Vicar’s Letters

Click here to view Canon Chris’ other letters

The Gift of laughter

Whatever the time of year, it does us good not to take ourselves too seriously; and some of the most powerful messages about real life are delivered through the medium of humour. For instance, consider these popular comedy series:

  • the final episode of “Blackadder goes forth” where Captain Edmund Blackadder leads his troops over the top straight into a hail of machine gun bullets.
  • The harsh realities of prison life as depicted by Ronnie Barker and the cast of “Porridge”.
  • The plight of the homeless and needy, and the efforts of a Vicar to run his inner-city parish in “Rev” as portrayed by Tom Hollander.


Carols with a twist

Humour and pathos often go side by side, hand in hand, cheek by jowel. Laughter makes us relax so that the hardship or sadness of the situation is felt more keenly.

So let me invite you to read the two offerings below, based upon classic carols. Somehow, these “parody-carols” provide a window into the real lives of Mary and Joseph all those years ago:

“Once in Judah’s least known city

stood a boarding house with back-door shed,

Where an almost single-parent mother

tried to find her new-born son a bed.

Mary’s mum and dad went wild

when they heard their daughter had a child.

He brought into earth a sense of heaven,

Lord of none and yet the Lord of all;

and his shelter always was unstable

for his mission was beyond recall.

With the poor, with those least holy,

Christ the king was pleased to live so lowly.”

The Iona Community


“On the first day of Christmas all this was sent to me:

Twelve hours of travelling,

Eleven refusals of shelter,

Ten smelly stables,

Nine months pregnant.

Eight hours of labour –

Seven animals watching,

A six o’clock birth,

Five minutes peace.

Four shepherds,

Three wise men,

Two startled doves,

And a baby to set the world free.”

Dave Hopwood


Join us for Carol Singing

We’ll be singing lots of well-loved carols, old and new, at church services and in the open air around Whitegate and Little Budworth this Christmas, so do join us to be refreshed and renewed by these powerful expressions of God’s love and laughter! See full details elsewhere in the magazine.


May your hearts and homes be merry and joyful as Christmas approaches, and may

God bless you and yours throughout this Holy Season.