Lent lunch etiquette

It is a good job I like soup, although some of the combinations at this year’s Lent lunches have already been a bit weird and wonderful.  (note to self: avoid artichoke-farty soup, especially if you are doing home visits afterwards). I am slightly disturbed at the competiveness that goes on in one of the Parishes.  It seems to be the occasion to show case your home and your culinary skills.  All the best china is brought out. Word of mouth is the way of communicating the day and the venue which has been agreed upon in advance but is often changed at the last minute.  The older people then ask me in all innocence why younger folks don’t come and can’t seem to their heads round the fact that they haven’t invited them into their homes so they don’t feel welcome.  Of course everyone knows where x y and z live and everyone is welcome so they tell me. (Everyone that is part of the clique that is).  I tried in vain tackling this exclusive culture last year. It is very hard changing age old ways of doing things here. On the positive side they are getting together and being hospitable to each other and money is raised for the same favoured charity (water aid) year in year out.

The other parishes hold weekly soup lunches in their village halls and all the OAPs come plus some families with pre-schoolers.  It is not an exclusive church event and feels more hospitable.  They are raising money for FRMME (Andrew White the vicar of Baghdad).  It’s at this one I pick up all the pastoral stuff.

Guess which one I prefer?

By the end of Lent I will be glad for a break from soup.

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One Response to Lent lunch etiquette

  1. Lent Lunches … ah, the joy of the season! But your comment “everyone knows where x, y and z live” struck a chord with me.

    Just after I arrived in this Benefice of 11 parishes, I spent half-an hour driving around one village looking for the PCC meeting. Eventually I gave up and came back home, only to be greeted by a phone-call from the churchwarden asking why wasn’t I attending the meeting? I explained that I had searched for it but without success. “Oh, everyone knows wher ethe house is”, was the indignant reply. “Well, clearly not everyone,” I said, “since I don’t.” “Are you coming then?” he asked. “No,” I replied. “Ive already driven a total of 14 miles out to you and back, and I don’t intend doing it again tonight.” He wasn’t impressed, but the message got home. With the Minutes came the date and venue of the next PCC, and a small map!

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