I don't like these candlesticks. They are awfully 1970s/80s and as you can see have fake plastic candle bits topped by real candles. I was looking forward to ceasing to use them as soon as our stock of that size of candle runs out.
Last week I went to visit one of our former churchwardens who is in hospital. 'You know those candlesticks?' he said. 'Should I and Elsie get them engraved, do you think?' I had no idea, because nobody had told me and it isn't written down anywhere, that these candlesticks were given by this lovely gentleman and his wife in memory of a daughter who was born with Down's Syndrome and died very young. So, whatever happens and whether they are no longer used every week as they are now, these stubby and ill-favoured items have to be retained, and displayed, because of the love and memory they represent.
I can't help thinking of the great Percy Dearmer's lines in The Parson's Handbook:
The parson must make it understood that he will not accept a single thing for the church unless the advice has first been sought of that person who overlooks the decoration of the church ... If this precaution be not taken, the services of the church are certain in time to be vulgarised. Some kind friend will work an impossible stole; another will compose a ruinous frontal, and, without warning any one, present it as a pleasant surprise when it is finished; another will be attracted by some brass-work of the gilt-gingerbread order in a shop-window, and with a smile of kindly triumph will deposit it one day in the vestry. It will be too late then for the parson to protest: all these good people will be hurt (and one cannot blame them) if their presents are rejected. But if it be publicly explained beforehand that the attainment of beauty of effect is a most difficult task ... and that a church must suffer if left to the chance of a multitude of individual tastes - this catastrophe will be avoided.Sadly, some things did wiggle their way into churches during The Time That Taste Forgot, and can't be blamed for reflecting the dreadful standards of their day.
All these gifts need to be recorded somewhere, I think. Back in Lamford, Il Rettore got irrevocably onto the bad side of one particular lady not long after arriving when he drew a lurid chasuble from the vestment press with exclamations of dismay, not knowing that she'd made it.