The New Rector
The young clergyman, or 'rector' as the Church of Ireland man of the cloth
was known, arrived in a remote area of the country to take up his duties. He hammered
up a notice on the church door announcing that there would be service at ten o'clock
on the following Sunday. At five minutes to ten on the Sunday he approached his
church and saw only one man waiting on the road outside. He hopped around the
back and entered the church to see if there was any congregation and, as he expected,
the place was empty. He took up a strategic position where he could observe new
arrivals for the service but at ten o'clock there was still only the lone farmer
The rector waited until five past ten and still nobody else arrived. At ten past
ten he decided that he would approach the awaiting worshipper and he bid him the
usual salutations as he introduced himself as the new rector. He asked the farmer
if there was any likelihood of further worshippers arriving and was told that
such an eventuality was most unlikely. With temerity, he then asked the farmer
if he should call off the service for that day.
'Well,' said the farmer, 'the way I look at it is this. If I go to fodder my cattle
and I find only one cow in the field, I still fodder her.'
'A very good point,' declared the rector and without further ado he went ahead
into the church and held the service with the congregation of one.
In the customary manner the rector came around after the service to chat to his
departing congregation, in this case the lone farmer, and asked for his comments
on the sermon which had been somewhat long-winded, to say the least.
The farmer's comment was: "Well, Reverend, if I go to fodder my cattle and find
only one cow in the field I still fodder it-but I don't give her the whole flamming
load of fodder!'