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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)

TITLE: The Parish Notice
By Pastor Proud


Reverend Justin wrinkled his brow as he thumbed the corner of the A4 sheet in front of him.

“This has been emailed within the parish already, you say?” he asked calmly.

“Oh yes, Vicar, just like you asked.” Gillian Borthwick smiled, all tweed twin set and faith filled joy. Gillian had looked after secretarial duties for the Parish Church of St John’s in Wimsleydale for forty years. “Is it ok? Your voice sounded crackly on the Dictaphone machine.”

The door burst open and Peony Peebles, the pastoral leader, rushed in flustered. The vicar looked up with a start.

“Oh Vicar, have you seen the parish notice? What are we going to do?”
Peony put her hands on her hips and cast a hard glance at Gillian, whose lip trembled.

“Once in Royal David’s city, stood a lowly cattl..” The vicar’s cell burst into song and he grabbed it, face flushed.

“Hello this is Justin, God’s humble servant to the community of Wimsleydale.”

Elsie Nobblesbrush the Tower Captain marched in with the organist Veronica Tickleswick hot on her heels, both red-faced.

“Uh huh, hmm, yes, I have seen it.” Reverend Justin smiled at the new arrivals as he spoke to the disembodied voice on his phone.

Arthur Pegwold the Church Warden crept in quietly and immersed himself in frenzied whispering with the scowling Peony. Gillian craned her neck, trying to eavesdrop on the vicar’s conversation.

“OK, I know.” The vicar continued. “Yes, ok, but would you mind please if I call you back as I have visitors? Thanks and God bless.”

There was silence as everyone looked at the vicar wide eyed. Peony made to speak but was interrupted.

“Upsy Daisy says, ah ah ahhhh, you have a message!” The vicar blushed again and fished his phone out. “Sorry about that folks, my daughter likes “In The Night Garden” and insisted I have this on my phone.”

He studied the message with an eyebrow raised before folding his hands calmly in front of him and looking up at his assembled guests.

The room erupted like a flurry of koy carp being fed, everyone trying to talk at once.

“What are we going to do about the notice?” asked Peony. “Oh it is a mess,” opined Elsie. “Vicar can we send out a new notice?” enquired Arthur. “I hope I haven’t caused a problem,” quavered Gillian. “My nephew does metal work at college if that will help,” offered Veronica.

Reverend Justin pressed his fingertips against his chin and cast his eyes up at the stone vaulted ceiling, beseeching God’s help. He sighed deeply before letting his calm gaze return to the anxious team.

“Don’t worry I think the parish notice is just fine and I doubt if anyone will notice. Our Service next week will be the most delightful way to praise God and to express our love for each other within our Parish community. Just relax, pray and read Romans 2 – 13. Now I am sorry but I do need to rush off to my daughter’s school nativity play.”

Reverend Justin got up from his chair, pulled on his jacket and smiled at everyone, giving Gillian a reassuring pat on the shoulder as he made for the door. He absorbed the beauty of the candle lit church with a joyful heart on his way out to the car, thanking God with every step.

The Church of St John’s in Wimsleydale

Parish Notice

Prays for God

We invite you to a special celebration of the Parish’s service of God during 2010, on Thursday 30 December at 5.30pm.

Our Ministry Team would like to offer all members of our church family thanks for all the generous donations towards the running of the church this year.

Reverend Justin will lead worship and be proud to show off his wonderful new investments as he gives personal thanks and praise for your blessings and enrichment of his ministry.

After some joyous hyms and private prayer there will be an intermission for the elderly and more frail members of our parish community.

Throughout our lovely celebration we invite you all to lift up your votes in the hope of an eternal seat in the House of God.

Our Toddlers Praise group will delight us with a small play about Joan of Arc.

After the service, there will be coffee and cakes, and Reverend Justin will give a talk on metallurgy.

Don’t forget to bring any spare pots and pans for the church recycling campaign.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 12/27/10
Fun characterization. Couldn't stop reading until I saw what was in the note. Fun!
Cheryl Harrison12/29/10
Cute! Fun Read. I really like your creativity in naming your characters. Keep writing.