Let it snow!

23 Dec

Let it snowDear friends

You may recall the unseemly local inter-denominational fracas that occurred a couple of Christmases back when it was every clergyman for himself in a bid to cream off the Christmas carol service trade.

You may also remember the desperate attempts by one particular ecclesiastical establishment who went so far as to employ the services of a certain Mr Cone (the local ice cream vendor who understandably has a rather lean time of it during the winter season) to announce over his speaker system (in strict rotation with his theme tune of Popeye the Sailor Man) which was the best church in town!

Having had a dressing down from the bishop for not being more ‘pushy’ when it came to promoting St Cliff’s festive offerings I hit upon what I considered a sure-fire way to pull in the punters this year and thus appease his ire.

In the process of my annual excursion into the musty manse loft to unearth our Christmas decorations I chanced upon a video marked ‘The Snowman’.

In no time at all the aforementioned popular animated production was whirring away in our trusty VHS player (my meagre stipend not being able to quite stretch to a DVD ‘upgrade’).

I will admit that the quality of the video left more than a little to be desired (it having being recorded by my good self from a Christmas televisual screening many moons ago).

I was a little unsure whether the unremitting (and somewhat irritating) snow effect overlaying the production was in fact intentional or simply the result of the video’s antiquity. That aside, it proved serendipitous, it being the catalyst for my veritable brainwave.

Unbeknownst to my fellow ministers in the town, a rather well-known female opera singer had moved into this fair parish of late and was offering her services (for free) as a way of getting getting to know the locals (and no doubt offloading a few more copies of her latest CD).

What a feather in my proverbial cap it would be if I could bag the diva in question to perform a rendition of the ‘chart-topping’ theme song to the The Snowman (the original performer’s voice no doubt having dropped a couple of octaves in the interim) as the finale to ‘Carols at St Cliff’s’.

To cut a long story short, I not only managed to secure the lady’s vocal services but on her arrival at St Cliff’s it appeared that she had ‘gone the extra mile’ and given herself a rather festive snow-covered look to get herself into the part (as I understand is the wont of theatrical types).

Amid the assembled throng of folk arriving for our festive soiree I loudly congratulated our guest soloist on being such a sport and gamely going for the snow effect on her hair and shoulders.

If I had but known that the copious white dusting that adorned her upper body owed nothing whatsoever to theatrical effect and everything to an unfortunate case of dandruff (a condition I now discover that she was rather sensitive about) I would have held my tongue.

That I did not is to be forever rued.

As the affronted singer turned on her heels and headed for the exit I clutched at straws and offered her the olive branch of a one-on-one session with a member of our prayer ministry team in the hope of perhaps resolving this unfortunate malady, but thus to no avail.

It was not without irony that at that particular moment the film’s final poignant image of the snowman melting into obscurity popped into my head.

How I wished, at that particular moment, that this had been in my gift also.

I fear that for the next twelve months, with regard to the bishop, I will not so much be ‘walking in the air’ (to quote the lyrics of the theme song to this now tarnished production) but rather, walking on egg shells.

Let us hope and pray that the coming year does not begin as badly this one has ended.

Onward and upward


You can also find me at  https://www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld


Derek’s photos:Panto season!

19 Dec

Derek's Photos-PANTOYou can also find me at https://www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld


Derek’s photos: A mistake!

9 Dec


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Derek’s Definitions: Bumper bundle!

25 Nov

Dear friends

Not one, but four of my popular (well they are with me) ‘Derek’s Definitions’ for your delectation.

Generosity would appear to be my middle name.

Onward and upward


Derek's Definitions-Plagiarism Derek's Definitions- Pulpit Derek's Definitions-Lectern Derek's Definitions- FULL GOSPEL

Derek’s photos:Dog lovers!

18 Nov

Derek Photo _ DOG LOVERSYou can also find me at  www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld


The wrong end of the stick!

13 Nov

Dear friends

One of the downsides to my vocation is that I am rarely (if never) completely ‘off duty’, so to speak. This state of affairs is little helped by the fact that my clerical attire somewhat singles me out in a crowd thus making me a magnet for any who have need of a man of the cloth.

That said, it is not only the familiar dog collar that illuminates my presence. Whilst most homes get away with sporting an innocuous name or door number by way of identification, my residence is clearly ‘marked‘ as ‘The Manse’.

Last Saturday, having ventured into town to pay a small fine on an outstanding library book (not outstanding in the sense of it being great, rather outstanding as being overdue) I found myself accosted in the street by a couple of swarthy ladies proffering ‘lucky heather’. 

Not only do I distance myself from such superstitious mumbo jumbo but this particular bloom has the unfortunate effect of triggering my perennial hay fever and therefore, from my perspective, not in the least bit lucky.

Having paid my dues to a surly librarian who was in no mood to listen to my explanation of mitigating circumstances (it had been doing sterling service propping up a wobbly table in St Cliff’s foyer) I retraced my steps through the town only to once more be confronted by those persistent purveyors of purple plants.

Having successfully fended off their second attempt to persuade me to “take some heather with you to church, Reverend“ I hastily made my way back to the safety of the manse, post-haste (well as speedily as my trusty Nissan Micra would allow).

Even an additional chocolate digestive taken with a reviving cup of tea could not shake my unease that I might yet still be a target for these peddlers of happenstance, my dog collar having given me away fair and square.

When the phone rang I will confess that I was still feeling more than a little on edge. The voice at the other end quickly seemed to justify my anxieties and I promptly slammed down the phone as I would on any telephonic interloper who was attempting to sell me their wares.

It was only next morning, as I prepared to enter St Cliff’s sanctuary in readiness to deliver another in my ‘Leviticus Highlights’ series, that I discovered (to my horror) that I had got the wrong end of the proverbial stick.

It appeared that the phone call was not in fact another attempt by the aforementioned ladies to foist on me a sprig of lucky heather rather someone asking me to give a lift to an elderly lady who lives but two doors from the manse.

Not only did I find that I had inadvertently declined a request to ‘take Heather to church’ but I also now discover that the lady in question was planning to make a substantial donation to St Cliff’s Roof Fund that particular day, had she but come.

Having been spurned by my good self not only has the offer of a much-needed boost to our Roof Fund been withdrawn but so also has her membership at St Cliff’s.

My only crumb of comfort in this whole sorry debacle is that it assuredly underlines my belief (at great cost to myself) that heather is, and never will be, lucky. 

Well not in my case anyway!

Onward and upward


You can also find me at  www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld

Derek’s Take on…

31 Oct

Dear friends,

Here is another proffering in my new-ish ‘Derek’s Take on…’ series.

Onward and upward


Derek's Take On….The first shall be last

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Socks with sandals!

30 Oct

Dear friends

Having shared of late  the odd question or two fired at me from my ‘public’, I am reminded of a pertinent poser that came my way during the summer. It was this: “Is wearing socks with open-toed sandals still the summer dress code for Christian men?”

Here was my considered reply.

‘A jolly pertinent question bearing in mind the recent spell of clement weather we have enjoyed in this fair isle but one that will certainly hit a raw nerve as far as my good lady wife is concerned.

Whilst I endeavour to be ‘cutting edge’ in certain matters (we now have an overhead projector at St. Cliff’s added to which I am seriously considering replacing the dial-up facility on my computer with something called broadband) when it comes to my wardrobe I am perhaps not quite as ‘with it’ as perhaps she would like.

That said, it is not for the want of trying.

Once, in a bid to be all things to all people I adorned my personage with one of the ubiquitous W.W.J.D. bracelets in an attempt to denote complicity with the youth of St.Cliff’s.
My downfall was assuming it to be some sort of rubbery (and stretchy) trendy clerical collar and only after all but choking myself to an inch of my life was I duly enlightened as to its intended location on the human form.

Thus you will not need to be Sherlock Holmes to conclude that fashion sense and this humble clergyman are not particularly well acquainted.
It will come as no surprise also to discover that the raw nerve I mentioned at the outset is none other than the fashion crime alluded to in your question.
In my defence, if it were not for the painful pedal affliction of bunions I would be more than prepared to consider forsaking the comfort of wearing ankle socks with my summer sandals if it lessened my good lady wife’s embarrassment at my choice of seasonal attire.

That it is a condition which St.Cliff’s prayer ministry team has yet to crack leaves me with little choice once again as to my summer footwear options.

I trust that my answer (whilst no doubt offering little solace to those who would prefer such iconic Christian stereotyping to be cast into a certain fiery lake) is of some help.

I note that whilst the question you raised is an indication that our views on this matter perhaps differ somewhat I am heartened by the fact that you did not ask as to my opinion on whether or not Christians should adorn the rear windows of their automobiles with the ever-popular rainbow-coloured ‘fish’ badge.

I can only conclude that your silence on this matter indicates that whilst we may be at odds as to the matter of dress code we can at least agree upon the ‘Highway Code’ for Christians.

Post Scriptum: Whilst I would not claim to be the Jean Paul Gaultier of Christian fashion you will be pleased to know that I have dipped my be-socked toe into this heady world and you can now purchase a tee-shirt with my visage upon it (via this handy link):


Onward and upward


You can also find me at  www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld

Another Powerpoint fail!

25 Oct

Derek Photo_ 666You can also find me at  http://www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld

Bumbling internet sensation!

18 Oct

Dear friends

It is well over three years since I launched myself onto the World Wide Super Highway (as I gather it is called in common parlance) in the guise of my very own ‘blog’, no less.

Who would have believed that in such a short space of time my regular missives would have gained such a head of steam and have earned me the moniker of ‘bumbling internet sensation’.

Whilst I may wish to tweak these well-intentioned sentiments it would nevertheless be churlish of me to ignore the painful truth that, while the comatose faithful at St Cliff’s (as the bishop rather unkindly refers to my benign flock) may remain indifferent to my weekly discourses, my ‘online congregation’ appear to be a tad more appreciative.

I will confess that my good lady wife was a little more reticent when she learned of my intentions to reach a wider audience via the ‘blogosphere’, chiefly due to the uncanny knack I have of ‘putting my foot in it’.

Whilst this predisposition may impress those with a penchant for contortionism, it has landed yours truly in more than the odd pickle.

My first internet faux pas was on the occasion of opening my ‘inbox’ for the very first time and viewing what I naively (and mistakenly) thought to be an email pertaining to The Tribulation, proffering apparent cast-iron evidence for the 144,000 referred to in Revelation as being Jews.

My excitement at successfully embracing this wondrous new means of communication at my first attempt caused me to throw caution to the wind and to ‘mail’ this important missive, poste-haste, to every member of the clerical community that my address book could proffer.

No doubt it would have been wise to have read a little more of its content before allowing the thing to go ‘cyber’ (I am a veritable magnet when it comes to all the latest jargon, am I not?) but sadly hindsight was not on the menu that particular day.

I had heard that that whilst the process of of sending an email was relatively quick, the average response time erred towards tardy.

Thus I was somewhat taken aback to discover that within a matter of minutes my inbox was positively humming.The joy of knowing that my maiden voyage on the World Wide Super Highway had proved so popular was short-lived.

In my haste I had unwittingly liberally circulated an article not in fact supporting the JEWS but rather the JWs!

Let us just hope and pray that this unfortunate theological gaffe does not signal the ‘end times’ for me also when I face my clerical colleagues at our local ministers’ fraternal tomorrow.

Onward and upward


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