Van Helsing

When I got out of Synod this evening I switched on my mobile phone (the Nokia 5140i that I promised I’d review but haven’t got round to yet) and there was a text message from my sister:

Any chance you could phone our landline? We have a bizarre request! Love Jen n Ben xx

I phoned Jenni once I’d got home and had some tea, and discovered that their request was indeed bizarre.

My nephew Benjamin is going to a Halloween fancy dress party at school as Van Helsing, the evil-vanquishing vampire slayer chappy. He bought a leather coat at the local Red Cross shop, and he and his mum have made him a crossbow (no evil-vanquishing vampire slayer is seen dead without one these days! Bad choice of phrase, I know!).

All he needed was … for me to bless his holy water! Seemingly he’d been telling his friends at school that he’d get his uncle (that’s me, folks!) who’s a real live priest (I got into Edinburgh Diocesan Synod tonight unchallenged, so that must be true too) to bless his holy water for him.

Well, there’s not much you can do over the phone, but I prayed for them all anyway. I’m not really into Halloween festivities (there’s two perfectly good festivals on the following couple of days!) but if you must go to school dressed as the leather-clad sidekick of Kate Beckinsale then you might as well go with a vial of Selkirk water and a prayer from your uncle!

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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