Slightly frantic phone call from Nathan, the priest in the Trim Valley benefice where I stayed for a few months' sabbatical.
Seems he's said something he shouldn't. Not s problem, said I. Unless you said it in full plenary PCC with video evidence, just deny it.
Yes, he says, but he wrote it to the Church Magazine, at the last minute, and the editor sent it straight to the printer, and tomorrow there's gonna be 1,000 copies going out, to every house in the village.
Well, I say, you've a few options:
A) Stage an elaborate fire that totally destroys the mags, but leaves the vestry in which they're stored intact.
B) Burn down all the villages, so the villagers have something else to worry about.
C) Claim the mags are impregnated with spores of Black Death - a tactic which combines biological impossibility with utter terror. Especially in Grilsby, where the locals talk about the last outbreak like it was yesterday. And are still technically fighting the English Civil War.
D) Ride with it. He wrote the truth, and it's just one of those things. And, if anyone looking like Daily Mail reporters turns up in the Hanged Man, denounce them as witches and have them ducked in the pond on the green.
He's going for "D". Brave man.