Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Characters / VillageTalesTheClergy

Go To



* GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave / StacysMom: French and chic. Yeah. Sher and Noel notice; Teddy notices; The Breener notices; the Duke notices.... Even Edmond notices. A definite case of OlderThanTheyLook, too.
--> "'You must not feel yourself rebuked, child,' said Mme Dr Jettou. 'I speak as one old enough to be your mother –' \\
"'You're nothing of the sort,' protested Sher, gallantly – and guilelessly. \\
"She chortled. 'Ah, child, you are kind."


Added DiffLines:

* SilverVixen: French and chic. Yeah. Sher and Noel notice; Teddy notices; The Breener notices; the Duke notices.... Even Edmond notices. A definite case of OlderThanTheyLook, too.
--> "'You must not feel yourself rebuked, child,' said Mme Dr Jettou. 'I speak as one old enough to be your mother –' \\
"'You're nothing of the sort,' protested Sher, gallantly – and guilelessly. \\
"She chortled. 'Ah, child, you are kind."


* SmartPeopleKnowLatin: Despite the occasional condescension of {{Oxbridge}} men to a [[UsefulNotes/BritishUnis KCL / London]] man, he does in fact have Latin. And makes a point of ''not'' using it.

to:

* SmartPeopleKnowLatin: Despite the occasional condescension of {{Oxbridge}} {{UsefulNotes/Oxbridge}} men to a [[UsefulNotes/BritishUnis KCL / London]] man, he does in fact have Latin. And makes a point of ''not'' using it.



* {{Oxbridge}}: Averted in that he's a Durham man, although his higher degrees are from Keble and St Stephen's House Oxford ("Staggers"). He yawns over Oxford-Cambridge matches and the Boat Race.



* {{Oxbridge}}: Was up at Bristol. Certain {{Oxbridge}} sorts make a meal of the fact.



Comfortably sedentary Cambridge don, and the greatest living authority on ecclesiastical architecture and restoration. Snookered, on the eve of academic retirement, by (of course) Dean Blanchard, into taking Orders (which any {{Oxbridge}} don is allowed to do, under Canon C 5 of the C of E, pretty much on demand), so as to come to the Downland parishes, oversee their restoration, and act as Noel's third curate. Distantly related to that old [[TheGrandHunt foxhunting squire]] Gerald Warmestre [=MFH=], whose great-grandmother was "a Levett of what might be called the Quorn branch." Welcomes bad weather because it means staying by a warm fire with tea and muffins.

to:

Comfortably sedentary Cambridge don, and the greatest living authority on ecclesiastical architecture and restoration. Snookered, on the eve of academic retirement, by (of course) Dean Blanchard, into taking Orders (which any {{Oxbridge}} {{UsefulNotes/Oxbridge}} don is allowed to do, under Canon C 5 of the C of E, pretty much on demand), so as to come to the Downland parishes, oversee their restoration, and act as Noel's third curate. Distantly related to that old [[TheGrandHunt foxhunting squire]] Gerald Warmestre [=MFH=], whose great-grandmother was "a Levett of what might be called the Quorn branch." Welcomes bad weather because it means staying by a warm fire with tea and muffins.



* TheProfessor: Subverted. He's the sort of don [[TruthInTelevision they really do have]] at {{Oxbridge}}, not at all [[AbsentMindedProfessor vague and befuddled]] or a TVGenius or any of that sort of rubbish.

to:

* TheProfessor: Subverted. He's the sort of don [[TruthInTelevision they really do have]] at {{Oxbridge}}, {{UsefulNotes/Oxbridge}}, not at all [[AbsentMindedProfessor vague and befuddled]] or a TVGenius or any of that sort of rubbish.



Academic lawyer, chic as the 7th arrondissement, with a double degree from [[{{Oxbridge}} Cambridge]] and Caen and the ''ijazat attadris;'' wife to Dr Jettou the imam. Understands perfectly well precisely what she says: to wit, that, in the UK:

to:

Academic lawyer, chic as the 7th arrondissement, with a double degree from [[{{Oxbridge}} [[{{UsefulNotes/Oxbridge}} Cambridge]] and Caen and the ''ijazat attadris;'' wife to Dr Jettou the imam. Understands perfectly well precisely what she says: to wit, that, in the UK:


* DeathByChildbirth: Subverted, in that it was in late pregnancy.



* SpiritedYoungLady: And never mind class considerations. (Although her family were perhaps a shade higher up the scale than Noel's, as between members alike of the respectable working- and small-tradesman classes). She was always a lady and treated as such.


%% * EnglishRose: Was one, before age and stress transformed her.
%% More context is required.


Ex-''Independent'' [[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers journalist]]. Finds Noel Paddick his best if most wearisome job security. Not amused by the InUniverse fandom that's grown up around the Woolfonts. Almost as cunning and sinuous as the Duke. A rather less sweary [[Main/TheThickOfIt Malcolm Tucker]].

to:

Ex-''Independent'' [[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers journalist]]. Finds Noel Paddick his best if most wearisome job security. Not amused by the InUniverse fandom that's grown up around the Woolfonts. Almost as cunning and sinuous as the Duke. A rather less sweary [[Main/TheThickOfIt [[Series/TheThickOfIt Malcolm Tucker]].


* CoolOldLady: In a very proper way.

to:

* CoolOldLady: In a very proper way.way and a version of the GrannyClassic.



* EnglishRose: Was one, before age and stress transformed her into the ProperLady version of the GrannyClassic she now is.

to:

%% * EnglishRose: Was one, before age and stress transformed her into the ProperLady version of the GrannyClassic she now is.her.
%% More context is required.


* TheStarscream: Subverted. He is discreetly ambitious, and intends to be a bishop before he dies, and knows that doing his bets job and being self-effacing is the surest way to that. But he remains [[TheGoodChancellor both virtuous and loyal]].

to:

* TheStarscream: Subverted. He is discreetly ambitious, and intends to be a bishop before he dies, and knows that doing his bets best job and being self-effacing is the surest way to that. But he remains [[TheGoodChancellor both virtuous and loyal]].


* KindlyHousekeeper: A "wren-like widow now and a motherly little body all her days," she exults in being able to mother Noel (and Sher when he stops for two meals in three), even after their ctual mums come to live in the Woolfonts.

to:

* KindlyHousekeeper: A "wren-like widow now and a motherly little body all her days," she exults in being able to mother Noel (and Sher when he stops for two meals in three), even after their ctual actual mums come to live in the Woolfonts.


* TheClan: You cannot through a rock in the District and not hit a Mullin.

to:

* TheClan: You cannot through throw a rock in the District and not hit a Mullin.


->''"I leave the theology to Stephen."''

to:

->''"I ->"'I leave the theology to Stephen."'''"



->''"Your Lordship is assured that there's no dissent...?"''

to:

->''"Your ->"'Your Lordship is assured that there's no dissent...?"''?'"



->''"I apologise, but it's always a joy to see Your Lordship suddenly reminded of just how sharp the quillets of canon law can be."''

to:

->''"I ->"'I apologise, but it's always a joy to see Your Lordship suddenly reminded of just how sharp the quillets of canon law can be."'''"



->''Cicely smiled: a cat's smile, sleek and arch."

to:

->''Cicely ->"Cicely smiled: a cat's smile, sleek and arch."



->''Canon Maidment, seated cunningly behind the lawyers, smirked.''

to:

->''Canon ->"Canon Maidment, seated cunningly behind the lawyers, smirked.''"



->''"I'll do better than that. ''I'll'' shout-in the first round down the Boar, after Evensong. You'll be in want of it."''

to:

->''"I'll ->"'I'll do better than that. ''I'll'' shout-in the first round down the Boar, after Evensong. You'll be in want of it."'''"



->'''To, of course, Edmond:''' "That I speak to you of things that don't seem to you "churchy" and priestly does not change that: it merely suggests you're not as familiar with priests, or the C of E, as you might be, or might think yourself to be."

to:

->'''To, of course, Edmond:''' "That "'That I speak to you of things that don't seem to you "churchy" and priestly does not change that: it merely suggests you're not as familiar with priests, or the C of E, as you might be, or might think yourself to be."'"



->''"You're up to something, you cunning old clerk. Out with it."''

to:

->''"You're ->"'You're up to something, you cunning old clerk. Out with it."'''"



->''"Now, Charles...."''

to:

->''"Now, ->"'Now, Charles...."'''"



-> "It's as well to be busy; and everyone is being so very kind and helpful."

to:

-> "It's "'It's as well to be busy; and everyone is being so very kind and helpful."'"



--> "Matthew was, thank God, more priest than public school boy, but the OE manner does seem even more tiresome than the OH, really. Now, Noel, dear.' She raised her hand toward someone in the crush behind Noel. 'Matthew left you his library and some other things.' \\

to:

--> "Matthew "'Matthew was, thank God, more priest than public school boy, but the OE manner does seem even more tiresome than the OH, really. Now, Noel, dear.' She raised her hand toward someone in the crush behind Noel. 'Matthew left you his library and some other things.' \\



* SilverFox: It's a [[Cool Crown crown]] of dignity.

to:

* SilverFox: It's a [[Cool Crown [[CoolCrown crown]] of dignity.


->'''When Mary and I first came here, I was warned – by Dean Blanchard, most notably – that I was to set my watch back by several decades when I went into the Woolfonts....'''

to:

->'''When ->"'When Mary and I first came here, I was warned – by Dean Blanchard, most notably – that I was to set my watch back by several decades when I went into the Woolfonts....''''"

Added DiffLines:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/downlandsparishes.png]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The C of E....]]

The Clergy: C of E and … not: all bumbling their way towards God as best they may. The main character sheet is [[Characters/VillageTales here]].

[[foldercontrol]]
!The Clergy

Established and otherwise, as followeth. Here beginneth the Lesson.

!!The Wider Diocese

-> "In the Church as elsewhere, personal ties and shared experiences naturally exert their influence. For the Church, however inspired, however corrected (all too slowly, in the duke's opinion) by Grace and by the Holy Ghost, is, if not a very human institution, certainly an institution very much of humans, with all the failings and qualities alike of man."

[[folder:The Rt Rev'd Stephen Chubb Dip [=CRES MA (Lond.) (KCL)=], Bishop of Sarum]]

!!The Rt Rev'd Stephen Chubb Dip [=CRES MA (Lond.) (KCL)=], Bishop of Sarum:

A mild and much-tried man. [[UsefulNotes/HomeCounties Home Counties]]-bred, with the look of a heron surveying an unpromising pond. Married to Mary. (Noel Paddick, agreeing with [[Creator/GKChesterton Chesterton]] that "coincidences are spiritual puns," is pleased that his Bishop and his Bishop's lady wife have the same Christian names as Noel's own parents.) Lost a young son some years ago. ''Bien-pensant,'' moderately trendy, and a ''Guardian'' reader, but, in fact, more orthodox than some (the Duke, for one) give him credit for – and was, rather unexpectedly, a [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships Royal Navy]] chaplain in his youth. Rather weary of trying to balance the contending wings of the C of E; rather relieved that the Woolfonts, being the Duke's livings, are under the Alternative Episcopal Oversight of Ebbsfleet. Noel mediated a longstanding quarrel between Duke and Bishop within a month of arriving; the Bishop intends to make Noel a suffragan bishop as soon as the canons allow, and have him canonized a saint as soon as he dies. Is worrying himself into a decline.

->'''When Mary and I first came here, I was warned – by Dean Blanchard, most notably – that I was to set my watch back by several decades when I went into the Woolfonts....'''
----
* BenevolentBoss: He tries very hard, and mostly succeeds. Despite having an unruly flock. (Of course, enforcement is what ''archdeacons'' are there for....)
* BourgeoisBohemian: He's an honest and sympathetic sort of one, with a Labour progressive's heart and surprisingly orthodox ecclesiastical views.
--> "'This appointment has been my cross, my dear Archdeacon Philips; my crucifixion, if that's not blasphemous as well as overdramatic and whinging. But it is a literally impossible position. [snip] And in the meantime, I am torn, with my Church, by contending factions, as if I were tied to horses driven in opposing directions.'"
* DeathByOriginStory: Very nearly suffered a CrisisOfFaith after the [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth death of his young son]]. He managed, just, to persevere. But it has certainly influenced his approach to being bishop.
* FireForgedFriends: First he and the Duke were {{Foil}}s. Then came TeethClenchedTeamwork. And now.... Cue the Agincourt speech.
* {{Foil}}: To the Duke, and vice-versa. Of course, that was before Father Paddick effected a reconciliation.
* GoodShepherd: With all his flaws and failings (which he readily admits), he remains one, to the diocese and particularly to his clergy. It's the really saintly ones he has the most trouble with: Noel, for instance.
* MentorArchetype: AllAPartOfTheJob. Even if he feels that in a time of Church crisis, he's an ObsoleteMentor.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted and lampshaded. He and Mrs. Chubb have the same Christian names as Father Paddick's parents. Which Fr. Paddick considers a [[Creator/GKChesterton Chestertonian]] "spiritual pun."
* ThePhilosopher: With all the sadness of ineffectuality added. A bishop of the Established Church ''ought'' to be a [[ThePhilosopherKing philosopher-king]] at least in, and as to, his own diocese; Bishop Chubb, ''being'' a philosopher, is all too aware that, nowadays, a bishop isn't and cannot be.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: He is trying – to the point of undermining his health – to hold the C of E together, at least in his diocese.
--> "… the Bishop, at the height of the savage fight at the General Synod over women in the episcopate, had collapsed with a bleeding peptic ulcer and been given aid by Charles, there to thunder against the measure, and Canon Potecary (one of the main props and stays of the proposal)...."
* RitualsAndCeremonies: He and the Duke both have a weakness for these and an inner showman (okay, an inner [[Creator/CecilBDeMille Cecil B. DeMille]]) apiece; between them, they make Father Paddicks' installation as Rector the next thing to an episcopal enthronement, and, as Lady Crispin bitterly warned, all but turn Crispin's burial service into a State Funeral. Fr. Paddick, in both instances, managed to tone things down to some level of reverent sanity.
* SaintlyChurch: He'll make his one or die trying.
* SmartPeopleKnowLatin: Despite the occasional condescension of {{Oxbridge}} men to a [[UsefulNotes/BritishUnis KCL / London]] man, he does in fact have Latin. And makes a point of ''not'' using it.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: After reconciling with the Duke, this was the next step.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mrs. (Mary) Chubb]]

!!Mary Chubb, wife to the Bishop:

Despite having been devastated by the death of their son, she Carries On: "an English gentlewoman, case-hardened steel in a twin-set and pearls: the sort of woman who, through every tragedy, is to be found implacably gardening, resolutely pouring out the Darjeeling, indefatigably having people to dinner." Manages tricky situations with ease and under the radar; without her, the Bishop would be a good deal more lost than he is.

->''"I leave the theology to Stephen."''
----
* CoolOldLady: In a very proper way.
* DeathByOriginStory: As for her husband. Their son's death very nearly destroyed her.
* EnglishRose: Was one, before age and stress transformed her into the ProperLady version of the GrannyClassic she now is.
* TheSocialExpert: And thus a great help to her husband.
* PrematurelyGreyHaired: Subverted. She's old enough to have gone a ''bit'' grey, but it's admitted that what she's been through hasn't exactly helped.
* ProperLady: As noted, "an English gentlewoman, case-hardened steel in a twin-set and pearls."
* TeamMom: Particularly to the clergy of the diocese. It helps that she ignores the issues dividing them:
--> "'I,' said the Bishop's wife, gently, 'leave the theology to Stephen. My own faith, such as it is, is very personal; devotional. I have really no opinion on these matters. All the same, I appreciate, with, I think, a special insight, the points on both sides.'"
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Venerable Nigel Philips [=MA=] (Oxon) [=BTh=] (Westcott / Cantab), Archdeacon of Beechbourne]]

!!The Ven. Nigel Philips [=MA=] (Oxon) [=BTh=] (Westcott / Cantab), Archdeacon of Beechbourne ("Flops," to the Duke and other old schoolmates):

Languid, diplomatic ecclesiastical enforcer and fixer, ''ex officio'' – the Duke, his oldest and best enemy, thinks he ought to have been at the [=FCO=], selling out the country –; not unambitious, but far too discreet to let it show. As noted, was at school and university with the Duke: Hawtreys, Eton, and Oxford – he's a Keble man –; the Duke has not changed his assessment since: "Glib, facile, and mean with his tuck, was Flops...."

->''"Your Lordship is assured that there's no dissent...?"''
----
* DeadpanSnarker: The man went through his prepper, Eton, and Oxford holding his own against the Duke. And can yet.
* TheFace: The actual RealLife job of archdeacons is to be this … and TheLancer and enforcer.
* TheGoodChancellor: Although not in fact the chancellor of the diocese, which is another role entirely.
* HiddenDepths: He can be quite witty when he unbends. And, deeper and more hidden, his favorite film is … {{Patton}}.
** Among the few who know this InUniverse, it's a matter of speculation whether he sees himself as [[TheLancer Omar Bradley]] or as a MagnificentBastard.
* TheLancer: To Bishop Chubb, officially and temperamentally.
* LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: He and the Duke have been the dearest of enemies for decades.
* NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: Well, not by the Duke or some other Old Etonians, who still regard him in a schoolboy light.
* RulesLawyer: It's a job requirement. Sometimes to the exasperation of bishop and clergy alike. But Canon Law is Canon Law, full stop, and bad things happen when it isn't followed.
* TheSheriff: AllAPartOfTheJob. Archdeacons are this to the clergy on behalf of the bishop.
* TheStarscream: Subverted. He is discreetly ambitious, and intends to be a bishop before he dies, and knows that doing his bets job and being self-effacing is the surest way to that. But he remains [[TheGoodChancellor both virtuous and loyal]].
* VitriolicBestBuds: With the Duke. For ''ages.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Very Rev'd Simon Blanchard [=BA (Dunelm) MA (Oxon) BTh (Chicester) MTh (Oxon) DD=] (Oxon), Dean of Wolfdown]]

!!The Very Rev'd Simon Blanchard [=BA (Dunelm) MA (Oxon) BTh (Chicester) MTh (Oxon) DD=] (Oxon), Dean Emeritus, Rural Dean (Dean of Wolfdown):

Cousin to the local surgeon Gilbert Blanchard; a stout, comfortable, formidable man, sometimes impatient – he was at Marlborough and then went up to Durham – of all the Eton-Harrow and Oxford-Cambridge matches being played out in the Deanery and the Diocese by other means. Reveres and worries about Noel. Was Dean of the Cathedral Chapter before retiring to his Rural Deanery, and knows all the dodges. Cut his teeth in the Downland parishes, for which he retains a special concern and for whom he will stick at very little. Wily as an old badger. Incumbent of S Edith Compton Malet joined with S Mary Magdalene Teaselbury St Mary.

->''"I apologise, but it's always a joy to see Your Lordship suddenly reminded of just how sharp the quillets of canon law can be."''
----
* BadassPreacher / WarriorMonk: Commonly with words. But he is physically imposing, with StoutStrength, and no one fails to yield to him (his being the previous Dean of the Cathedral Chapter helps, of course). In fact, he's all a good bit [[Myth/RobinHood Friar Tuck]].
* CunningLikeAFox: And Fr. Gascelyn Levett calls him out as such when the Dean drafts him into Holy Orders as a retirement gig after being a Fellow at Cambridge.
--> "'You're up to something, you cunning old clerk. Out with it.'"
* GuileHero: How he gets his way. For the good of the Church. Well, the Diocese. Well, the parishes he's specially fond of. (The Woolfonts and the Downland parishes, even as against the others in his deanery, are very much his old {{Protectorate}}. So also is Noel Paddick, personally.)
* MentorArchetype: The Archdeacon and Canon Potecary both served their titles under him, and he is gently disinclined to allow them to forget it.
--> "Dean Blanchard, obviously, yet retained an ascendancy over the Archdeacon from the Cliff Ambries days, and the Archdeacon remained sentimental about those parishes which had very much been the Dean's downland fief when he'd been young. And the current Dean and Chapter simply accepted as a fact of life that, throughout the Diocese and specially in the Wolfdown Deanery, there was a sort of 'mafia' of clergy who'd done stints at S Aldhelm Woolhead S Aldhelm and at S Michael & All Angels Sutton Whitfield, or both: a mafia which notably included the Archdeacon and Canon Potecary: and one simply had no choice but to wear the fact with such Grace as one were given."
* {{Oxbridge}}: Averted in that he's a Durham man, although his higher degrees are from Keble and St Stephen's House Oxford ("Staggers"). He yawns over Oxford-Cambridge matches and the Boat Race.
* RulesLawyer: To match the Archdeacon. [[MyRuleFuIsStrongerThanYours His rule-fu is stronger.]]
* SeriousBusiness: He's the one who will always lampshade, even to the Bishop, that, to nine-tenths even of their own nominal parishioners, all these church crises are utterly meaningless.
--> '''To the Bishop and the Archdeacon:''' "Young Mr Mirza at the school is not the only member of a religious minority in this district: we are as well, all of us. We may be the national and Established Church, and our nominal rolls, extensive: but they are ''nominal''. To the average man and woman, all these upsets and quarrels are an inexplicable and incomprehensible wrangle amongst a few odds and sods with an eccentric ''hobby''. It impinges upon the common mind to the same extent as an argument between factions in the British Bee Farmers' Association – indeed, rather less so, as this is, after all, an agricultural district."
* TurbulentPriest: When necessary.
--> "Dean Blanchard, however, was not capable of being daunted. He was one of the bulldog breed."
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Rev'd Canon Judith Potecary [=BS=] Hons (Theology & Sociology) (Brist) [=BTh (Ridley / Cantab) MA=] (Pastoral Theology) (Cantab Theol Fdn / Ang Rus), Team Rector of Beechbourne, Chickmarsh, & the Woolheads]]

!!The Rev'd Canon Judith Potecary [=BS=] Hons (Theology & Sociology) (Brist) [=BTh (Ridley / Cantab) MA=] (Pastoral Theology) (Cantab Theol Fdn / Ang Rus), Team Rector, Beechbourne:

Stout, staunch Rector of the Combined Benefice of Beechbourne, Chickmarsh, & the Woolheads. (Not an easy job: Beechbourne and Chickmarsh have a SmallTownRivalry dating back to … no, no, not the UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar. Not the UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses. The ''[[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfNormandy Anarchy]]'' – one was for Stephen, one was for Maud.) The Duke went ballistic when, briefly and improperly, ''his'' livings were folded in to that benefice. [[ChastityCouple Canonically chaste civil partner]] of local psychiatrist Cicely Pinnell-Cundick. Intends to be a bishop sooner or later. Has Uncompromising, Right-On Views; loves Noel, with some exasperation, anyway.

-> "'I need your approval like a fish needs a chasuble.'"[[note]]... to which Noel lovingly and smilingly pointed out that she ''had'' loaves and fishes embroidered on her Ordinary Time chasuble....[[/note]]
----
* AmbitionIsEvil: Subverted. Her desire to be a woman bishop now that these are permitted in the C of E, like her having taken Orders to begin with, is not presented as evil; but she confronts, with a little [[NotInThisForYourRevolution helpful advicefrom Cicely (who isn't keen to move somewhere else where there's a bishopric open – let alone to move OopNorth)]], the fact that her reasons for wanting to be part of the first wave were Not Unmixed and not purely [[UsefulNotes/{{Feminism}} feminist]] and churchly.
* ChastityCouple: Presumably. InUniverse, the dying Father Pryor notes that if she and Cicely ''weren't'' one themselves, she'd have been honest enough to say so before raising the issue in front of her bishop and the Archdeacon. On the other hand, she worries for Noel in a way that suggests she knows how hard the choice is and how likely it is to fail....
* EarthMother: As part of a [[FatAndSkinny stout and pugnacious to elegant and snarky]] duo with Cicely, though she's not a mother and not really even HollywoodPudgy, really. She ''is'' earthy....
* GoodShepherd: In her own combative way, very much so.
* LipstickLesbian: Subverted in that she and Cicely are (a) in a canonically chaste civil partnership as required by the canons of the C of E and (b) are neither one particularly or notably femme, high femme, butch, or what have you. They are simply two women in a same-sex partnership.
* NatureLover / OutdoorsyGal: Averted and lampshaded. Cicely accuses her of having a passion for frowst and an aversion to fresh air, let alone countryside. (Her present benefice, a town living in part, seems to suit her better than the Woolfonts did.)
* {{Oxbridge}}: Was up at Bristol. Certain {{Oxbridge}} sorts make a meal of the fact.
* SarcasticDevotee: To Noel, to the Church, even to the Duke (cue SnarkToSnarkCombat in three, two, one...). In her first scene with Noel, she ''and'' the Archdeacon get to snark lovingly at him:
--> '''When the Archdeacon introduced her to the newly-installed Noel, after he'd punched out a footballer who was groping the Hon. Gwen:''' "Say what one liked about Judith Potecary – and the duke did – no one denied that she had a fine singing voice and a wicked sense of humour. She demonstrated both on the Sunday, at the Rectory, after service, when, as Noel greeted her, the Archdeacon, and the Rural Dean, she grinned at him and began singing '[[Film/{{Rocky}} Gonna Fly Now]]'.\\
"He blushed and ducked his head. \\
"'My dear Noel,' said the Archdeacon, '"Muscular Christianity" is all very well, but…..'\\
"'Nigel,' said the Rural Dean, warningly. It is not commonly given to a Rural Dean to correct an Archdeacon, but when the former is the senior man, is the late Dean of the Cathedral, and is known twice to have turned down elevation to the See, it can happen: as it was happening just then."
* StrawFeminist: Averted good and hard. She gets some great lines and makes (indefatigably) a consistent and compelling argument.
--> "I accept his right to his view, and no one can say I don't appreciate the points he makes. But the C of E ''has'' voted long since to ordain women, and, now, to raise us to the episcopate. I accept as valid ''his'' orders, and I don't claim Dean Blanchard or the Archdeacon haven't a right to their cloth; surely I and the other women ordained in the Church might expect to have the same right in return. […] If a woman's a priest, she's a priest; if a bishop, she's a bishop, full stop, and that's the end of it. They needn't ''like'' it, but why ought ''they'' to have the choice – ''we'' never had – whether or not to lump it?"
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Dr. Emily Witchard the local GP.
* WorthyOpponent: To Noel, in a white-on-white clash of opinions about every imaginable issue in the C of E today, and with love and respect on both sides. She is aware that if she could ''convince'' him by actual argument, she'd have no greater supporter of women's ordination and consecration, and says as much.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Cicely Pinnell-Cundick, psychiatrist, civil partner to Canon Potecary]]

!!Cicely Pinnell-Cundick, psychiatrist, Beechbourne:

[[ChastityCouple Canonically chaste civil partner]] of local Canon Judith Potecary. Elegant, soignée, sardonic, and very, very shrewd.

->''Cicely smiled: a cat's smile, sleek and arch."

----
* BrainyBrunette: And a damned handsome woman, too, by Jove.
* ChastityCouple: With [[PairTheSmartOnes Judith]].
* TheClan: Related to Judge Cundick and Tony Macey the solicitor.
* DeadpanSnarker: As part of a [[FatAndSkinny stout and pugnacious to elegant and snarky]] duo with [[EarthMother Judith]].
* SarcasticDevotee: To all those she likes. From Duke to Judith.
* TheShrink: Well, yes. Of the awesome variety.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Rev'd John Birdwell [=BA=] Hons (Theology) (Exon) [=BTh=] (Ministry) (Westcott / Cantab), Team Vicar of Beechbourne, Chickmarsh, & the Woolheads]]

!!The Rev'd "Jock" Birdwell [=BA=] Hons (Theology) (Exon) [=BTh=] (Ministry) (Westcott / Cantab), Team Vicar, Beechbourne:

Canon Potecary's diligent Team Vicar in Beechbourne, Chickmarsh, & the Woolheads.

-> "At the Beechbourne care home, Fr Campion, just departing the room of old Bert Carpenter, who was 'not so well today, but never mind that, Padre, what's going on in Parva, eh, and how are my roses doing', waved at Canon Judiths' Team Vicar and all-'round Number Two, Jock Birdwell, doing his round amongst the contingent of ''his'' joint benefice."
----
* TheClan: There are a lot of local Birdwells, including young Hal at the Free School.
* GoodShepherd: Jock Birdwell isn't hugely interested in theological disputation: he's all about ''minstry''.
* NatureLover: Averted and lampshaded. Cicely lumps him in with Canon Potecary as having no liking for fresh air.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Very Rev'd Alexandra Herridge, Dean of the Cathedral Chapter]]

!!The Very Rev'd Alexandra Herridge, Dean of the Cathedral Chapter, Cathedral Dean:

Dean of the Cathedral Chapter, opinionated, clever, and dedicated.

-> "Dean Alexandra Herridge, sped there in haste from the Chapter, looked as always alert and vulpine."
----
* TheClan: Cousin to one of the Spinsters of Cliff Ambries, and plenty of other Herridges.
* CunningLikeAFox: Predatory, alert, and vulpine, you may recall.
* FieryRedhead: By clerical standards, certainly.
* TheGoodChancellor: In effect, though not the chancellor of the Diocese (that's Judge Cundick: it ''is'' a legal post).
* TheNeedsOfTheMany: There's not much she won't countenance for the greater good of the Church. As she defines it. All the same, she's firmly on the side of righteousness.
* WorthyOpponent: To the Duke and vice-versa.
--> "'Quite clever – yes, obviously, he is; and quite a good idea, too, which is not always the case. Can't bear the little man, but.... He might, actually, make a decent lay canon.' \\
"The Bishop slewed 'round and stared at her in utter shock – not, thought the Archdeacon, altogether unmixed with horror."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Rev'd Canon George Maidment, Diocesan Press Officer, Diocese of Salisbury]]

!!The Rev'd Canon George Maidment, Diocesan Press Officer:

Ex-''Independent'' [[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers journalist]]. Finds Noel Paddick his best if most wearisome job security. Not amused by the InUniverse fandom that's grown up around the Woolfonts. Almost as cunning and sinuous as the Duke. A rather less sweary [[Main/TheThickOfIt Malcolm Tucker]].

->''Canon Maidment, seated cunningly behind the lawyers, smirked.''
----
* CunningLikeAFox: Fleet Street will do that to a man … who survives.
* TheCynic: Fleet Street will do ''that'' to a man, too. He also regards saintly clergy like Noel as being far more likely to cause crises for him than the more humanly-frail types.
* DaEditor: Poacher turned gamekeeper version: he is this to the diocesan communications staff, right down to having their backs.
* SeenItAll: And reported most of it. Knows all the dodges.
* WorthyOpponent: Regards the Duke as such. Detests all he represents (ex-''Independent'' journalist, remember?) but cynically admires his ManipulativeBastard qualities.
[[/folder]]

!!The Combined Benefice (The Woolfonts, Somerfords, & Harstbournes)

-> "Anglo-Catholic the clergy of the combined benefice might be, but they doled out Muscular Christianity as wanted, full measure, pressed down, and running over."

[[folder:The Rev'd Paul Campion [=MA (Oxon) MA (Liturgy) (Coll Resurrection Mirfield / Sheff) SSC=], Curate, the Woolfonts and Downland parishes]]

!!The Rev'd Paul Campion [=MA (Oxon) MA (Liturgy) (Coll Resurrection Mirfield / Sheff) SSC=] Curate with special responsibility for the Woolfonts:

Brother to Dr Tim Campion the organist and choir director, and at once the youngest and most senior in service of Noel's curates. Hearty, sporty, rugger-bugger (in fact, he won his Blue at Oxford for just that) called mysteriously to the cure of souls, and resembling a young Jonny Wilkinson in vestments. Equally happy celebrating Mass or banging away at the piano and leading a sing-along down [[MyLocal the Boar]]. Happier yet taking the Church Lads for a match. A gentle giant: but don't be fooled by that....

->''"I'll do better than that. ''I'll'' shout-in the first round down the Boar, after Evensong. You'll be in want of it."''
----
* AcademicAthlete: He didn't get a mere pass degree at Keble, you know.
* BadassBaritone: To his Rector's heroic tenor. It keeps the service music interesting when they take alternate services.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Applies with extra force to him and his parish colleagues.
--> "There were fools – mostly but not exclusively idle, drunken men and fathers, though occasionally slatternly women as well – who thought that clergymen – and, forgetting the hard lesson of the money-changers in the Temple, their Master – were 'gentle, meek, and mild'; who had not considered that a good shepherd is just that precisely because he protects his flock from predation and smites predators; who regarded, with some national justification which simply did not apply in these parishes, the C of E especially as spineless and happy-clappy; and who mistook 'good' for 'weak'. \\
"Unfortunately – for fools – the Rev'd Canon Noel Paddick had boxed and rowed, though not for his college (being too busy with his studies), at Oxford, and could probably bench-press the duke's prize Gloucester bull; Fr Paul Campion, as a cursory glance ought to have revealed to the most casual observer, had won his Blue, and not so very long since at that, playing [[RugbyIsSlaughter murderous rugger]] for Keble and for Oxford; and the eldest of the three currently resident clergy in the benefice, Fr Gilbert Bohun, all ascetic whipcord, was, formally and in full, the Rev'd Sir Gilbert Bohun Bt MC, late Major, the Blues and Royals: and Fr Bohun took a decidedly military and officer-like approach to difficulties which required the intervention of the Church Militant. As an army. With banners."
* FriendToAllChildren: And they love him right back. Even when he takes them for sport (the Church Lads' and Church Girls' Brigade is very popular in the Woolfonts; trains [[IncrediblyLamePun religiously]]; and could quite likely draw with Wales, if not the All Blacks, under his tutelage).
* GentleGiant: The Reverend Rugger-Bugger.
* GoodShepherd: Prevents {{BarBrawl}}s by his mere presence, then calms everyone down by starting a sing-along. Endlessly patient; endlessly insistent on reproving sin and requiring repentance. Diligent at all hours, and tirelessly cheerful.
* LargeAndInCharge: Zigzagged. He is cheerfully obedient to ecclesiastical superiors (and reveres his Rector), despite being as large as any and larger than most. He expects of parishioners no deference to his personal authority and complete deference to his cloth, his spiritual authority. (And does so cheerfully and charmingly. And ''gets'' the deference.)
* LovableJock: In the American sense of "jock": he's not Scots. Comes of being a rugger-mad GentleGiant.
* RealMenLoveJesus: The serious practice of Christianity is in his view like growing older: it's not for wimps. (His and Fr. Paddick's old mentor, Fr. Pryor, ''was'' prone to quoting Paul on the armour of faith, fighting the good fight, finishing the course, tackling wild beasts at Ephesus, and the like....)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Rev'd Sir Gilbert Bohun [=Bt MC MiD MA (Oxon) MA (Liturgy) (Coll Resurrection Mirfield / Sheff) SSC CBS CMP ACS=], late Major the Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons), Curate, the Woolfonts and Downland parishes]]

!!The Rev'd Sir Gilbert Bohun [=Bt MC MiD MA (Oxon) MA (Liturgy) (Coll Resurrection Mirfield / Sheff) SSC CBS CMP ACS=], late Major the Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons), Curate with special responsibility for the Downlands ("Gib" and "Gibbon" to old Army sorts, the Duke included):

Gaunt, ascetic, and not at all cheerless or forbidding; called to Orders late in life, and still a trifle the [[MajorlyAwesome major]] in mufti … clerical mufti. Was one of Michael Nazir-Ali's last ordinations. A widower, who had chosen to live in poverty and minister without stipend to the poorest communities, he was called in to assist as a supply clergyman during Noel's illness. Seeing the want in the Downland parishes, has been persuaded to return as Noel's second curate, with special responsibilities in the newly joined benefices. While acting as a Home Missionary to the poor in London, [[spoiler: became a widower when his wife was killed in the [=7/7=] terror attacks]].

->'''To, of course, Edmond:''' "That I speak to you of things that don't seem to you "churchy" and priestly does not change that: it merely suggests you're not as familiar with priests, or the C of E, as you might be, or might think yourself to be."
----
* BlueBlood: Even by Household Cavalry officer standards. He's a baronet, which is ''not'' particularly blue-blooded, but the point is that he's a Bohun: pegging level with de Cliffordes, Clares, Malets, Mortimers, Percys, Lacys, and indeed Plantagenets.
* CavalryOfficer: Subverted. He ''was'' previously a [[MajorlyAwesome major]] in the Blues and Royals. What he is now is a humble parish priest. One with whom it is wisest not to trifle.
* GoodShepherd: And God help you if you're a wolf.
--> "It had wanted less than five days for him to sort Black Jack Biddiscombe, the most reprobated and drunken domestic tyrant and all-'round bad hat in the Downland parishes. Black Jack Biddiscombe had been a bad bargain, but he ''had'' in his time been a squaddie, if in and out of close tack and once at least in the glasshouse. Fr Bohun had descended upon him in wrath when Mrs Biddiscombe had been spotted bruised and bereft and half-mad with worry over the household funds (which Black Jack had invested … at a Shaftesbury off-licence); and had done so not at all as Fr Bohun SSC but wholly as Major Sir Gilbert Bohun MC, in tones which should have caused envy in an RSM and led any regimental defaulter on the mat of old, to quail. \\
"Jack Biddiscombe – 'Pi-Jaw Jack' as he was now known – was nowadays working as a cowman in Stoke Yarncombe, attending AA religiously, and well on his way – the Biddiscombes were rather Chapel than Church, which had not mattered a damn to Fr Bohun – to becoming, as he was to become in after years, a lay preacher in the Vale."
* LeanAndMean: Averted – and how. He's a friendly, all-loving[[note]] … but sin-reproving[[/note]] ascetic.
* MajorlyAwesome: ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. Retired or not.
* RespectedByTheRespected: The rest of the clergy (from the Bishop down) are awed by him; Edmond actually ''listens'' to him; he and the Duke talk frankly on Bohun-to-Fitzjames-Holles-Clare-Malet and [[MajorlyAwesome decorated-officer-to-decorated-officer]] terms; and the retired ''[[UsefulNotes/NepaliWithNastyKnives Gurkhas]]'' think he had a damned good war record and might even have made an acceptable officer to ''them''. (No, seriously, Do Not … [[NarrativeProfanityFilter Mess About]] … With This Guy. Just, ''don't''.)
* RetiredBadass: For certain values of "retired." The man won the Military Cross. That doesn't come up with the rations.
* SeriousBusiness: The other cleric who will point out that, to most people even in their own parishes, most of what's at stake in C of E infighting, seems to them utterly meaningless:
--> '''To Edmond:''' "As Dean Blanchard wisely says, we are, nowadays, a fringe, a minority of anoraks with an odd hobby looked on with indulgent contempt by most of the country: ecclesiastical trainspotters. [snip] … the clergy, like the gentry as a whole and the peerage and the professional classes, are objects of public interest not for their position or their views, but as players in the village dramatics, which are always amateur. The struggles and spiritual warfare involved do not impinge upon the public consciousness: there are Test matches and weeding and pop music acts and the weekly shop, farming troubles and politics – and the lottery and the pools – and Premier League transfers to worry about instead."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Rev'd Prof. Henry Gascelyn Levett [=MA (Cantab) MSt (Cantab) PhD (Cantab) FRSA FRHistS RIBA=], Fellow of Clare College (Cantab), Curate, the Woolfonts and Downland parishes]]

!!The Rev'd Prof. Henry Gascelyn Levett [=MA (Cantab) MSt (Cantab) PhD (Cantab) FRSA FRHistS RIBA=], Fellow of Clare College (Cantab), Curate with special responsibility for the Downlands:

Comfortably sedentary Cambridge don, and the greatest living authority on ecclesiastical architecture and restoration. Snookered, on the eve of academic retirement, by (of course) Dean Blanchard, into taking Orders (which any {{Oxbridge}} don is allowed to do, under Canon C 5 of the C of E, pretty much on demand), so as to come to the Downland parishes, oversee their restoration, and act as Noel's third curate. Distantly related to that old [[TheGrandHunt foxhunting squire]] Gerald Warmestre [=MFH=], whose great-grandmother was "a Levett of what might be called the Quorn branch." Welcomes bad weather because it means staying by a warm fire with tea and muffins.

->''"You're up to something, you cunning old clerk. Out with it."''
----
* BigEater: He's a NonActionGuy and hearty trencherman who's spent his life scoffing everything the buttery can send up and [[GeniusSweetTooth eating cakes in the Fellows' Garden]]. And you'd still be wise not to underestimate him.
* CoolOldGuy: Very.
* GoodShepherd: He may have been conned into this vocation, but he'll bring to it every talent he's honed over many decades at Cambridge. Even unto giving up his donnish BrilliantButLazy lifestyle.
* TheProfessor: Subverted. He's the sort of don [[TruthInTelevision they really do have]] at {{Oxbridge}}, not at all [[AbsentMindedProfessor vague and befuddled]] or a TVGenius or any of that sort of rubbish.
* [[TeamDad Team Grandpa]]: In the Combined Benefice. The newbie in terms of taking Orders, but by far the senior man, and, as a retired Cambridge don, knows everything about people's follies from years of dealing with undergraduates, the [=SCR=], Masters, bedders, Vice-Chancellors, and, especially, the porters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The late the Rev'd Giles Wyndham, Team Rector]]

!!The late the Rev'd Giles Wyndham, Noel's predecessor in the Woolfonts:

Tiny little man, known to generations of schoolchildren as "Friar (or Father) Puck;" his wife was an Antrobus from Teddy's own Cheshire. A kindly soul, with an authority five times his stature, and great friends with the Duke, whom he restrained when he might.

->''"Now, Charles...."''
----
* FriendToAllChildren: And vice-versa. Mind you, they were of a height....
* FunSize: A wee man loved by all.
* GoodShepherd: Well, David was smaller than Goliath, and what was David's first job? Exactly.
* PurityPersonified: Why even the Duke waited until Fr. Wyndham had died in harness to demand ''his'' parishes back, splitting them off from Beechbourne once more.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Even the Duke listened to him.
* RespectedByTheRespected: Once more with feeling: even the Duke gave way to his moral authority.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: He and Mrs. Wyndham.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The late the Rev'd Matthew Pryor [=MA (Oxon) SSC QHC=], S Peter's Wolverhampton]]

!!The late the Rev'd Matthew Pryor [=MA (Oxon) SSC QHC=], Noel's mentor ("Googly," in his cricketing days):

Shrewd Old Harrovian cricketer who once faced the Duke-to-be (and the Nawab) in a Schools Match at Lord's; afterward, a priest in Wolverhampton, where he discovered Noel's voice, made a chorister of him, and set him on the path towards the priesthood. '''(His being Noel's mentor is why he appears in ''this'' part of the list.)''' Similarly influential in shaping Tim Campion the organist and the Rev'd Paul Campion [=SSC. Ended up QHC=], an Honorary Chaplain to Her Majesty. Died of cancer halfway through ''Literature/CrossAndPoppy''. [[NamesTheSame No relation to the England cricketer of the same name]]: an InUniverse and lampshaded RunningGag.

->"'''Laus Deo!'' Peace to you, my dear boy."
----
* AlmostFamousName / NamedLikeMyName / NamesTheSame: Shares a name with a (younger) England cricketer, and was himself a noted cricketer at Harrow. As he ''is'' the elder, it's not a case of NamedAfterSomebodyFamous; it's a case of "[[Film/BlazingSaddles It's Hedley!]] [[AC:[[UsefulNotes/{{Cricket}} Headingley]]!]]"
* CoolOldGuy: Even, or especially, when dying by inches.
* FriendToAllChildren: He was Noel's first friend when Noel was an IllChild and Fr. Pryor was doing the hospital visitations. And Noel wasn't a one-off in terms of shepherding the tinies to God.
* GoodShepherd: Not least in forming vocations.
--> '''Bishop Chubb, speaking to Fr. Pryor at Noel's installation as Rector:''' "Bishop Chubb, recessing from the church, did not scruple to take Fr Pryor by the elbow and whisper, 'You've served Our Lord well, Matthew, but that young man's the best work you ever did.' \\
"Fr Pryor simply smiled. He knew that perfectly well."
* GrowOldWithMe: He and his wife [[CoolOldLady Elizabeth]]. Theirs was an ageless romance until, as the Marriage Service puts it, death them departed.
* LikeASonToMe: Noel and Pauline were their children in all but blood.
* MentorArchetype:
* RespectedByTheRespected: He and the Duke have respected one another since a thrilling over at Lord's in the School Match of '78, Matt Pryor being Harrow's demon bowler and Charles Templecombe, as he then was, batting Eton out of a looming disaster. And Fr. Pryor ''was'' an honorary chaplain to Her Majesty, after all. And when he died … never mind Old Harrovians, old cricket blues, the Duke, his ducal cousin the Duke of Trowbridge, the Nawab,[[note]]the future Kit Trowbridge, captaining Eton, had sent on the Duke-to-be and the Nawab-to-be to bat against the future Fr. Pryor in that match[[/note]] and the entire City of Wolverhampton: the whole West Midlands showed up to the funeral and couldn't all fit into the church. The man had the next thing to a HundredPercentAdorationRating.
--> "The funeral, then. Mayors and Deputy Lieutenants, bishops, the Lord Lieutenant escorting a Royal Duchess; [=MPs=]; peers and prelates beside pupils from the school; the Mercians on parade and their bandsmen supplementing the choir and organ; publicans and directors and chairmen and charwomen; representatives of other faiths, and the faithless and unchurched who yet recognised a communal loss; gentlemen and players, aging Blues, MCC members, men capped for England; organisations without number or counting; the great and the good outnumbered by the poor and humble who had loved Fr Pryor."
* SilverFox: Went grey [[YoungerThanTheyLook early]]; all it did was make him look like an 18th Century buck with powdered hair.
* SoProudOfYou: Of Noel, Paul Campion, and indeed Tim Campion.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mrs. Matthew Pryor (Elizabeth), S Peter's Wolverhampton]]

!!Elizabeth, Father Pryor's widow:

A great lady called to humble service.

-> "It's as well to be busy; and everyone is being so very kind and helpful."
----
* CoolOldLady: Always. Even in a crisis.
--> "Matthew was, thank God, more priest than public school boy, but the OE manner does seem even more tiresome than the OH, really. Now, Noel, dear.' She raised her hand toward someone in the crush behind Noel. 'Matthew left you his library and some other things.' \\
"'Specifically,' said Tim Campion the organist, coming up behind them,'' 'me.' \\
''"'Timothy, Matthew didn't precisely bequeath you like a ''slave''.' Noel had the inconsequent thought that in an earlier century, which she'd have adorned superbly, Elizabeth should have tapped Campion with a fan."
* ProperLady: Of the most classical type.
* SilverFox: It's a [[Cool Crown crown]] of dignity.
* StiffUpperLip: Everyone's been so very kind, but, really, she'll be quite all right, though it's very kind of you to enquire. And, no, of course she'll not move down to the Woolfonts, though it's very good of the Duke to offer; Wolverhampton is her home, and her friends are here....
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The late Mrs. Noel Paddick (Pauline, née Stamford)]]

!!Pauline, Fr. Paddick's late wife:

Pretty, witty, clever, devoted to Noel, and gone far too soon. She died in the last months of her first pregnancy, and the daughter they'd have had with her. But from the moment they met, and never mind the minor interruption of death, she made Noel what he is, and yet does so.

-> "It had been his rare integration of cool head and hot heart that she had seen at once, and immediately loved, and set herself to gain, to win and to hold and forever to love. As she had done, until she had died, death them departing."
----
* DeathByChildbirth: Subverted, in that it was in late pregnancy.
* TheLostLenore: Absolutely. Loving her and losing her have between made Noel the man and the priest he is today.
* LoveAtFirstSight: On both sides.
* MixedRace: And no one said a disparaging word, either.
--> "Her mum was of a family mostly English now, but which had rooted itself in Wolvo when an Irish navvy had come over in search of work, and which had picked up a dash of Romanichal blood in the next generation after. Her father was partly Afro-Caribbean by descent, and accordingly racially-mixed. This collision of genes had left her the prettiest girl in school, all curls and caramel: the prettiest, indeed, Noel had ever seen. \\
"But it had been the beauty of her soul that had opened his eyes to her, when she, the prettiest and most likeable of the girls in their year, had approached him – ''him:'' he still couldn't quite credit it – the shy and quiet lad from Bilston, and first made friends with him before ever romance and desire came into the picture. They were friends, first and foremost – and always, to the last day."
** It's lampshaded that she knew, though Noel was too naive to know, that this fact in itself assuaged some right-on resistance to his becoming and being a theologically conservative Anglo-Catholic clergyman.
* TheSocialExpert: Smoothed Noel's way many a time (as a former IllChild, he had uncertainties and had to work for his social skills); and everyone adored her.
--> "She'd made a bishop, an archdeacon, a dean, and the rector, collapse in joyous and congratulatory laughter when she'd come to him, there on the lawn at a fête, with her phone in hand, and told him he'd best look out a stable with a comfy manger, because the doctors'd just rung to confirm that they were going to have a Christmas child. (Noel thought – hoped – they'd laughed, his superiors, only in joy with them, and not because he'd fainted dead away. Pauline had always sworn, with a worrying twinkle in her eye, that they'd not laughed at him for that. She'd always refused, grinning, to say whether ''she'' had done.)"
* SpiritedYoungLady: And never mind class considerations. (Although her family were perhaps a shade higher up the scale than Noel's, as between members alike of the respectable working- and small-tradesman classes). She was always a lady and treated as such.
[[/folder]]

!!The Parish Staff in the Woolfonts

Because priests want supporting. Organists, wardens, secretary, sidesmen, sextons, and the Parochial Church Council. (Some of these, having other primary roles – e.g., the Duke, patron of the livings and churchwarden – listed elsewhere.)

Those not yet meriting full entries include Margaret Jesse and Robert Portnall of the Joint PCC, who put out the parish magazine; the choir directors at Crucis and Magna, Rob Goodfellow and Alice Street; Mrs. Hart-Macey, one of the Magna churchwardens; and the ringers not otherwise given entries in other capacities: George Cull, garage proprietor; Will Short, chemist; Bert Baker, manager of the farm equipment dealers'; and bank manager Frank Targett.

->"Noel let them thunder and wonder. He had a church administrator to hire (mornings, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: the Old Rectory at Crucis served admirably as a central office), servers and readers to work upon, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides to speak with, accounts to go over, flowers to indent for, parish breakfasts to arrange, a sexton to boot up the backside, a sermon to write…."

[[folder:Rose James, Housekeeper, the Rectory]]

!!(Mrs.) Rose James, housekeeper to the Rector:

Wolfdown-trained, motherly, and [[KindlyHousekeeper kindly]] housekeeper imposed upon the humble Rector by the Duke – and immediately found indispensable.

->"Rose James, housekeeper to the Rector, a motherly wee body and a dab hand in the kitchen, had taken on this job – which she treated as a vocation – upon retirement from the duke's service; and she brought to the Rectory – itself nobly Georgian and wholly gentlemanly – a sense of fitness, and of what was fitting, which she had learnt in a great household. That great household having been the duke's, there was no snobbery in it, nor any servility; and as she opened the door and ushered Sher Mirza in, she wasted not a moment in proceeding at once to maternal chiding.''

----
* BestFriend: To the Wolfdown Cook, Mrs. Woolley – although on a LastNameBasis ''with'' honorifics – and to Mrs. Viney the ducal Housekeeper (ditto).
* KindlyHousekeeper: A "wren-like widow now and a motherly little body all her days," she exults in being able to mother Noel (and Sher when he stops for two meals in three), even after their ctual mums come to live in the Woolfonts.
* LastNameBasis: Subverted. Although housekeepers are always "Mrs." Rose James, being retired from ducal service, is always simply Rose James unless being directly addressed ''ex officio''.
* MatronChaperone: Subverted and played with. Her presence as a protection against scandal and gossip (and, as speculated by several characters InUniverse, possibly their own [[ButIWouldReallyEnjoyIt giving way]]) is invaluable in allowing Sher and Noel to take breakfasts and dinners and tea together as a ChastityCouple who remain chaste ''and are known to remain so.''
* OldRetainer: She was Wolfdown-trained, after all.
* SupremeChef: Teddy keeps trying to wheedle the secret of her liver and bacon out of her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Gregory Snook, Sexton, the Woolfonts parishes]]

!!Gregory Snook, Sexton:

[[CrustyCaretaker Sexton]] [[spoiler: until late in ''Literature/{{Evensong}}'']] of the most useless, snarling, beer-soaked, ill-tempered, slovenly, and lead-swinging sort. Not even his niece Betty, the jobbing gardener, can put up with him. Regularly barred from every pub in the District. Got and kept his job [[spoiler: as long as he did keep it]] only because he'd served in [[UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar Korea]], as had the previous Duke, though had the old Brigadier ever ''commanded'' Snook, he'd have had him before a court-martial in five minutes.

->"He were for the Boar, he were, and something better than tea and bread and cheese; and wouldn't he just tell them down the Boar of his rights and the wrongs as was done him!"
----
* ChildHater: The ''next'' to last straw for Father Paddick.
--> "The Rector didn't at all like having Snook on the mat, or enjoy delivering a rocket; he was equally indisposed to evading his plain duty.\\
"'Children can be very vexing, I agree: because, as children, they are literally rather thoughtless: they don't think what they're doing. All the same, and particularly as sexton, you mustn't shout at them, let alone wave a threatening scythe. It's morally wrong; it brings discredit upon the Church; it is the sort of thing you're fortunate to have me to deal with regarding, rather than Sergeant Alice and the constables. And the churchyard is the ''churchyard:'' one of the precincts of Heaven. Remember, please, what Our Lord said: "Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" – Matthew, the Nineteenth Chapter, the fourteenth verse.' \\
"Snook muttered a half-apology and an extremely unlikely promise of amendment, and skulked, sulking, out."
* TheClan: His niece – daughter of his youngest brother, and, generationally, more like a granddaughter in age, is the jobbing gardener Betty Snook, who is everything he isn't. And there are plenty more Snooks in the parish churchyard, and have been since the start of surnames.
* CrustyCaretaker: At best, and a very unpleasant version, too.
* DeathByRacism: Subverted (so far). He ''is'' sacked, and then pensioned off when – well, ''see'' OOCIsSeriousBusiness, below. He's in the care home now.
* LastNameBasis: Without the honorific.
* LazyBum: Utterly.
--> '''The Rector, giving him his [[KirkSummation last warning]]:''' "'One does not like to let an old servant go, Snook, however useless he be – or have always been. One does not like to – I speak frankly here only out of duty, and much against my inclination – give over a, to be quite frank, charity case occupying a sinecure.'"
* MisplacedRetribution: Before his collapse but after his sacking, he tries to sue the Rector under the employment laws. And actually imagines that what he's doing is a WhosLaughingNow scenario. Worse yet, his AmoralAttorney decides to spice it up with a theory that he was fired because Snook knew something scandalous about Noel and Sher.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: He's a nasty piece of work, and it finally gets him fired / sacked (and slapped by his niece for the same underlying cause). But when he starts ranting about Sher and the Rector and becomes overtly racist, Dr. Witchard insists he be taken to (the) hospital before Sergeant Fay charges him; and in fact it ''is'' a symptom of organic illness speeding the ''overt'' onset of senile dementia.
--> '''Dr. Emily Witchard to Police Sergeant Alice Fay:''' "'My point is this, that, in my medical judgement, there is suspicion of organic trouble here which should mean he is not responsible.'"
* [[RacistGrandpa RacistGrandma]]: Subverted in that he becomes an explicit racist due to a swift slide into senility. It's not played for comedy, either, either way.
* TheResenter: He hates Lord Crispin. Which, fine, so does Lady Crispin, but Snook wishes him dead to his face in front of the Rector and two churchwardens. Which terminates his employment. Which leads him to blame and resent the Rector....
* WeirderThanUsual: The village ought probably to have become suspicious earlier than they did. But Snook's just so ghastly at his best....
--> "All the same, Trulock the [[KindlyVet Vet]], passing by Crucis churchyard on his way back from a call to an outlying farm, was at once amused and contemptuous to see Old Snook addressing, with evident outrage and, surely, a deal of profane swearing, an old headstone.\\
"'Probably broke a tool on it,' said he to himself; 'although that'd be a fine thing, Snook actually doing a hand's turn of work.' And he put the matter from his mind, it being occupied with ovine medicine, from obstetrics to prophylaxes against foot-rot, just then, and engaged in the precise opposite of wool-gathering."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Robert Timmins, parish sidesman, gardening curator, and cousin to the Rector]]

!!Robert Timmins ("Bob" to all):

Cousin to the Rector; brought down from Wolvo by the Duke to act as curator of the Bert and Betty Carpenter Memorial Gardens and cottage museum, and drafted in to act as acting sexton by making him a sidesman, putting him on a committee to look after the fabric, and making the committee to understand that there was no hurry in getting a new sexton.

->"... Bob Timmins took on all the duties of a sexton without anyone's remarking it, in increments ('the British Constitution in action,' as had the Nawab murmured, quite dryly, to His Grace; 'or the acquisition of your former Empire'), whilst the subcommittee very deliberately considered the position. It might – with luck – take years."
----
* CrustyCaretaker: Averted and stood on its head. He's a dear.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Who's "Robert?"
* PerpetualSmiler: A relentlessly cheerful man. (Oh, the contrast to Snook....)
* WorkingClassHero: Botany degree? Bletherin', all bletherin'. ''Now, ''here's'' how you do grow a rose, cocker, me old gran taught me ''that'' when Ah were a babby....'' (The Duke didn't have the Joint PCC hire Bob as sexton directly only because the middle classes, unlike the Duke, would faint at the thought that the mere sexton was the (''ex officio" gentleman) Rector's cousin. It's a [[UsefulNotes/ATouchOfClassEthnicityAndReligion class thing]].)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Elizabeth Snook, jobbing gardening, and gardener to the Rector]]

!!Elizabeth Snook (although it's always "Betty," love):

Cheery if somewhat punk gardening expert, and long-suffering niece to the appalling Snook.

-> "… the sensible jobbing gardener whose outer integument was politely ignored by householders in want of proper gardens (and minded not at all by Rector, who happily employed her and considered her a friend, piercings and [[DelinquentHair purple hair]] be damned)."
----
* TheClan: A Snook among Snooks.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: It's "Betty." Full stop.
* TheQuincyPunk: Subverted: looks like one, perhaps, but as decent a person (and churchgoer) as you'll find.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Dr. Timothy Campion [=BA MA MSt DMus FRCO=], Composer; Music and Choir Director, Master of Music, and Organist to the Combined Benefice]]

!!Dr. Timothy Campion [=BA MA MSt DMus FRCO=], Music and Choir Director, Master of Music, and Organist to the Combined Benefice:

Jocund, plump composer and organist, late of St Peter's Wolvo: "a man made for merriment;" married to the jolly Charmian and father of Cressida, Piers, and Nigel (Nigel being the most reliable of the trebles in the church choir). Second-best organist in the West Country. (The best cannot very well act as a C of E church organist. Sher is, after all, a devout Muslim....)

->"Dr Timothy Campion was to be let loose upon the organ as he listed: when one has an expert – and one expert surreptitiously advised by another, for no one saw any use in pretending Sher wasn't taking a hand in the only way in which he could, which was sure to mean Bach, and, as one of the hymns was 'O God, our help in ages past', quite likely included BWV 552 – one gave him his head and stood out of his road."
----
* BenevolentBoss: The choristers find him a breath of fresh air … even as he keeps them up to their King's College standard.
* BestFriend: With Sher.
* BigFun: Er. Yes.
* TheClan: Elder brother to the Fr. Paul Campion, and ThePatriarch of his own clan.
* TheConfidant: To Sher.
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Evidently. Three children already.
* OminousLatinChanting: Averted. He makes service music ''fun.''
* PerpetualSmiler: He has trouble at funerals: he can't help being cheerful through anything.
[[/folder]]

!!The [=RCs=], Nonconformists, and Others

Because the national church is not the same thing as the church of the nation.

[[folder:The Revd Monsignor Timothy Folan [=MA (TCD, Dub) STB & STL (NUI / Pontifical University of Ireland (Maynooth)) STD=] (Pontifical Gregorian University), Priest, Our Lady & S Edith of Wilton (RC) (Beechbourne)]]

!!The Revd Monsignor Timothy Folan, Our Lady & S Edith of Wilton (RC) (Beechbourne):

The Breener's old Downside schoolmate, now occupying the memetically ugly Victorian brick presbytery in Beechbourne. Ginger, fubsy, kindly, untidy, unassuming, rather Boris-Johnsony in looks … and, as The Breener says, "Socrates in a Roman collar." Parish priest to a parish of considerable extent on a map (the Duke, who has no taste for {{InterfaithSmoothie}}s but is smoothly ecumenical in his philanthropy, gave him as well as the other non-Anglican clergy a Range Rover shooting-brake at the same time he gave a few to the C of E parish); but a parish in which even RaisedCatholic sorts, let alone the non-lapsed, are thin on the ground (the Agninis, The Breener, a few old recusant families, some established British Polish families of the 1939 vintage, and a handful of Continentals). A Beechbourne native, and well up on all the local news … and what's not news. Do ''not'' mistake his loving-kindness for weakness.

->"'We Folans came through with the first drove of pigs headed for Calne: I like to think we helped, in our way, to create Harris bacon.'"
----
* BeliefMakesYouStupid: Averted. Though some characters ''will'' persist in making that mistake. (If they were GenreSavvy, they'd remember their Literature/FatherBrown).
--> "On matters of principle, one did not, if one were wise, attempt to do anything more with the C of E Rector – not when Noel was being rather Father Paddick SSC than friend Noel – or with The Breener's own Mgr Folan, than to leave them strictly alone and walk warily about them at some distance."
* BrilliantButLazy: The Breener claims Tim Folan was this in their school days. He isn't nowadays, that's certain.
* FieryRedhead: Averted. He's not much inclined to fire. Or indeed brimstone.
* GoodShepherd: And willing to help strays from other flocks, and fellow shepherds. But ''see'' InterfaithSmoothie, below.
* InterfaithSmoothie: Averted. Not on his watch. Ecumenical joint efforts in practical charity, yes; diluting the Magisterium? He'll hear your confession now and impose penance for your having even ''thought'' about it.
* IrishmanAndAJew: He and Sir Ben Salmon before Ben died; now, he and Lew (and Melanie) Salmon. They can always be counted on to be working for some good end in the community.
* IrishPriest: Subverted. He's Irish by ancestry and is a TCD man, but his people have lived in Beechbourne for nigh on two centuries now.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: He's an exorcist when (reluctantly) so called upon by his bishop; he very much does ''not'' see [[IfJesusThenAliens malefic influences in everything or credit without extraordinary proof the least suggestion of demonic or paranormal activity]].
--> "'Well,' said Mgr Folan. 'There ''may'' have been some psychotropic or hallucinogenic nasties spread on that knife....' [snip] 'The souls of men, when they have died […] do not – cannot – hang about (and why would they, you know, why would they?) and play charades with the living. That's a simple theological fact."
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. There are a fair few Timothys about (including the C of E parish choir director).
* RaisedCatholic: Well, obviously, he was, in the literal sense; but his primary challenge isn't the parishioners who, like him, remained so without lapse (e.g., the Agninis and The Breener), but all the semi-lapsed, Christmas-and-Easter ones, and the cultural ones. His parish is geographically large and demographically tiny, and he is concerned to prevent any further falling-away.
* SeenItAll: He's an RC priest, a monsignor as a Chaplain to the Pope (appointed pre-Francis), one of the diocesan exorcists, [[AcceptableProfessionalTargets a canon lawyer (which may be worse than dealing with exorcisms)]], and hears confessions every day. He's seen ''and'' heard it all.
* SmarterThanYouLook: Even people too clever not to know GoodIsNotDumb think Mgr Folan too sweet to be quite as razor-sharp as he is. (The Breener suspects it's ObfuscatingStupidity on the padre's part).
* SmartPeopleKnowLatin: And use it as often as their bishops allow.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Dr Mohammed Jettou (University of al-Qarawiyyin (Tétouan), Imam, Trowbridge ''masjid'']]

!!Dr Mohammed Jettou, Imam, Trowbridge ''masjid'':

A sort of French-speaking, Maghrebi Mgr Folan. Married to a chic, soignée, Francophone wife, an academic lawyer who lectures on the law of armed conflict at Shrivenham; InUniverse imam of the (RealLife) mostly Maghrebi Maliki ''masjid'' in Trowbridge. A fatherly wee man who worries a good deal for Sher, and is hand in glove with Noel … except when the youths of his congregation play the Woolfonts Church Lads on the pitch, of course. Is somewhat bewildered by the British, and particularly ''le cricket.'' Is thankful that Noel and the Duke both speak French, though his English is excellent. Great friends with Lew and Melanie Salmon.

->"'It is, you comprehend, a story to me of the most familiar.'"
----
* BestFriend: To Noel (jokingly "''M l'Abbé''" and "''Père Noël''" to him). And to Sher, about whom he frets in a fatherly sort of way. And vice-versa: Noel once put him up at the Rectory when he took a chill on the touchline of a match between the Church Lads and the ''masjid'' football side.
* FishOutOfWater: The UK never ceases to befuddle him, despite all his cleverness.
* GoodShepherd: Very much so, and a highly conscientious one.
* InterfaithSmoothie: Averted. In fact, it's lampshaded that there's not even an interdenominational one (to speak loosely): it's the only mosque within miles, and Sher and his family are welcome and accommodated there, but it remains a Maliki congregation of British Maghrebis with a few unexpected British Pakistani Hanfis attending it.
* NarrativeProfanityFilter: He is recorded as having said a few unspecified but rather stark things in several languages when there was a slander campaign against Sher.
* {{Omniglot}}: Necessarily. Classical Arabic is a must (he is, after all, the imam), and Standard Literary Arabic; naturally he speaks the various dialects of Western or Maghrebi Darija; and then there's Riffian Berber; French; and English.
* PoirotSpeak: Of the BluntMetaphorsTrauma variety, on occasion. ''You'' try keeping all these languages straight in your head.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mme Professeure-Maîtresse Farida Jettou (Double-maîtresse, Cantab / Caen; University of Carthage; Dr en droit (Assas (Paris II)), Doctoresse en droit (Dr Farida Jettou), Academic lawyer and wife to the imam]]

!!Mme Professeure-Maîtresse Farida Jettou, Doctoresse en droit:

Academic lawyer, chic as the 7th arrondissement, with a double degree from [[{{Oxbridge}} Cambridge]] and Caen and the ''ijazat attadris;'' wife to Dr Jettou the imam. Understands perfectly well precisely what she says: to wit, that, in the UK:

->"'Push does nothing in this country; it is all ''pull''.'"
----
* ArmyOfLawyers: Contemplates mobilizing one when Sher is slandered. Waiting on divine punishment for the offenders takes too long....
* ButNotTooForeign: Subverted, and doubly. She is of French Maghrebi background; but what everyone thinks of her is, simply, she's ''French'' and in the UK. She's Not British, but she is more than welcome as a guest.
* DeadpanSnarker: Of a Parisienne sort.
--> '''To Sir Thomas Douty and the Salmons:''' ''"'M le duc,'' as we all know, is not given to giving help: he is given to munificence, absolute. If asked – and we have long trembled at the prospect that he might do this unasked – ''M de Taunton'' should, we are assured, create for us, and for the Salmons' co-religionists, buildings of the most expensive, expansive, and surpassing. This is why we do not ask; and why we are prepared to forbid. […] Push does nothing in this country; it is all ''pull.'' And ''M le duc'' … he is like one of your church-tower bell-ringers, ''I'' think, and pulls many strings.'\\
'''Sir Tom Douty:''' "'Well,' smiled Sir Tom, 'at least, my dear lady, he knows the ropes.'"
* EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench / EveryoneLooksSexierIfFrench: She does and she is. (This is one subconscious reason why she's more than welcome as a guest in the UK....)
* GoodLawyersGoodClients: Played with. She's an academic lawyer … who lectures on the laws of war and international law at [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships JSSC Shrivenham and the Defence Academy]].
* GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave / StacysMom: French and chic. Yeah. Sher and Noel notice; Teddy notices; The Breener notices; the Duke notices.... Even Edmond notices. A definite case of OlderThanTheyLook, too.
--> "'You must not feel yourself rebuked, child,' said Mme Dr Jettou. 'I speak as one old enough to be your mother –' \\
"'You're nothing of the sort,' protested Sher, gallantly – and guilelessly. \\
"She chortled. 'Ah, child, you are kind."
* {{Omniglot}}: But of course. ''Naturellement.''
* PoirotSpeak: ''Mais bien sûr.'' But of course.
* TheSocialExpert: Fortunately for her husband, who may be a GoodShepherd and an AllLovingHero, but is wholly bewildered by people.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Patricia Mullin, Methodist Local Preacher]]

!!Patricia Mullin, Methodist Local Preacher:

Member of an [[TheClan appallingly ramified local family]] found at every stratum of society and in every imaginable religious denomination, she is not inclined to forego any chance to bring the Good News to all, and is dedicated to interdenominational and interfaith cooperation. A fixture of [[UsefulNotes/ThePoppy Remembrance Day]] ceremonies, representing the [[UsefulNotes/ATouchOfClassEthnicityAndReligion Nonconformists]] generally.

->"'We will remember them.'"
----
* TheClan: You cannot through a rock in the District and not hit a Mullin.
* CoolOldLady: Floods, tempests, it doesn't matter, she will get through them with ease to bring the Good News, and has been doing it for years.
* TheMissionary: Home mission variety.
[[/folder]]

-> ''Here endeth the Lesson.''
----

Showing 12 edit(s) of 12

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report