PCIT's comment below started me wondering what a patronus for St M's would actually look like.
After all, Robert Warren devoted much time to developing the concept of the angel of the church...so why not an alternative expression of the spirit of the place?
I'm just not sure what it might be.
Despite the appearance of such an army of bears at the Patronal Festival, I don't think those are actually quite right.True, many of them are clearly very respectable, middle-class bears, whose vowels are in exactly the right places, but bears (of the teddy variety) are definitively cuddly...and that's not a charge you could lay at the feet of some of the more reserved members of St M's congregation.
On the other hand, it's not a congregation of loners. St M's people derive great pleasure and support from being part of a group that knows how to do things well,- and they find it quite a struggle when it's suggested that there might be different ways of doing things, which are equally valid. Definitely not chameleons, then.
Migratory? No thank you!
Territorial? Yes, certainly.
Readers, I have thought long and hard and concluded (on no sensible basis at all) that the most fitting patronus for our church would be
The Duck Billed Platypus.
Endearing, a little eccentric, easily disturbed by changes to the environment....but perhaps more adaptable than first appearances suggest, and surprisingly graceful in the right element. Yup, that's the one.
I'd love to know how anyone else sees their church - or St M's, come to that! Tomorrow, I might find myself choosing a different patronus entirely. And let me make it very clear,- duck billed platypus are utterly charming. I'm very fond of this one already!