Tag Archives: church

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

Another Powerpoint fail!

25 Oct

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

Derek’s Definitions: CHRISTINGLE

15 Oct

Dear friends

If you aren’t yet following me on the Facebook internet portal you will probably not have had the pleasure of enjoying my witty and clever (well I like to think so) ‘Derek’s Definitions’ series of which this is one.

For your delectation I think I will pop them on my veritable ‘blog’ as a regular feature also.

Onward and upward


Post Scriptum. Should you wish to journey with me on Facebook, here is the link to my page https://www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld

Derek's Definitions- Christingle

Derek’s Take on…

5 Oct

Dear friends

Following in the footsteps of Solomon I have decided to  proffer some wise sayings of my own (well actually they are familiar old sayings that I have rather cleverly revised) by introducing a new feature to my ‘online congregation’ entitled ‘Derek’s Take On…’ .

Here is my first. I hope you will enjoy my wit a tad more than my flock at St Cliff’s.

Onward and upward


Derek's Take On….DEAD RINGER


You can also find me at http://www.derekthecleric.com

Dunking dilemma!

2 Oct

Dear friends

I have been asked to proffer my views on what us Anglicans call ‘infant baptisms’.

You will not be unaware that the question asked of me has been the cause of more than a few ripples within ecclesiastical circles but rest assured, it is one that I intend not to shy away from.

For a man who has faced headlong the much weightier dilemma of how to remove Mrs Higginbottom from the organ rota at St. Cliff’s (that we might enjoy a much needed reprieve from her terrifying and discordant tones) this thorny topic is, by comparison, a ‘breeze’.

Between you and me, it has not escaped my attention that we at St. Cliff’s, (because of our particular brand of churchmanship) are rather inclined to cream off the pre-school market by virtue of throwing open the doors to one and all, regardless of their previous track record with regard to God.

Whilst this somewhat ‘ups’ our flock tally in the eyes of my fellow clergy (and between you and me I need all the help I can get in the kudos stakes when it comes to our ecumenical ministers’ fraternal) I concede that our watery ways do somewhat lay us open to accusations of fudging things.

To that end I have hit upon a veritable comprise that I trust will both appease those who disapprove of the practice of sprinkling infants (and the charge, no doubt, of cashing in on the investment at some future date) yet retaining our tradition for accessibility to those presently outside the proverbial fold.

Having thus installed a brand new font at St. Cliff’s sporting an impressive 2ft x 2ft bowl, from next Sunday henceforth we will be offering full immersion infant baptisms.

This compromise is something that I trust will be acceptable to both camps.

Onward and upward


You can also find me at http://www.derekthecleric.com

Derek’s Photos: Standing order!

25 Sep

Derek Photo_WEEKLY SHAME 2You can also follow me at http://www.derekthecleric.com


Were their worship leaders in the New Testament?

20 Sep

Dear friends,

Following on from my previous ‘Ask Derek’ features, I have been asked by a reader whether they had worship leaders in the New Testament?

Here are my thoughts.

There are certain areas of church life that seem to attract more than their fair share of controversy and worship is indeed one of them.

Whether the early church (and by that I am not alluding to St. Mary’s up the road who have added an 8am service in an attempt, I suspect, to cream off the Sunday ‘trade’) utilised the services of the aforementioned ‘worship leaders’ is perhaps a tad unclear but we at St.Cliff’s have certainly had the odd ‘run-in’ or two in this particular area.

Those of you who are part of my ‘online congregation’  will be aware that we have amongst our number a certain Mrs.Higginbottom as our resident organist. That she has sadly not been blessed with a musical ear (nor for that matter any part of her anatomy that has the least hint of a musical disposition) has caused us more than a little angst over the years.

I will confess to doing my level best to keep her and our trusty pipe organ as far apart as is possible but have not met with as much success as I would have liked. My all-too-frequent excuse that I am still attempting to master the ubiquitous spreadsheet and thus, once again, her name appears to have been left off St.Cliff’s music rota, is perhaps wearing a bit thin.

In that our alternative musical choice (with regard to worship) is either that of my good self on the guitar (though even I will admit that my limited repertoire of ‘Give me oil in my lamp’ does somewhat limit the trajectory of our worship) or Ernie ‘Elvis’ Presley, an unfortunate gentlemen in our congregation whose life’s work has been to try to capitalise (unsuccessfully) on his popular surname and who thus brings with him an altogether different approach to our worship, is not very encouraging.

Between you and me I find his frequent interjections of “uh-huh!” most unhelpful.

To the question in hand!

In a moment of almost Patmosian revelation I believe that I have hit upon the answer to your probing poser.

Whilst scouring the latest edition of ‘World of Anglicanism’ (it being the annual national league table issue and I confess that I was rather keen to see how St.Cliff’s was faring in the grand scheme of things) I chanced upon a ‘freebie’ (I believe that this is how the general public refer to promotional gifts these days) by a popular worship leader called Robin Mark .

My epiphany was complete as I suddenly recalled that in the Book of Acts there is reference to a fellow called John Mark, no less, who was the cause of a fracas between Paul and Barnabus.

Although the Bible refers to a certain lack of commitment on the part of John Mark as being the rationale for things going ‘pear-shaped’, on the basis of my original premise that worship is oft the cause of much ecclesiastical ‘fallout’, I would prefer to conclude therefore that this biblical personage is none other than a distant relative of the Robin Mark whose proffering I am about to insert into my compact disc player (and thus proof positive that there were indeed worship leaders in the New Testament).

That Mr Mark’s promotional disc is entitled ‘Room for Grace’ does little to appease my conscience with regard to my recent treatment of Mrs.Higginbottom.

Onward and upward


You can find more of me at http://www.derekthecleric.com

Derek’s Photos: Action songs!

17 Sep

Derek Photo_Action SongsYou can also find me at http://www.derekthecleric.com


Did Adam have a belly button?

11 Sep

Dear friends,

A reader of my missives has asked me a very interesting question: “Did Adam have a belly button?”

A veritable conundrum indeed!

Whilst there are those of my flock at St.Cliff’s who are convinced that I pre-date a certain Noah this is assuredly not the case and thus I am not able to give a categoric answer to this fine question, chiefly because I was not there at the time. But, lest I be accused of skirting around this pertinent poser, allow me to proffer some thoughts nonetheless.

Here are my considered musings.

Should you have ever had cause to peruse the opening passages of the Bible (I am assuming my questioner possesses a copy of the aforementioned book) you will notice that on the third day of creation land appeared from beneath the depths of the sea. Having been given the command (by God) to ‘subdue the earth’ it seems to me that this topographical predicament would have rather scuppered things things for Adam (the world’s first incumbent of the human frame). How on earth (forgive the pun – sometimes I just can’t see to help myself) was he to fulfil this weighty mandate without drowning in the process?

Having scratched my clerical pate (while supping my ritual elevenses to oil the wheels of inspiration) I have come to the conclusion that because of these oceanic obstacles a belly button would have been an absolute prerequisite for Adam.

Why is that you ask? I will tell you.

It is clear to me that to traverse the Seven Seas some sort of ‘navel’ experience would have been essential.

I trust that your mind has now been put to rest.

Onward and upward


You can also find me at http://www.derekthecleric.com