I’ve just had the oddest telephone conversation. The Rural Dean phoned. I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting him; the last RD was a woman, so I’m sure of it.
You may know I’m churchwarden at the village church. One is sworn in every year at a quite solemn service, where lots of clergy and potential churchwardens stand up, in their benefice groups, and plight their troth. This year, I couldn’t make the service, nor any of the alternate ones. They were all evenings when I was busy or on holiday.
He explained that this should be done at a service, but in the circumstances it would be permissible to do it on the telephone. So he read out a long sentence asking me if I would carry out the duties and do them properly and in a reverential fashion and all this, and then, as instructed, I solemnly said “I do so declare”. So now I’m legal, if not quite decent, honest and truthful.