Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (16) The Highfinch Curate (Part 01)
The village of Highfinch sat just on the edge of the Pepperstock Hills and Lily Green Hollows Golf Club separated the village from the Hamlet of Lily Green and since moving there in January, Nick Faulkner, had completely immersed himself in Village life and they welcomed him with open arms such was the nature of celebrity.
Nick was a TV presenter on a popular sports show and was immediately given membership to the ultra-exclusive Lily Green Hollows Golf Club.
It was a very exclusive Golf Club with a large number of grand House’s in both village and hamlet backing on to it.
It was not widely known but the Golf Club and all the plush dwelling attached to the course belonged to the Mornington Estate.
It came into their ownership in the late 1980’s when a developer tried to buy it to create a luxury housing estate, Gabriel St George’s father, Valentine, who was the then Baron, stepped in and saved it.
Because it was so exclusive the membership fees were exorbitant but they had to be because the Golf Club and all the properties that surrounded it had to pay their own way.
Gabriel hated the fact that the club was strictly for the rich but it was a necessary evil to preserve it and protect it from the developers and Nick Faulkner’s celebrity status didn’t exempt him from the fees.
He also joined the congregation at St Martins Church which was where he got his first glimpse of Jenna Lawton, the curate who was the de facto Vicar of St Martins while the Reverend Mortimer was recovering from a heart attack.
Reverend Mortimer’s standing Vicar was an attractive woman by any measure, with a warm open manner, a willowy thirty something, nearer to forty than not, with shoulder length brunette hair, intelligent green laughing eyes and a broad toothy smile, altogether he thought a very pleasant demeanour.
Nick had moved to the country for the peace and quiet in order to write his book but it didn’t work out that way.
Apart from joining the Golf Club and the regular attendance at the Church he was also persuaded to sit on the parish council, which he thought might be akin to a scene from the “Vicar of Dibley” but in reality it was nothing of the sort and was actually quite rewarding and it brought him in close proximity to the lovely curate.
And it was she who was fairly instrumental in press ganging him into giving talks and live readings to the Women’s Institute, the Round Table and the Rotary Club et al.
He also helped with planning the Summer Fete, numerous Fund raising events and Quiz nights and by the time Easter was finished he had already been penciled in for duties at Halloween, bonfire night and Christmas.
However he had really taken to village life and the village had taken to him but he was in a quandary because somewhere along the way the work on his book had stalled and he had managed to fall in love with the Curate come Vicar, Jenna Lawton which undoubtedly contributed greatly to the ease in which she managed to press gang him, and she had absolutely no idea of the effect she had on him.