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 Yorkshire Terrier, Dorkin, and likes to wear her own home made clogs.
First, I want to thank all of you for giving me such a warm welcome to St Hilda’s and All Saints last Sunday. The shared lunch after Matins at St Hilda’s was simply scrumptious. Many thanks to Mrs. Gateshead for providing the cheese straws, fish paste sandwiches and mini sausage rolls, and thanks to all the ladies of the Mother’s Union for the lashings of hot tea and the delicious plate of golden crunch biscuits (not to mention the ginger nuts) to round off the feast!
I’m sure you will all remember Vicar Blytherington and his wife Daphne in your prayers at this time. You know he’s had a few troubles of late, and Humphrey and Daphne thought it would be awfully nice if they could get together for a second honeymoon in Bournemouth. Some of you will be aware that Mrs Blytherington has been helping her cousin in Lancashire who recently lost her husband. It’s been a stressful time, so Humpy and Daff will be enjoying an extended leave of absence. While they’re away the Archdeacon and Canon Huffington-Post have asked me to step in.
Everything is so friendly and good hearted at St Hilda’s, but I couldn’t help noticing that despite being named for a female saint both the churchwardens are men. This is hardly the sort of equality our Lord would have expected, so I have asked Mr. Thornton to step down. We thank him for over thirty years of sterling service. My friend and partner Ms. Georgie Samsonite has kindly agreed to step into his shoes.
You know, someone has said, “The gospel is only good news when it is subversive.” Therefore I have decided to teach the whole parish a lesson in humility and the evils of gender role assignment. On Saturday, Ms. Samsonite and I have decided to cancel the annual Sunday School outing to Carpington Manor Zoo and instead we will be having a work day at St Hilda’s. I hope you will all turn up with your tools and in your overalls. Mr. Thornton will be leading the team and playing ‘Mrs Mop’ for the day. I’ve asked him to don rubber gloves, an apron and wellie boots to get down on his knees and scrub the church steps. After all, for thousands of years women have been told that their only place in church is on their knees–either praying or scrubbing the floor.
Just as our Lord turned over the tables in the temple, be prepared for a bit more table turning at St Hilda’s. Some of you may be a bit upset at the changes that are going to happen, but you had better get used to it. I realize it may be painful for some, but we must all remember that, as one famous Christian writer has said, “One cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.”
In the meantime I have some good news to report. The Church of England is going to merge with the Methodists and the Anglo Catholics are going to join the Roman Catholic Church. As another famous Christian writer has said, “The times, they are a-changing.” In my own opinion this will be a good thing. I was brought up as a Methodist so I am glad to be joining with them again. Meanwhile, Anglo Catholics have been unhappy for some time in the Anglican Church and they will now be able to pursue their homophobic, misogynistic religion on their own until they finally die out.
I have also heard another cause for rejoicing. The Church of England is finally going to have women bishops. I, for one, have never understood the objections to women priests. Why should someone be a priest simply because he can grow a beard? At last the Church of England is stepping into the modern age where women have equal rights, just like lawyers and doctors.
I would like to close with this word of encouragement. All of us have times in life when we think things are not going our way. It is at those times that we need to pull ourselves together and say, “It may not be going my way, but I will be doing it my way!” There is nothing that will get us down unless we let it get us down. If we tell ourselves that our luck is about to change we will soon make our luck change. As another famous Christian writer has said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get!”
So best of luck, and let’s work together. Remember, we can make a difference. Yes we can!
Love and Prayers,
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