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Brief visitation

08 February 2013

SADLY, the ministry of a visiting cleric, the Revd "Mr Snow", proved all too brief, although he did his bit with the children of Market Rasen, and also helped with flood defences. He first appeared, some seven feet tall and fully robed, on 19 January, at the monthly Saturday Club run by Linda Patrick, the wife of the Revd Charles Patrick.

He caused quite a stir as a new recruit to the Market Rasen Ministry Team; for Mr Patrick, who has ten churches in his care in Lincoln diocese, had recently lost his curate, although he does have a strong contingent of Readers and lay leaders.

On that same morning of deep snow, when the Saturday Club children were happily building the walls of Jericho around Mr Snow, just so that they could knock them down again, one of the local farmers was doing valuable work. Having learned lessons from a deep snowfall three years ago, when the village was cut off, he used his tractor and snow plough to throw gravel on all the roads around the village so that they remained passable. It was typical, Mrs Patrick says, of the community spirit in the village.

Mr Snow was robed again for the Sunday-morning service, and many families brought their children along to be photographed with him. And Mr Snow himself contributed to mitigating the floods that came to the village ten days later, after heavy rain also brought a thaw. The Environment Agency had suggested that snowmen could help to delay floods by compacting snow and slowing the thaw; but the trouble was that several million were needed. But by the time the floods took hold (fortunately, no houses in the village were actually flooded), Mr Snow was no longer available for comment.

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