Monday, 2 December 2013

The Rector's Christmas Present

The rector's Christmas present always causes me such a headache - but this year I think there is an obvious choice - long johns! I probably shouldn't be discussing the Rector@6's undergarments but I imagine keeping warm is a common problem for rural rectors and vicars. After three services in three churches yesterday, where the heating hardly functioned or wasn't functioning;- the Rector@6 was feeling the cold quite severely. Sometimes it can feel like the church services are being sabotaged because the heating has not been turned on ...but it is usually a genuine mistake or mal function (or so we are led to believe).

The ultimate Vicar's onesie
How can we expect to fill these beautiful churches, if it is a test of endurance to make it to the end of the service without suffering from hyperthermia or frostbite? The cost of keeping the building warm is too much for small churches that are struggling to pay their share. Should we move out and leave the building to the Historic Churches Trust? Should we just shut the doors and leave it to decay? Often there is not another public space in the village. Many of the churches are located in the centre of the village. What a statement to make - if the doors are locked and the building left empty. What a burden for the small congregations to keep them open.

So the Rector@6 struggles on and I will consider purchasing him a set of thermal long johns. Or should I modernise him and follow the fashion trend of a onesie. If you are not sure what a onesie is - it is the adult version of a babygrow - an all in one stretchy suit and they are fashionable amongst the youngsters at the moment. They come in all sorts of designs. Perhaps I could market a 'vicar's onesie'. Throw a surplice over the top and you are ready to go! Do you think they would catch on?


  1. Interesting option you've . I remember being in churches with little or no heating — so cold the congregation could hardly stand it. (In our part of Canada, we do get down to -40°C at times.) I suggest the outfit you're planning should include the Vicar's onesie, a flannel shirt, heavy wool pants, a wool sweater, a down-filled parka, with a surplice over top.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

  2. Even larger churches can have heating problems. I have been cold the last two Sundays, and we had heat. Older churches with high ceilings are always a problem here, and our church is relatively small. I think I might look into a onesie, and definitely heavy socks. :)

  3. I've just discovered your delightfully candid blog and must say hello. I am in the second half of life and a retired parish nurse living some miles outside the Minneapolis area, Minnesota. I don't have a blog myself but feel compelled to comment when I visit a well-written blog and keep checking back on it. So cheers to you in early Advent and hope you stay warm in your old rural buildings so full of character and, no doubt, characters.

    1. So good to meet you here! You must have met some characters as a parish nurse and have plenty of stories to tell. Do write them down even if you don't blog. I have quite a few that I do not dare to blog.....yet!

  4. I can only think of a couple of churches I've attended in my dim and distant past where I've felt anything approaching warm...! Lusty singing probably helps a bit but I'm sure a thermal onesie would definitely do the job! Axxx

  5. Hi Annie, We need a book of action songs for Sunday morning - our elderly folk are almost blue by the end of the services - and yet still they come (at the moment). Have onesies reached Spain yet?- personally I can't see me ever putting one on - but, maybe you are reading this wearing one - along with various celebs that admit to wearing them! Good to hear from you.

  6. Thermals undies, full clerical gear, cassock and surplice and STILL I shivered at times. The congregation wore so many layers they were almost spherical, but they still came.

  7. I think theres a real market for vicars onesies in the church of England. Go for it! Jx

  8. And gloves so that you don't get frostbite from handling the silver chalice full of very cold wine!!!

  9. Is this is a real thing? I want to buy one for my vicar! Please email me - Keli