This jolly picture, taken on the path from the Rectory to Holy Trinity church, is not of a member of our congregation, though there were a few of us up there this morning. No, this is a jolly roads department employee - one of a crew who made our morning.
Here's the story. At 9am, five of us de-iced our cars and set off through the fog to meet at the Roads Depot. There we hoped to take some grit in buckets from the public bins and get it onto the really hairy bend on the church drive. We found the bins empty, though we could see a grit mountain inside the perimeter fence. But suddenly, after a short conversation with a foreman (or whatever - as far as I was concerned he was simply the first of this morning's angels, in a beard and woolly hat) we had not only the grit we needed, but also a lorry, three men, a small boy, several shovels and a hand-operated grit spreader.
By the time we'd all parked our cars out of the way and headed up the drive - where the work two of us had done on Tuesday had really paid off with two black pathways in the ice - the lorry was halfway up and the men were cheerily spreading grit - all the way up to the church, round the carpark, and up the steep bit to the rectory. I don't know if they had any church affiliation themselves, but they worked like Trojans in the best possible humour until the foreman pointed our that that was their teabreak time over and they ought to get back so that he could organise the next shift.
So there you have it. Angels in reflective waistcoats making it possible for us to have our Midnight Mass after all. And after a pretty grim Advent on my part, and a stressful week agitating about the church, this morning felt like the coming of the light.
Thanks, chaps. Oh - is it all right to call angels chaps?