Kilby WI -Confessions of a Country Vicar

Kibworth & Smeeton WI

Confessions of a Country Vicar

On a warm June Tuesday evening Reverent Canon Alan Haydock talked to Kilby WI about confessions of a Country vicar. Alan was the rural Dean of the parish of Bingham and a Canon of Southwell Minister.

The room was filled with laughter during his talk, and not once did Alan refer to any notes or prompts.  He often gives talks to Mother’s Unions and greatly respects the WI as Angela Baker who organised the Calendar Girls is now the wife of the vicar of Skipton.


All his life he says he has been misunderstood, which makes his stories even more amusing, along with his excellent delivery.  As a lad he told his father he wanted to do nowt when he grew up. After his ordination his father shook his hand and said,” well, lad you got what you wanted…… a life of doing nowt!”

Radiant Morn Hath Passed Away

One of his many stories was about the village of East Bridgford, where, if the congregation went into double figures the organist played an extra hymn. At Evensong, Alan unaware of this practice, was passed a note by the organist saying Radiant Morn Hath Passed Away (a very old-fashioned hymn). On receiving this Alan asked the people to say a prayer for Radiant Morn who had died!

In another small village which had 52 inhabitants and 21 houses the Bishop came to attend the service. Only eight people turned up for the service and when the Bishop asked did people know he was coming, he was told no, but word must have got around.


Alan also told us about Justin Welby when he became the Bishop of Canterbury he needed his shoes repairing. In Canterbury there were two shoe repairers, one C of E and one Catholic. Unfortunately, he went to the Catholic one who put up a notice stating ‘Shoe repairer to Bishop Justin Welby’.  A notice saying ‘Cobblers to the Pope’ appeared in the C of E shop.

He finished with an interesting thought. Houses of Parliament, rearrange the letters and what do you get? Loonies far up Thames!

Monica Griffiths