The Vicar on a Roman Holiday


Guest blogger, The Rev’d Humphrey Blytherington is Vicar of St Hilda’s, Little Snoring with All Saints, Great Snoring. He is a graduate of Plymouth University. He completed his studies for the ministry at Latimer Hall, Durham. He is married to Daphne and enjoys home brewing, model railroading and is an avid member of the Great Snoring Morris Dancers.

What ho! Good to see you lads, good to see you! I must say I’ve missed coming down here to the Goose and Garter. She who must be obeyed and yours truly have been off on holiday. Now she’s Roman, Daphne insists on dragging me off to the continent, and off we go to some sort of shrine or another–usually some sort of Froggie monastery or some such. Reminds me of the old chestnut: Sign on the coast road in Sussex points to the Newhaven ferry and reads, “Newhaven for the Continent” and some wag scrawls up there, “and Bexhill for the incontinent.” Har har.

Well, Daphne and I actually went to Rome for a couple of weeks. Beastly hot out there in the summer. Fr. Stornaway says it’s best to go in the winter, but off we went in June and we opened our sweat pores I can tell you. Daphne’s not a lightweight by any stretch and she was huffing and puffing more than usual I can tell you. Off we go trooping to the various churches. Anyway, the old girl gets some tickets to go down into something called the Scavengers or some such. Couldn’t quite make out the foreign eye-ti lingo, but it’s this underground tour thingy where you go down some steps under St Peter’s Basilica. Fascinating. Quite fascinating.

Seems that fellow Constantine back in the three hundreds got his men to carve away part of the Vatican hill and fill in the side of the hill to make a flat surface to build a church on. Read more.

Duane Mandible on Welcoming Grays
Mantilla the Hon on the Use of Incense
Answering Margery Eagan on Homosexuality
Gimme That Ole Time Religion
  • Dr. Eric

    “… chaps who have had the chop,” oh, how I laughed.

  • Oregon Catholic

    I love the way the British can turn a phrase.

  • Natasa


  • Hamish Redux

    I know I’m deliberately missing the point, but the church at Great Snoring (Norfolk) is called St Mary’s, and at Little Snoring, St Andrew’s. I hope the real vicar of the Snorings isn’t offended — you could have made up a name, surely?

  • Hip2bSquare

    Can you give us a recipe for shandy Father, using the closest-equivalent ingredients readily available in the United States? This series has piqued my curiosity.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    The way to make shandy in the USA would be to add 7-Up or Sprite to ordinary lager beer. This sweetens it and dilutes it. It’s to taste, but probably no more than 1/5 of the drink would be the soft drink.

  • mike cliffson

    Im not entirely sure what a homebrewer is doing drinking anything with lager, unless of course if its a heatwave on, and depending who the drinks are on.Mind you, if the goose and garter isn’t a free house, you might not want their brewer’s bitter, nor mild, and old ale and such are pricier if the round’s on a parishoner, and if the reverend’s home brew, tho strong, is rather -ahem! flavoursome, he might WANT something blander at the pub – really the possibilities are endless, and I am sure we shall all find out in time.

    BTW: best shandy made with homemade ginger beer, what you cousins call root beer, I believe,, only more
    alcohoñic .Don’t try ginger ale- tho it might be interesting.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Ginger Ale and Root Beer are not at all alike!

  • Jim

    Dear Rev Blytherington
    Are you sure about your reference? My old dad used to say that it was Frinton for the incontinent. Although I have seen the same joke made about Bournemouth and this seems true to me these days.

  • Zwetschgenkrampus

    Good to hear from the Vicar. So that’s the reason why nobody knew how he was doing – the heatwave must have fried the telephone system, and the mail from Italy usually arrives after one is back from the holidays …

  • mike cliffson

    Ginger Ale and Root Beer are not at all alike!
    My knowledge is zero : I was told “root beer ” was like ginger beer aka ginger pop which I made in my UK yuf.But I have never, ever had american root beer. *

    Whereas ginger ale is quite good with blended , whisky, or even Spanish whisky( which has got a lot less bad since the Spanish destillersDYC brought up a scottish distillers(so as to lay their greedy litle hands on thier yeast etc) I have heard of misguided Americans making shandy with it- gingerale-who knows? I wouldnt mix it with pure single malts even as a thought crime or your scots commentor will find me and haunt me.
    * Across the pond: stateside : Wife’s aunt:RIP.Br in law:Rip. Angloecuadorean and other mixed nevvies and nieces etc , ” 2 born statesside, lost contact , 2 moore with families, in contact, dont menbtion root beer.
    Canada : first cousins + progeny: never mention root beer either.Must be about a dozen or so of them.
    Losst Greatuncle from london, about 1908 – went from Canada to Usa, fell in to in the machinery and got crushed , no more is recorded. progeny stateside out of touch, might be reliable informants if they were.Where in USA? where the machinery was.
    Who knows , we might be related!

  • Alice C. Linsley

    I love this stuff! I’ve actually known a few Vicars with wives like this.

  • Ollie Sol37

    Sister Campbell, you say the US Catholic Bishops say the Ryan budget failed a basic moral test and apparently it failed your test too. Well well ok let’s change the budget let’s address your legitimate complaints let’s get it right. But I don’t understand how that means tossing the whole Republican party under the bus by switching parties and going with the Democratic Party, the party that gives the sacred right of marriage over to homosexuality thereby defiling, degrading and debasing that most sacred of institutions. The Democratic Party that supports abortion on demand and supports planned parenthood which are mainly responsible for the 50 million infants now dead and whose blood screams out from the grave. The world that know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob know that the act of a man putting his penis in another mans butt for sexual pleasure is wrong at least according to my Catholic bible and according to the doctrine of the Catholic faith–that would be the one headquartered over in Italy in Rome, where they use to throw those same people to lions and kill them for sport. Homosexuality is fine with Obama he said so and it is fine with his political party they support it and so does Rachel Maddow a huge leader in gay rights cause, her and her girl friend her mate and a great deal of the main stream media and TV, etc. That political party supports that the infant, the fetus, be ripped out of the womb and put into the trash. The important thing for them is that a women has a right to control her own body and do with it whatever she pleases including killing her own child. That right is held strict by the Democratic party. With his Health Care Plan Obama has stabbed religious liberty through the heart. And with your speech at the DNC you just gave your support of all of these things.