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Manna — defrosted at the pub

03 February 2011

by Ed Thornton

IT WAS with the best and purest wheat bread that conveniently might be gotten that a pub landlady came to the rescue of a village congregation last Sunday.

The Rector of St John the Baptist, Letton, in north Herefordshire, Prebendary Bob King, said that parishioners who went on Sunday morning to open the church “were met with a burst pipe and flood in the vestry. By the time I arrived, they had mopped and dealt with this as best they could, only for the churchwarden to remember that they had no communion bread.”

Moreover, the eucharist was to be a joint one for all of the eight congregations that Mr King serves.

Mr King went with the churchwarden to her house to get bread, only to find that she had lost her keys. After a failed attempt to obtain bread from a neighbour, they tried the village pub, The Swan. The landlady, Jennie Howells, answered their repeated knocking at the door — and agreed to defrost two baguettes.

“We returned to the church somewhat late for the service, but the congregation had embarked on community hymn-singing to fill in the time,” Mr King said. “After that, it was back to normal, but it was not the way you would plan a Sunday. I am not sure what the guest preacher thought of it all.”

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