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.

Thank you very much indeed Nigel. No, not a whiskey this evening if you please. Just the half of lager shandy. Very kind. Very kind. A packet of salt and vinegar crisps? I don’t mind if I do. Thank you very much indeed. That’s right Trevor, a half pint of lager shandy is my usual, and I was only partaking of what old Canon Farnsworth used to call ‘the Scottish nectar’ a few months ago in order to stave off a rather nasty head cold. Thank you for asking.

Now what do I think of the election campaign? I must say it’s all rather exciting isn’t it? Of course Mrs Vicar will be voting Tory as she alway does. She’s got a nephew who was up at Oxford with this Cameron chap and she thinks he’ll bring some common sense into running the country. Daphne’s a bit of a card you know, and has always enjoyed referring to Mr Brown as ‘wee Gordon’. Mrs Doyle is a bit more crude and calls him ‘Haggis Face’. Rather juvenile I think don’t you?

I think it’s about time for a change don’t you? Labour have done their best, but I must say I don’t think we’re much better off for it. What’s that Smithy? Not only not better off but bankrupt? I suppose you have got a point there you know. As far as I can tell they promised to make the poor richer and the rich poorer, but they seem to have done just the opposite. Pity. But it really does seem we have far more poor people in Britain than we’ve ever had, but we also have awfully rich folks who seem to have nothing better to spend their money on than diamond encrusted mobile phones and so forth.

What do I think of the Lib Dems? Daphne calls them the Smiling Stalins. Says she wouldn’t trust any chap called ‘Clegg’. What sort of name is that? Not one to mince words our Daphne! I’m not really sure myself. He seems a nice enough sort of chappie, but I’m not sure he’s that sure of himself. Seems a bit over confident? Rather like a puppy. Very eager to please, but likely as not to turn around and make a mess on the floor when you’re not looking.
Do you know Lavinia and Georgie were out on the village green earlier this week trying to get us all to vote for the Green Party. Extraordinary! They were both dressed in floral dresses with circlets of May flowers in their hair. The Morris Dancers were out in force and together they made quite a sight. I’m afraid I couldn’t do my stint with the Morris Dancers this time. Mrs. Vicar was worried that, as it was such a warm May evening they might do their Ancient Order of Adamites thingamajig and start dancing around in the altogether. We listened to a few of the speeches then went off home for a mug of cocoa and a digestive biscuit before it all got too rambunctious.

Who am I voting for? Now that would be telling wouldn’t it? I’m not really prepared to say, but I will let it slip that I usually vote along the same lines as Daphne. Keeps the peace if you know what I mean. I can’t say any of the parties strike me as particularly Christian. Have we seen any of the party leaders with the Archbishop of Canterbury on their platform? Sadly no. Neither have they addressed the really important religious issues of the day like the decline of the Mother’s Union, the Methodist-Anglican Fresh Initiatives and the number of bat colonies that infest our historic church towers.

Funnily enough, they’ve got a new priest down at St Patrick’s and Daphne had him round for dinner the other evening. Nice enough chap. Turns out to be English–not Irish–which raised the old eyebrows I must admit. Seems a clever chap too. Up at Cambridge after Whittington School. Used to be CofE, but then poped during his time in theological college. Never could imagine why a fellow would do such a thing–so disloyal to Queen and country don’t you know? Seems to have taken on board the whole kaboodle–worship of Mary, celibacy…I expect he’ll even sell you the odd indulgence if you need one…anyway, Fr. Hawkins as he’s known, thought that the whole country needed a spiritual renewal before anything positive politically might happen. Rather a rum thing that! It’s more the sort of thing one might expect from Pastor Paisley down at the Primitive Baptist Church.

I suppose we’ll sail through this election and it will soon be business as usual. Reminds me of the church that was having a parish mission. Everyone was quite enthusiastic about it all, and the old churchwarden took the vicar on one side and said, “You know Vicar, I’ve seen these parish missions in my time. During the mission it’s all ‘Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.’ and after the mission it’s ‘As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.”

Righty ho! Well, I’ve got to be off home. Daphne’s got a scrumptious pot roast cooking, and then Mrs Murphy and her husband Liam are coming across to watch the election results. I expect Mr.Snow will be out with his swingometer as usual. All great fun! Cheerio!