Bone Orchard Bargains

The Rev Albert Spears of St Andrew’s Church in Stonking has asked all his parishioners over the age of 50 to let him know if they want to be buried in his churchyard. “I need to see what the demand may be like. I want to be able to provide a burial space for everyone who would like one.”

The village priest is even prepared to offer plots at discounted rates to those who are prepared to put their money where their mortality is and reserve their future place in his pastoral bone orchard. There have been those amongst the good folk of Stonking who have dismissed this latest initiative from the progressive vicar as nothing more than a quick way to boost church funds, but the Reverend denies this.  “In Romania it’s quite common to find families who have been fighting over scarce church burial plots. One family who were denied a plot in their village churchyard simply  left the body of an elderly relative in the porch of the church in the next village along. The priest there did bury it but afterwards he had to mount a guard over the plot to make sure that elderly residents of his own village didn’t simply dig up the body as belonging to an interloper. And in Bulgaria one enterprising family took a dead relative to a taxidermist, put a straw hat on his head and a pole up his rear and stuck him out on the farm as a scarecrow. And we wouldn’t want that sort of thing happening over here, now would we?”

We asked a range of villagers in the twilight of their autumn how they would be responding to the vicar’s invitation :

Farm worker Albert Brown : “How dare you!! I’m only 38!” 

Retired ventriloquist Roger de Coarsely : “Personally, ducky, I rather prefer the pole up the arse scenario.”

Local JP Dudley Town-Centre : “Personally I don’t give a damn what happens to me once I’ve gone to meet the great Justice of the Peace in the sky. Stick a piece of hose up my rear end, stand me in a pond and use me as a water feature.”

Wesley Thorndike :”Damn your impertinence, you quisling wretch! The only place I want to be buried is in a grove of thorn bushes so that I can spend eternity as I have spent my time on this rotten earth – surrounded by pricks!”


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