Firstly, apologies fellow sojourners for not writing in ten days. The spirit of blogging was low in me. Of all the garbage in the news lately, this is the one which has my fingers furiously tapping the keyboard again. You might be wondering why another silly health and safety story got me back on the trail, but I was incensed by a) the way people blindly accept these stupid rules and b) where the priorities lie for the ‘authorities’ who lord over us.
A church is refusing to change a light bulb because it says overzealous health and safety rules mean it would cost £500 to change the £2 fixture.
Health and safety rules mean scaffolding is required whenever a bulb needs replacing in the 30ft internal roof at St Mary’s Church in Cottingham, Humberside. The church says the rules mean they cannot simply use ladders to change the bulb.
The staggering cost of performing the basic task means the church has to wait until a number of lights have popped before using scaffolding to replace the bulbs.
What’s wrong with folk? Some suit from the council turns up and tells them to stop changing the bulbs the way they have done for the past century and they all crumple like rag dolls and end up living like this…
Not surprisingly, the clergy and congregation could be forgiven for taking a dim view, as it makes it hard to see the hymn books.
St Mary’s Rector Father Paul Smith said: “Because of health and safety rules now, people can’t take up a very long ladder to change the light when the tubes go.
“So every time we need to have some bulbs replaced we hang on until a few need replacing before we get someone in with scaffolding.”
Take the ladder out; I won’t tell anyone. But I know one or two people who would: the sort of people who think the government is God and if you disobey a rule, no matter how obscure, ridiculous or unjust, your ‘crimes’ need to be exposed.
The 14th-century church in Hallgate has 30 internal roof lights and about a quarter of the 500-watt lights have gone out. Father Smith said: “The thing is, you can have new bulbs put in one week and then two or three more will go the next week and you are plunged into semi-darkness.
“You will lose one and you can cope with that, but then the next one will go and you have a really dark spot.
“It is not a very light building anyway. At the moment it’s very dark in the evenings because so many lights have gone.
“We don’t want to get the scaffolding until it’s absolutely necessary because we don’t want to be doing it every single time.
As it’s a 14th-century church, why don’t they go back to using candles?
“Health and safety concerns also rule out candlelight as an alternative for the grade one listed building.”
The whole country is turning into a Monty Python sketch!
“There may soon be light at the end of the tunnel for St Mary’s. The village church is now looking at installing an LED (light-emitting diode) lighting system. LEDs have a longer lifetime so the lights would not have to be so frequently replaced.”
Not replacing bulbs would save the church valuable funds at a time when costs are high. The church has had £30,000 of roof lead stolen in five raids in the past three years, including the latest theft in August.
I trust there are health and safety measures in place to protect the thieves when they make their sixth trip to steal lead from the roof, while the cops are busy questioning evil light-bulb-changing vicars.
Father Smith said stolen lead is being replaced with stainless steel in a bid to deter the thieves. Villagers have rallied round to help with fundraising, with the church’s recent annual Gift Day raising about £6,000.
Well, six grand can buy a few guard dogs to tear the limbs off the thieving swine, thus saving a fortune on having the roof fixed every few months.
Can you believe all this stuff? This country is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life! THIS IS AN EX-COUNTRY!!