It must have been between 2002 and 2004, I guess.
I was JM’s gardener, and she paid me to look after her garden as she was far too busy with three parishes.
But I was also employed full time as well as doing JM’s garden and a number of gardens in that benefice and beyond, basically I worked all hours and days of the week, killing myself to make a living and develop my life.
(again, this was long after I told JM about the abuse, and she and I were good friends, while her husband was alternately nice to me or violently shouting and trying to ban me).
Anyway, JM’s church had a wild meadow behind the rectory and church graveyard, and, as the graveyard was getting full, it was to be extended using the meadow.
I was comissioned to do some work on this meadow and also put up a hedge between the meadow and the rectory garden where there was a post and rail fence, this was to give the rectory some privacy.
Bishop Trevor Willmot was due to come and consecrate the new graveyard extension, and he was a great friend of JM and her family, and there was a joke that he fancied JM, which may have been true, he certainly gave her a lot of attention and showed signs of liking her, and when she was in diffiiculties with rows with her husband, which were frequent, she would go to him, now Bishop Scott-Joynt, she told me this was because ‘Wolvsley were cold’ when she asked for help.
Anyway, I was so busy with work and charity events, it was getting close to the time for Bishop Trevor to consecrate the graveyard extension and I had not yet done the work requested, so I phoned JM in a panic, she was out, so I left a message.
It went something like this ‘Hi, I have not forgotten the work on the meadow, I promise I will come over and get it done soon, maybe Tuesday, so that it will be ready by the time Bishop Trevor comes to concrete the graveyard!’
Back then I frequently muddled words up, but apparently the rectory were very amused at the thought of the old Bishop of Basingstoke with his concrete mixer, busily resurfacing the new graveyard.
The work was indeed done on time, and I was there for the ceremony, I was the only young person there and the Bishop seemed to realise that and came to speak to me, I freaked out and scuttled off, not having been taught how to address a Bishop and simply not knowing how.
A bit like at Wolvlsey where Bishop Scott-Joynt and Archbishop Carey came over to our table and I hid under the table.
Lou Scott-Joynt laughed about that story when she heard it, although it was at the same event where she snubbed me and Juliet explained to me that the Scott-Joynts were snobs.
Anyway, the Bishop concreted the churchyard, and when I return to say Divine Mercies for Anne, I know so many names on the stones of that churchyard, friends who were mainly lost to me through death and not through the slander of me by the Diocese.