Letters from Uncle Eustace, the perfect Anglo-Catholic

Two vicars from Macclesfield have launched a book showing the funnier side of life in a small rural parish.

The Letters of Uncle Eustace are a series of fictitious letters from an elderly Anglo-Catholic vicar, who presides over the made up parish of St James-the-Least-of-All set in rural England.

The letters were written for the Christian magazine resource, Parish Pump, and are the creation of the Rev Dr Gary Bowness, a former Director of Post-Ordination Training for Blackburn Diocese and now vicar of Henbury, near Macclesfield.

"Down the centuries the Church of England has been blessed with some extraordinary clergy," said Parish Pump editor Anne Coomes.

"Uncle Eustace presides over life in the small parish of St James-the-Least-of-All, buried somewhere deep in the heart of rural England. Here time has stood still, kept firmly at bay by an elderly Anglo-Catholic vicar.

"He is in the habit of writing letters to his nephew and thus we gain a glimpse of what parish life once was and may still be."

She added: "Nowadays, Gary admits that writing his monthly column has proved not so much work, as therapy."

The book is a collaboration with cartoonist and vicar, the Rev Canon Taffy Davies, and was launched at last week's Christian Resources Exhibition North in Manchester.