The local vicar called me the other day and asked if she could stop by for a visit. I guess that’s a sign that her parish isn’t terribly large when she does something like that – and can keep track of when new people move to the parish.
She had an agenda, which was why she wanted to meet me… She had heard from the couple down the road that I had dinner with last week that I was a bit of a leftie, so she thought I might be interested in helping her with a collection that the Church of Denmark is making Sunday after next to help disadvantaged women in developing countries.
When she arrived, though, she was very apologetic – it seems the parish border is some 200 yards west of my house, so I’m not even in her parish, though my postcode is named for the village… I pointed out that technically I belong to the parish by my Copenhagen apartment anyway, and besides I doubted if women in Burkina Faso and elsewhere really cared much about Danish parish borders…
So 9 days from now I’ll spend a Sunday morning going door to door, collecting money to give women access to healthcare and education. Surely there are worse ways to spend a Sunday, right?
I love this aspect of country life; that you are assumed to be part of a community, even as a part-time resident. (And even if you happen to live 200 yards over the parish border…) I’ve never in my life tried having a vicar invite herself over, nor been directly asked to take part in this sort of thing – though I’ve previously volunteered to collect for the Red Cross and the Danish Refugee Council, so she couldn’t have found an easier person to talk into this.
It certainly didn’t do any harm that she’s a charming and interesting person; she was ordained in the late 1960’s, some 20 years after the first female priest was ordained in the Church of Denmark, so she’s a bit of an old, feminist hippie in some ways – as am I, only a bit younger… I could definitely imagine myself dropping in for coffee at the vicarage in the future, though sadly she’s retiring this summer when she turns 70 as per church policy.
Funnily, though, she will move from the vicarage to an apartment some 500 yards from my apartment in Copenhagen! I would say “it’s a small world”, but of course the truth is that Denmark is a small country… (I mean, my local electrician used to date the daughter of the man I bought the house from, so he came here frequently in the 60’s – though he never saw the upstairs bedrooms before I bought the house!)
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