Friday, 6 May 2011

The Other Royal Wedding

The Day Nursery Royal Wedding (image with permission)

I can disclose this very day that it is remarkably good fun being a priest. You may think that it is all laborious funeralising, PCCing, collar-starching, lace-choosing, sacrament elevating stuff (and for those priests who have no idea what I have just said, I shall be running a course in the autumn - 'Anglo-Catholicism for the Uninterested'). On no - we priests have fun too.

It seems that in my three years here in Aylesbury I have built for myself a reputation for being an idiot relaxed and accessible in my faith and work. It meant that in the run up to the  practice Royal Wedding, I was asked to preside at the real thing. An archbishop I may not be, but preside over a whole Royal Wedding I did, and not just bits of it. At my local day-nursery, that excellent establishment that largely raises my daughters and teaches them manners, we had a proper Royal Wedding with a prince and princess, flower-girls, Royal car, rings, a congregation, vows and declarations (and a blessing too, after a fashion). Being me, I agreed whole-heartedly to help out and acceded to their requests that I wear all my finery. Cassock, lacy cotta, gold/red cope - the works. Their efforts on the day, it must be noted, far exceeded mine and they all looked beautiful. And a wonderful event it was, though more due to the delightful kids than the barmy vicar!

I have posted on numerous occasions on the predisposition to the dour and self-flagellating on the part of many Christians. I have never understood this tendency to take faith and religion so heavily and with such little light-heartedness and fun. I have always regarded it as vital to enjoy worshipping God, and to show that enjoyment to a world where enjoyment is so elusive. Would I join a crowd of the Poe-faced if I didn't have to? Of course not. I have always devoted many hours to my religion and God, so always wanted it to be uplifting time, happy time (even in penitential moments). This stuff can be fun and serious all at the same time, and to have a chance to show that to the under-fours is a gift to me. I am now known, by thirty-odd kiddies as 'The Funny Man Vicar'. 

Is that not evangelism? I hope it is, because it is what I do. 


  1. Yes, it definitely is, David. I used to take a great deal of trouble and find a huge amount of enjoyment in doing school assemblies or playgroup storytimes, and welcoming children to the church for class visits of all kinds, including baptising a variety of dolls. Most of us get far more contact with children this way than we ever do on Sundays in church and even if we only sow the smallest of seeds, it's worthwhile.

  2. Glad I'm not the only barmy vicar around. Great fun was had here too. I think the staff had as much fun and learnt as much as the kids did!

  3. This is brilliant, David! How I wish I could have seen it! I don't suppose there's a YouTube video of the blessed event?

  4. What a fabulous evangelistic tool is humor and laughter. Oh that the world would know that God's ways are not pinched & miserly, but expansive & satisfying. Something tells me your congregations get it ...




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