Posts Tagged ‘news’

Just read this in an interview in the Guardian with Jeremy Vine. I’m rather surprised that I agree with Tony Blair! But being faithful to the Lord is hardest in the small, everyday things, not in the grand visions. So I should get off the internet and put the shopping away…

You worked as a Westminster correspondent for a long time. And you were on the Blair battle-bus in 1997, weren’t you?

I interviewed Tony Blair five or six times, but it’s off-air conversations that matter. Once, on the bus, he said: “I like tea” and I said: “I like tea, too” and then he said something like: “I hear you’re a Christian, Jeremy” and I said: “I’m just struggling, you know” and he said: “It’s the most important thing in my life.” And then I said: “Don’t you feel that actually the big stuff like what you’re going to do when you get into power is much less important than the small stuff, which is how you treat your next-door neighbour?” I realised that was a bad analogy because his neighbour was Gordon Brown. But he said: “I completely agree.”

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We had some excitement in the parish today – a ‘suspicious package’ was found in a house just round the corner that was being raided for drugs. Residents in houses close to the raided property were evacuated, and we were asked if we could accommodate them in the church hall.

So we were there with the teapots and some biscuits, on and off all morning, whilst we all speculated about what was happening. I quite enjoyed myself – particularly because I met a couple of neighbours that we’d not previously had the chance to speak to. It was a bit of a pain for them, though – one friend was without her diabetic medication, another lady had her two young children with her, but not their toys, people needed to get their cars to get to work. Most folk took the opportunity to go shopping in town but returned later to hang around and chat at the end of the street or pop into the hall for more refreshments.

Finally, after about 31/2 hours, we were told that people could go home. I stayed behind in the hall to tidy up and the local PCSO and his Sergeant came and chatted. Turns out the suspicious package wasn’t Semtex, as had been suspected, but something to do with with preparation of drugs. They seized cannabis wraps from the property and made three arrests. More drug dealing – the house next door to that one was raided a few weeks ago and seizures made for the same thing. I reckon you could probably raid a couple of houses on every street in this parish and find evidence of drug use or dealing.

The police were quite cheery, as these arrests were made on top of two successful operations locally earlier this week. A house just opposite the church was raided and found to contain a stolen motorbike and 27 stolen bicycles. And only last night they carried out some checks with immigration officials. They found illegal immigrants, but also some dodgy vehicles that were being stripped down, including a vintage Rolls and a BMW that had been nicked from Police HQ.

So a good week for clamping down on crime – well done to our local coppers. It does make you wonder what’s happening behind closed doors when the police aren’t calling. And makes us pray for this broken parish all the more.

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News travels fast when everyone knows each other

News travels fast when everyone knows each other

My Vicar’s Wife friend Snap is beginning to get into the swing of village life. Recently she dropped her boys off at school and then wandered on to the bakers. Outside the shop the lollipop lady, the shop assistant and a customer were all standing around looking up the hill towards a row of houses. There was a debate going on: beside one of the houses a police car and large van had pulled up. What could be happening up there?

Snap told them the van was an undertaker’s vehicle but she wasn’t sure why the police were in attendance. They then started talking about old Mr C who did a lot for the village but was very old. But what were the police doing there? And had he died or was it his wife? There is much to be discussed on such occasions.

Snap then walked up past the house (trying not to look), on to the newsagents where the same conersation was being repeated, but inside this time, between three customers and the proprietor.

When she got home she mentioned to Rev Snap what she’d just seen and heard and told him to expect a phone call from the local undertaker. At that moment the phone went. Caller display indicated it was the undertakers so Snap answered the phone and told them she was expecting their call and that she knew who the deceased was.

News travels very fast in a small community. Snap is slightly reeling from realising how well people know each other in her village. Snap and I are meeting up at a clergy wives conference next month. I look forward to comparing more vicar’s wives’ tales there.

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