Cold vicarages seem to be a hot topic for discussion. Since I posted last week I’ve also remembered a couple of other techniques that we use to keep the frostbite at bay.
- Our electric blanket. Not yet on the bed but absolutely essential for later in the season. With cold feet I cannot get to sleep at all. The poor man’s alternative is the good old hot water bottle. My mother has bought a large selection to be set aside for visitors. The children like them too, especially when they have covers in the shape of racoons.
- My teasmade. I have a hot cup of tea every morning (Roiboos, without milk, so much less hassle than having to fetch semi skimmed). This is also a great encouragement to prayer and bible reading. What else to do whilst tea-drinking first thing? It’s sometimes a battle to switch off the Today programme, though.
Quite a few commentators have mentioned the ‘sell the vicarage and buy something warm and modern’ option. This is appealing in many ways but also has its downsides. The expectation is that a warm modern vicarage is a pleasure to live and work in and doesn’t cost a bomb to heat or to maintain. However, not all modern vicarages are chosen well – it seems that some are poorly located away from the church or community, and houses that are not specifically designed as vicarages can lack rooms of the right size or configuration.
In our diocese cold vicarages have been identified as a source of clergy stress and there are plans afoot for double glazing. In the meantime, please continue to share your warmth tips.