There`s something that has been on my mind for a while. In November I offer to bless graves of parishioners` family members and friends. When I returned to Gateshead this was not an issue as my predecessor, Fr Dixon (the diocesan liturgist) had been following the same practice. Not a lot of parishioners come but those who do are very grateful to have their deceased remembered and prayed for in this way. However this year I heard of a priest who was asked to do this and declined. There may be many reasons for this some of them even legitimate, but what fascinated me was the reason actually given. He said he wouldn`t do it as it was a foreign practice. This struck me as a strange response given that Christianity itself was an import to this country. Does he participate in the Eucharist? Is it not a foreign practice? How abut using the Bible: was it not originally written in funny foreign languages? If we adopt this criterion for what we will and won`t do the only option is to paint ourselves blue and go to greet the summer solstice at the nearest stone circle while sacrificing a few humans occasionally.