Sunday 13 November 2011

Of church mice and church men.

I visited an old church in the countryside the other evening.

There was this historian giving a talk entitled “The influence of the Church in England from Chaucer to Henry the Eighth and Beyond”.

Given a choice between listening to that lecture and watching an important football match on TV I would choose the lecture every time. You know me, always willing to oblige and to please … Why is it that old fashioned marriage vows included the words “to love and obey”? Was there not a clause about football games in those vows? There should have been!

Anyway, the old historian did not disappoint. He lived up to my every expectation and went on and on giving us every minute detail about this most fascinating subject. He reminded me of one of the priests who visited our church recently; Father Ontoo Long!

He too went on ad infinitum reading his sermon from notes he must have typed on an old type-writer and stopping at every punctuation mark to add boredom to everlasting tedium.

I wondered as I sat there on those hard wooden pews which very soon numb the lower parts of your body … I wondered, if this historian stood side by side with Father Ontoo Long and they talked in unison would they put us to sleep in stereo?

My boredom was soon to be relieved by an unexpected distraction.

I noticed a few feet away just by the radiator standing against the wall a mouse crawling slowly towards me. He’d probably been disturbed by the historian’s monotonous voice, I thought.

The mouse stopped suddenly then ran back towards the wall. No one noticed him except me.

He then walked ever so slowly close to the wall towards the left of the radiator. Then he stopped again. Moments later he was joined by another mouse following a few feet behind. He too stopped and then the first mouse turned round facing the second mouse. They faced each other for a few seconds then the second mouse ran back towards the radiator followed by the first!

I bet those mice are married, I thought. Probably having an argument I shouldn’t wonder. Something like this:

Mr Mouse: Oh … why do we have to go to church every Sunday? That priest is so boring!

Mrs Mouse: We don’t go to church to see the priest. We go to meet God and to pray.

Mr Mouse: But God is everywhere. Why can’t we meet Him at home? I bet He’d love to watch the football match on TV!

At that point a sharp elbow dug deeply into my side and a harsh voice whispered “Stop snoring!”

Oh well … back to Chaucer and Henry the Eighth I suppose. Did they have church mice then?


  1. Very clever.

    Interestingly enough, a priest told me this week that we don't got to Church for God, or for the priest, or for ourselves ... we go for each other. For the community.

    While I still think "for the Eucharist" is the #1 answer, there was certainly some insight in his answer.

    God Bless.

  2. I agree, the Eucharist is No. 1 for me too.

    God bless.

  3. Hello Deacon Pat,

    It's so nice to see you visiting here again. I'm glad I made you smile.

    God bless.

  4. Love this story. I can't imagine you being bored in church! I don't usually get bored in church, but I must confess I do occasionally nod off-when the pastor asks us to bow our heads for prayer. I feel so guilty when that happens!

  5. Hi Sarah,

    This was a lecture about church history held in an old, very beautiful, church. Unfortunately, the historian went on for too long.

    God bless.

  6. That is too funny! Did you enjoy any part of the historian's talk? Or was the highlight your glimpse of marital strife between mice!!

  7. Hi Noreen,

    The historian was boring, but I learnt a lot from the life of mice. They are not too different from us humans.

    God bless.

  8. Such a wonderful welcome you have me this morning. Smiles I cannot erase! Have a wonderful day! Cathy

  9. Greetings Cathy,

    It's always nice to have you visit me here. Thank you.

    God bless you and yours.

  10. Your stories always make me laugh, Victor! What a blessing a good sense of humor is :)

    I think Randy would agree that there should be a clause about football games in the marriage vows! Certainly he will think you are a saint for listening to a historian instead.

    I think that Fr. Ontoo Long was transferred to my city, Victor.

  11. Hello Mary,

    There's lots of things which should be in the marital vows too, besides football. Like who is to take the trash out!

    Sorry to hear that Fr Ontoo Long is now visiting your area.

    God bless you Mary.

  12. The most interesting parts of the evening were the mice. And I loved your Father Ontoo Long! Been there.

  13. Yes Barb. The mice were the most entertaining part of the evening.

    Sadly, they didn't stay on for too long.

    God bless.

  14. Fun story! Nice blog. Just did you find my blog?

  15. Hello Vintage Hare,

    Glad to see you here and to know you've enjoyed this story. We hope to see you again soon.

    I found your Blog by just searching around. Co-incidence; or God incidence?

    God bless.



God bless you.