Father, Can I Stay With You?

If you’re a regular reader of this column, or if you’ve talked to me for even a handful of seconds, then you’ll know that sadly I will be moving out of Twickenham in the next few months. 

Not by choice at all, but my mum has sold our family home and is kicking me out of the proverbial nest. However, instead of figuring out how to fly, I’ve found a solution that might mean I get to hang around Twickenham for another summer… 

Recently, I found myself walking by Twickenham Church, which is looking absolutely lovely these days, and noticed one of my favourite aspects of any church: the little room that priests are allowed to stay in. 

It’s always been a fascinating and cosy liminal space to me; so mysterious, so quaint; as a boy I could only imagine what content bliss could be achieved in that carpeted dream box. What do you even get up to in there? At that age, I pictured a dressed-down priest snacking on the little wafers in front of the TV before transubstantiation kicks in. The closest inkling of this was seeing Hot Priest’s house in season two of Fleabag, and he of course is fictional. 

But now as a 25-year-old man(?), I want to find out for sure by asking: Can I live there or is it just for men of the cloth? 

To any priests reading, I’m very flexible on rent costs, always do my dishes promptly, and went to Jesuit school if that helps. I don’t think it would be too hard to explain to the clergy and I’ll totally keep to myself. At most, I’ll become a kind of Big Foot character, only to be seen blurry in the background of a First Holy Communion photos. 

We could enter a kind of Odd Couple situation, maybe have a kooky misunderstanding or divide the room in two for laughs! I can see the poster now: “He loves God. He loves affordable living. How DO they make it work? Revamped Love Thy Neighbour, coming to Channel 4 this October!” 

Let me know. It’s been a dream of mine for at least three months. And you know, welcoming in the low and dispossessed would be the Christian thing to do, especially if they’re willing to pay £600 a month for it. 

Dan has written for Objectively Funny and is the author of Country Bumpkin Blog. You can listen to his podcast, That’s Rich! wherever you get podcasts. 

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