Monday, February 05, 2007

Sunday Supplement: Dog-Collar and all

Sir Richard Arcos writes: Just before Christmas, I mentioned my intention of going down to Port Talbot in South Wales, having herad from a reliable source in Wales that his landlord had a dog, and that he was an Anglican Vicar in Port Talbot. Telephoning my daughter, I arranged to stay at her husband's house in Carmarthenshire for a few days, intending on Sunday to visit this church.

It was, as I had suspected, in the shadow of the mighty steelworks at Port Talbot. Considering that the thing is the largest what-not in the town (see picture), I was somewhat less than surprised.

The service began with Bach's Toccatta and Fuge, before the first hym, 'All Creatures That On Earth Do Dwell' was sung, and that with great gusto, as the Parson trotted down the aisle, wagging his tail. The notices were barked, while the General Confession was accompanied by a mournful howl from the vicar.

The Next Hymn, 'All Things Bright and Beautiful,' followed the reading (or barking) of the Ten Commandments. A few prayers later (numbers indicated by a bark or two), we knelt for the responses, etc. that are a part of the prayer-book. The Vicar howled his parts, and was a lot more musical than a great many who try to sing.

The sermon consisted of a few admonitory barks and a growl, before we sang our final hymn, 'Abide With Me' (written by A. M. Toplady, who believed Dogs went to heaven). In general, the service was relaxed, and the lack of a human vicar was hardly noticed. No heresy was given out, which was nice....

Would the Girl in Grey please contact Mrs. Rule, Plas Llangarmon, Carms. Sir Richard is stuck in the pantry again.