Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (30) The Verger’s Patience (Part 02)
Tom took the Vicars advice and applied to fill the vacancy as Verger and his first official task saw him carrying the Virge at the Sunday service on the first Sunday of Advent and he had never felt prouder but when he went home he had no one to share it with.
He did have someone in mind who he would have liked to share his big moment with and that was Patience Rudd.
He had known her for 5 years ever since he started attending St Martins, she was a few years younger than him and was also unremarkable looking, and ticked all the average boxes but to him she was far from ordinary.
Unlike him she had always been part of the Church since she was a little girl.
She was one of the first people he met when he made his first tentative steps into St Martin’s and Tom fell in love with the shy timid Patience instantly and the attraction was mutual.
But neither of them did anything about it, they were far too shy.
Despite the fact that they did so much together for the Church they never took the tiny final step to be together.
So as the weeks turned into months and the months to years the gulf seemed to grow exponentially and the tiny step seemed more like it was a giant leap.
They always radiated towards each other on committees, pastorates and church groups and always volunteered for the same things.
And they talked freely with no awkwardness of self-consciousness as long as they didn’t think about the other in the way they wanted them to be.
Even after he became the Verger things didn’t change between them.
Although he came very close at the St Martin’s Christmas Bazaar.
Both Tom and Patience arrived early at St Martin’s School and it was already a hive of activity.
“Goodness” he said “And I was worried I was too early”
“Yes me too” she agreed
“Shall we get stuck in then” he suggested
They worked together all morning and he would have liked to have helped her on the Bric-à-brac stall but he had already volunteered to help out in Santa’s Grotto.
“I’ve got to go” he said
“Oh ok” she said flatly
“But I’ll come and help you pack up at the end if you like”
To get to the grotto he had to enter via an adjoining classroom, festively decked out, which acted as an ante room where a small number of children and their accompanying parents waited their turn, and where the school’s drama teacher, Cherry Overton-Brown, who for some reason was dressed as Robin Hood, kept order.
And beyond the anteroom in the corridor there was a sizable queue of expectant children.