.” –as it were. After all, we mustn’t be unkind to another chap just because he has a few problems in the trouser department.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13523683273450353313 Subvet

    ANOTHER alter ego? I knew a girl with Multiple Personality Disorder some years ago. She had seven distinct personalities, including the homocidal manhater that got her in trouble with the law. Don’t know why she comes to mind right now. Mantilla the Hon, Todd Unctuous, The Vicar, how many more do you have hiding under that biretta?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02577310321800276499 Remy Rosenhoover

    Father I really like the stiff upper lip and the holding fast to proper decorum shown by the Anglicans.The Aglican’s will certainly make progress when they embrace the full LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender) community. I wonder if the Aglican’s will define Bi-Sexual marriages to be between multiple men and woman? After-all sex outside of marriage could weaken the Bi-Sexual marriage establishment.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04926229674044895164 mom huebert

    Heavens, this cuts a little close. ((shudder))

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05272753692878529218 John C. Hathaway

    Remy,Last I checked, it was LGBTQ

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    For any preacher,to be able to allow the Holy Spirit to convict sinners with clarity,and without the preacher’s own condemnation or condoning of sin,is a very powerful precious gift.Sometimes gleamed by experiencing and overcoming their own defects,(as in the prodigal son)but we also need Holy Priests with healthy pasts(the prodigals brother),and I believe Our Lady steps in at this point if asked,and gives her heart to her Priests,in order for their words to be influenced without any danger of self prejudice either way.As laity,I am fortunate to not have this responsible commission of freeing souls,my task is to make the paths clearer for the Clergy(ok,I’m still learning)!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03516444685469895837 Andy

    Father L,Your wit is as sharp as a Barber’s straight razor!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06090444350806953332 sandy

    Father,Did you know there are such places as Little Snoring,and Great Snoringin the U.k.Just asking………

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    Sandy, Yes. REmember I lived over there for 25 yrs.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01688990364338525470 Nod

    Now, that’s witty! You asked in another post what readers like best: this is one. I wouldn’t want every post to be from a character, but occasionally it provides sharp relief on an issue.I think you are being true to Chesterton here: Any scene can be more freshly and clearly seen when it is seen upside down. Well done.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04019113723234653681 Steve

    25 years in England Fr, hmmmmm, seems like an eternity. Keep the ‘Continuity’ going. Hope we can meet up again sometime. Give Allie and the kids love from ‘Uncle Steve’. I’ll ring you later on with some updates from life. In Christ, your brother always

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02592149546038164628 Ponte Sisto

    I’d love to read something witty about Wroxhall – something the vein of a Hammer House of Horror script, perhaps?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02592149546038164628 Ponte Sisto

    BTW, keep meaning to say how much I like the new layout.


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