St James the Least of All – March 2023

The Rev Dr Gary Bowness continues his tongue-in-cheek letters from ‘Uncle Eustace’… 

The Perils of Moving from the City to the Countryside

The Rectory
St James the Least
March 2023

My Dear Nephew Darren

Those parishioners of yours who won millions on the Lottery and moved into this parish have created quite a stir.  It was perhaps a little unwise of them to tell everyone the reason why they had become so wealthy.  While most of our parishioners also do the Lottery, few would ever admit it in public (since your friends arrived, the entire PCC is buying ever more lottery tickets, but from the shop in the NEXT village, to try and keep it secret!)

However, your family still has much to learn about our country ways.  Buying the old Dower House was impressive; spending a small fortune re-stocking the gardens was certainly commendable.  But someone should have told them about installing cattle grids – it must have been quite a shock for them to wake up one morning and find the thirty sheep from the neighbouring field had wandered in for breakfast!

Their brand-new purple Ferrari has certainly brightened up the country lanes around here.  The noise it makes as it roars up behind you quite quickens the pulse.  Mrs Beamish had been suffering with low blood pressure for months; she says she is quite cured now.  The Colonel, who is all for the community supporting the church, then asked if the newcomers would drive the bishop around on the day he came to do his tour of the parish.  The Colonel thought that an open-topped purple Ferrari would make a great Bishop-mobile and the newcomers were so kind to agree.  What a shame that they decided to accomplish the several miles of parish lanes in record time; the Bishop barely saw the several farmers that they nearly ran down.  His new nickname in this parish is, “The Purple Peril!”

The newcomers have installed security lighting, which is understandable.  But now I wonder how much sleep they are getting, as the rabbits, foxes, and badgers who live in their grounds keep it flood-lit for much of the night.  Meanwhile, the Colonel is grumbling about the effect of light pollution on his young pheasants in the woods nearby. 

But these little inconveniences apart, I am sure they will soon feel at home.  I feel confident that by the third generation, they will be properly settled in.

Your Loving Uncle,


Leave a Reply