It is Rambling Rector’s considered opinion, based on 11 years as an incumbent, that people who contact him in their quest to find out about family history are – how shall he put this? – ah yes – a pain in the hole.
They seem to imagine that he has nothing better to do than to drop everything, run to their aid, and accede to their every loopy demand.
They seem to imagine that when he sees an email in his inbox headed “Family history enquiry”, his heart overflows with joy and his life is complete. “Oh whoopee!” they think he thinks, “another enquiry about dead people. Yippee!”
Reader, this is far from the truth. This Vicar, be it understood, is concerned with the living. He doesn’t give two hoots about the dead or about memorials or vaults or tombs or other manifestations of family arrogance and pride.
It’s icing on the cake when people announce that they’re coming to Burton on such and such a date, or are standing at the church, and demand that someone let them in. RR can barely be civil at such impoliteness. The notion that they might have consulted in advance is foreign to them. RR detects an attitude of entitlement that is common in the white middle classes. Perhaps they think that the Church of England is part of the NHS, funded by their taxes.
To all of you out there who might be thinking of contacting the Vicar of the church where your forbears lived, or worshipped, or were baptized, married or buried centuries ago, I say “don’t”. Just don’t.
Find another hobby. Go for a walk. Kick the cat. Take up foxy boxing.
But leave the Vicar alone.
As far as I know there are no family members who even know where Burton is. Am I welcome?
Stanley, every profession has it’s pain in the hole so to speak, lol. Take mine for instance. I had a female from out of town come to my Hair Salon, because she was taking part in a wedding. Her hair was down to her knees long, and she requested I do an up-do! I politely told her that it could not be done, her hair was too long, and she responded with; ‘I thought all hairdressers loved a challenge?” I replied, “Are you nuts or what? Hair Dressers want women with short hair, preferably “three to four inches long, who she can get in and out of her chair, in under 20 minutes. Have a nice day, lol.