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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Thursday, September 30, 2004
    Becoming unconscious
    We have a habit of taking out communion to our housebound parishioners on the last Thursday of each month. This is a fixture I walked into when I arrived here. It has its plusses: clarity, covering everyone in one go, getting volunteers easily. A downside is that by the end of the day my throat is horribly lined with the sugary taste of ruby red ecclesiastical wine, my head slightly dulled by all those quarter-chalicefulls I've had to finish off at every place we've called.

    Today's round was punctuated by a community forum at which we had a farewell lunch for a guy leaving a major Croxteth community development post after nine-and-a-half dedicated years. After drinking a toast to him and gazing into the last of another glassfull of red, I turned to a friend to share the realisation that I'd probably put myself over the limit, and that I still had more rounds to do this afternoon. Only at that point did I realise I was confiding this to the community police officer.

    "We'll probably be able to turn a blind eye to that," he said, generously. I walked between the rest of the afternoon's calls.