The Reverend Lavinia Winkett is the Assistant Curate of St Etheldreda’s, Trumpington Down. She is an old girl of St Trinian’s, and a graduate of East Anglia University where she read Political Science and Wimmin’s Studies.

Lavinia is a vegetarian, a member of the Green Party and a founder member of the Ancient Order of Anglican Adamites. She holidays regularly in Malta, loves to walk her overweight mixed breed terrier, Dworkin, and likes to wear her own home made clogs.

Dear Friends,

I’m glad to have this opportunity to write the From the Vicar’s Desk letter in the parish magazine again this month. Humphrey and Daphne are enjoying their little break and hope to return to the parish soon with their batteries charged and ready to lead the sisters and brothers in this faith community once more.

Well, now we are in the midst of our Lenten journey once more. This year you will have seen that the Sunday School children have constructed a Lenten Desert scene in what used to be the ‘Lady Chapel.’ I was inclined to leave the Lady Chapel as it was until Humpy and Daff returned, but my partner, Ms. Georgie Samsonite made the very real point that I was perhaps put in this place and at this time to accomplish somewhat of a little Reformation.

As a result, during the church clean up (at which the former churchwarden, Mr. Thornton– wearing a ceremonial apron and yellow rubber gloves–scrubbed the church steps very nicely) we also removed the image of ‘Our Lady’ and put it safely in the boiler room. The altar with it’s rather sentimental and tasteless images of angels was also put down there out of harm’s way. You’ll see that this has made room for a wonderful Lenten desert scene complete with cacti and thorn bushes. Mathilda Scrubb brought some dried cow dung to finish the scene, and the Amnesty International display on the lack of reproductive health care for women in the developing world rounds off our meditation for Lent. I encourage you all to pay a prayerful visit!

The Lenten Desert scene naturally draws our mind to the desert our world will become as global warming begins to take over. England’s green and pleasant land will become a dust bowl, and an article in today’s paper makes for even more alarming reading. It seems that our friends north of the border have red hair because of the damp, cold and rainy weather conditions. The red haired Scotsman in his ‘wee kiltie’ and sporran and a shock of unruly, but attractive red hair is something that warms the heart of many an English lass. We can only draw the obvious conclusion that this will also be one of the casualties as the result of global warming, which (should have been) President Al Gore of the United States has told us about. The disappearance of the red haired Scotsman is an ‘inconvenient truth’ to be sure!

There is some good news however. If current legislation goes through it won’t be long before people of a homosexual inclination will be granted their full human rights and be allowed to marry in church. If this happens while I am still at St Hilda’s I know exactly what we will do with the old ‘Lady Chapel’. It will become a wedding chapel especially dedicated to our friends who have committed no crime except to be attracted to members of their own gender.

Thank you all for your warm welcome to St Hilda’s, and don’t forget the special Lentils for Lent lentil soup and cheese suppers. Bring your own home made loaves, and next week I’ll be leading a discussion on the ancient churching of women ceremonies of the Celtic rite.

Yr friend,