One of the sites I visit regularly, ever since our memorial to Mark Ashton was mentioned there, is named for and run by the Vicar’s Wife. For Englishmen of my generation (at least), that phrase starts a train of thought that goes on for a while and meanders through some strange places, and one of the reasons Mrs Vicar, begging her pardon, runs a great blog is that it also starts long trains of thought that end up in some odd corners.

In the latest post, here, she talks about filling in the census form that comes to her address. This turns out to be a tricky issue, because Church of England clergy, unlike American clergy who are both, are neither employees nor self-employed, so that the question ‘At your workplace, what is the main activity of your employer?’ refers neither to the work of the church nor of the minister. ‘If we go with the thought that the Vicar is employed by the Lord,’ she muses, ‘I could have some fun with this: Running the universe. Upholding all things by His powerful word.’ Commenters have added many other suggestions—to add yours there, rather than here, would be the polite way to behave in the cyber-Vicarage.

‘HMRC’, by the way, is English for ‘IRS’.

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