Yet another thought of the week with the very Rev Archbishop of Toad-in-the-Wold, Dr Robert Carolgees

Thought of the week

With the extremely and hugely reverend Archbishop of Toad-in-the-Wold, Dr Robert Carolgees…

“As I sit here in my pressed leather high-backed chair looking over the beautiful valley of Toad-in-the-Wold, my thoughts turn to condoms and the church’s stance on the use of these and other prophylactics and birth control measures.  It is, perhaps, to non-ecclesiastical eyes, a strange take on an item that has for many hundreds of years been used to prevent ladies, many of them scarlet and wanton, from falling with child. While the church decrees that the proper use of condoms is both unclean and ungodly, there is little in scripture prescribing their use as a humorous head adornment, to be blown to a larger proportion through the nostrils of the wearer. My last parish, which covered the small Gloucestershire town of Hickey-on-the-Neck, relied heavily on the tourism trade brought to it by its annual condom-on-head-blowing up festival, which ran for many years in the early 1980S.

As I mused, my train of thought was rudely interrupted by a loud shriek emanating from the kitchen of my sprawling diocesan house, so kindly and thoughtfully provided to me by my parishioners. I could only think the shriek was produced by my live-in help Gumpert, who, only minutes before, had been preparing a high tea of crumpets with thick homemade raspberry jam. His anguished cries led me to believe that perhaps a hot crumpet had slipped from his sausage-fingered grasp and had landed jam side down on the parquet flooring, so kindly provided to me by my parishioners.

Rising wearily I strode purposefully into the kitchenette to be met by a site of unadulterated panic and hullabaloo. I noticed immediately that there was sticky raspberry jam all over the granite work surfaces, but even more pressing was the sight of Gumpert, angrily waving his hands in the air, crumpet still in his ever so firm grasp, as he mounted a doomed bid to knock a large and rather disgruntled wasp from its flight path.  Gumpert continued to moan and flail until his discretion overcame his valour and he retreated with a whimper into the drawing room.

The wasp’s intent towards Gumpert was clearly larcenous but for now it appeared content to gorge itself on the sticky mess, my athletic live-in help had, with some effort, produced all over the kitchen work surfaces. Its little antennae bobbed back and forth as it savoured Gumpert’s sticky mess. Faced with such an impressive adversary, I too retreated to the drawing room to discuss tactics with Gumpert, who by now was sulkily rolling one of his foul-smelling Moroccan cigarillos, his tea-time treat long since discarded on a bone china plate, one of a large set kindly provided to me by my parishioners. I looked around the drawing room and decided a rolled up copy of yesterday’s Guardian would provide me with a distinct advantage in my impending battle with the jam intoxicated invertebrate, which had done so much to ruin my afternoon.

Just as I was reaching for the newspaper, however, a sudden ray of ethereal light bathed the small kitchen window which I could just see from my position behind the drawing room chaise longue. I do believe the Lord spoke to me at that very moment.

My path became clear. I rose with renewed vigour and entered the fray with the small kitchenette window my goal. Not wishing to alert the jam slurping wasp to my intentions, I stole across the parquet flooring before cranking open the small window. It only took a few seconds for the wasp to finish his feast and fly harmlessly out into the bright spring sunshine through the half opened window. My newspaper armed battle with the wasp would have taken me many minutes but the issue had, quickly and without fuss, been resolved in a matter of moments.

Verily the Lord doth move in mysterious ways!

Dr Robert Carolgees will be signing copies of his autobiography For Christ’s Sake at Smeggs the Stationers, Blow-in-the-Hole, this Thursday. He looks forward to meeting you there.


Another thought of the week – with the very Rev Archbishop of Toad-in-the-Wold

Thought of the week

With the extremely and hugely reverend Archbishop of Toad-in-the-Wold, Dr Robert Carolgees…

“Many of you will know and appreciate I am certain about the church’s stance on same-sex marriages and it is with this thought running through my head that I sat down with my live-in helper to play Scrabble the other night. As you may recall my house is kindly paid for from the generous pockets of my parishioners, and as  Gumpert and I settled down to lock mental horns over a taxing game of word play, I plumped my cushions in order to comfort myself for the challenge ahead. Gumpert was noisily masticating on the last Findus Crispy Pancake, which he had snuck away at the back of the freezer out of my ecclesiastical reaches, the little scamp.

As the crumbs from his meaty treat scattered themselves onto the floor, I felt annoyed that alas the vacuum Hoover, kindly supplied to me by my parishioners, had long lain dormant in the cupboard, and was resting lazily against the bottles of communion wine left over from my New Year’s Eve party in 2004.  As Gumpert crunched against the crust of the pancake, which, I was to discover through a spray of reconditioned chicken meat and orangey breadcrumbs, was his favourite bit of a crispy pancake, my thoughts weighted heavy on me. How would we ever get the half chewed and saliva encrusted pancake from the expensive Persian rug, so kindly provided to me by my parishioners?

Holy Henry Hoover

Holy Henry

As I pondered, I resigned myself to having to clear up the ungodly mess with a dust pan and brush. Gumpert wasn’t in a position to help; he was too busy draining a can of Vimto and had decided at that very moment to roll one of his foul-smelling Moroccan cigarillos. As I stood to fetch the dust pan, a sudden beam of ethereal light illuminated the handle to one of the drawers in the drawing-room. I rose to investigate and pulled sharply at the drawer to discover a transparent pouch stuffed full of Hoover bags. I do believe that the Lord was speaking to me at that very moment.

Suddenly the solution became clear to me – why, perhaps by changing the bag on the Hoover I could rid the rug of crispy pancake globules and indeed perhaps be able to tackle the now spat out Vimto with effective gusto. Rising in an almost trance like state I fetched the Hoover and simply, and without fuss, changed the bag. With Gumpert now snoozing on the sofa in a rather natty pose, I simply hoovered up the offending crumbage. What would have taken me many hours with my dust pan and brush and taken mere seconds – verily the Lord doth move in mysterious ways!

More divine nonsense from Dr Robert Carolgees next week folks!


Thought for the week, with the very Rev Archbishop of Toad-in-the-Wold

Thought of the week

With the extremely and hugely reverend Archbishop of Toad-in-the-Wold, Dr Robert Carolgees…

 “As I sit here gazing over my parish from the converted attic I call my office, I find myself thinking more and more about life and about the church’s ever decreasing influence on this modern world of ours.

Puzzling pulpits...

A beacon of puzzelment

Life moves at breakneck speed these days. Only last week one of the poor of the parish came to me in his rags and with his cap screwed tight over his blonde curls to share with me his latest toy. It was, to the untrained eye, a mere coloured plastic cube, although each side of the cube was a mixed up myriad of colours. No one side of the cube was the same colour. The young greasy scamp handed me the cube and challenged me to rearrange it so that each side of it became one colour.

Perplexed, I took the cube from him and repaired to the diocesan house which my status grants me and sat in my chair for almost the whole day bashing and twisting away at the plastic cube in front of me. After many frustrating hours a beam of bright light suddenly streamed through the windows, bathing the cube in its warm ethereal light. I do believe the Lord spoke to me at that very moment – my instructions were clear. I fetched a warm wet cloth from the kitchen and slowly but carefully peeled off the coloured stickers from the cube which only minutes earlier had caused me such a knotty conundrum. Carefully peeling them away I reapplied them to the sides of the cube to make each side the same, uniform colour.

 What would have taken me days, was simply, and without fuss, achieved in a matter of minutes. The Lord he doth verilly move in mysterious ways.”

 Tune in for more miraculous tales from Dr Carolgees next week!