Marshtown Vicarage has become a building site again, following its recent quinquennial inspection. Do you imagine our request for a new boiler, to replace the more than 30-year old gas boiler, was granted? Ah no. Diocesan policy is not to replace central heating boilers until they actually die. Never mind that old boilers only work at a fraction of their optimum efficiency, produce excessive waste carbon emissions, are uneconomical to run (the unnecessary extra cost being borne not by the diocese, but by the resident vicar). Never mind that the new bishop has declared his intention that the diocese should become more green, reduce its carbon footprint, do everything possible to combat global warming, etc., etc. Diocesan policy is not to replace central heating boilers until they actually die. Is there a whiff of hypocrisy here, perhaps?
No, when the surveyor set eyes on the house, he immediately saw that the lead flashings round the parapet (of the flat roof, naturally) were loose or missing and needed replacing. So, full scaffolding all around the house, for two and a half days work of removing the coping stones, renewing the lead, and relaying the coping stones. At a total cost which would have paid for two replacement boilers. Necessary work, no doubt. But why am I left thinking that the boiler will probably die – if it ever does – on some Christmas Eve, just before Diocesan Church House and all their retained heating engineers go off for a fortnight’s holiday? Probably because life’s like that.