The congregation were prickly and disgruntled. The new vicar was a woman? And, apparently, she wasn’t the sort of woman to have use for a husband.
“It’s a disgrace,” muttered Vic, the butcher.
“An outrage,” agreed Hilda, who once ran the pub. “What are we going to do?”
There was much rumbling and grumbling.
“I know,” said Hilda. “We should hold our own meeting, our own Sunday service.”
There were showy nods and boisterous agreement.
“Come to mine, if you like.”
So on Sunday morning, at a quarter to ten, they arrived at Hilda’s house. They trooped into her tastefully tidy front room. She had set out chairs and draped a tea-towel over the telly. They sat down, heads bowed.
She tottered in and gave a nervous smile.
“Shall we begin?”
They nodded. She took a deep breath, and said,
“Let us pray. Our father, who art in heaven.”
A female vicar? What a ridiculous idea. There was no way Hilda and her friends were going to stand for that.