Walls of Jericho – Church Mag Apr

Oh Wendy. Saints go marchin in

Sorry about March. I missed the mag’s publishing deadline because of unforeseen technical issues. Never mind, onwards and upwards, or downwards and backwards as we say in the Jericho household when things are going badly, e.g. when Jezebel wants me to hoover the stairs despite it being women’s work.

Just the other Sunday, I’d forgotten that it was parade service as, according to Ron’s and my window cleaner, I was walking purposefully up the steep bit of Great Berry Lane with my earphones in. Before that, though, I’d been reading a bit of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld book Jingo. I got it from the library the day before, but I wasn’t sure if I’d read it already. The cover picture looked very familiar. None of the words inside rang any bells though, which was initially encouraging. The part that finally convinced me this was all new ground for me was when Watchman Captain Carrot (ask Colin to explain if you aren’t a Pratchett afficionado) was finishing up a meeting of the youth club before going off about his policeman duties. He had the young Ankh Morpork  (Colin can enlighten you) street urchins hold their index fingers to their heads and chant “wib wib wib,” to which he replied equally seriously “wob wob wob.” It’s not often that I lol, but I nearly did then. What a way to describe an embryonic cub pack without actually mentioning cubs. Another hint to the nature of the gathering was when Carrot informed the lads that Sergeant Angua (ask Colin) would teach them the campfire howl next week.

I love Terry’s gift of taking things that we take for granted and turning them into something quite wondrous in his alternative universe.

Not as wonderful as this year’s Lent course based around Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, however, where the Norty Corner has relocated to Childcare 2 and been miraculously transformed into the Serious Group. I don’t know what happened there, but I can categorically confirm that Colin’s telling off for me not knowing the Les Mis story despite being a group leader has not affected my misbehaviour one jot.

Chatting with Ron’s and my window cleaner over a coffee yesterday, where he mentioned seeing me striding purposefully up Great Berry Lane towards St. John’s, intent on the music pouring out of my earphones (Time Was by Wishbone Ash) and blissfully unaware that I was heading for my second telling off from Colin in less than 7 days, this time for messing about folding my piece of illustrative A4 paper before he had given us our instructions, I learned another fact about Jehovah’s Witnesses that I didn’t know before.  They only partake of holy communion on the Passover. Once a year. That’s it.

I’d be lying to you if I said I’d told him that we celebrate communion more frequently because it was a hangover from the days when Henry VIII banned us from being catholics. I didn’t. I didn’t think quickly enough.

Ron, this is one that you’d maybe like to explain next time Lee knocks, if you’re agreeable to it.

Lee, I know Ron will give you a complimentary copy of this edition of the mag, so keep ‘em coming. I enjoy our chats. I know we’re not going to see eye to eye over everything, but it helps me to think about why I believe what I believe.

Well, here we are, April already. I neither know nor care how many shopping days there are until the world cup football starts, but on the 23rd of this month it is St. George’s day, where we give thanks for England’s patron saint if we can remember and where some pubs used to flog ale for a shilling a pint if you could unearth any old pre-decimal shillings to pay for it with. I wonder if any still do.

I’m Ben Jericho and you have survived reading another of my offerings. L’chaim and mazzeltov.

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