The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing

Over the road lives a lay minister of the Church of England who is accustomed to perform funeral services. Today a large, dark Volvo estate pulls up outside her house. A very young, very soberly-dressed gentleman climbs out and walks at a subdued pace to the door. He can only be an undertaker, in his dark coat and black tie.

He rings the bell, there is no answer. He looks alarmed and paces back to his car. Instead of getting in, he walks up and down a few times then takes up a stance in the road, by the passenger door. This is a street with a number of elderly residents and, as he looks around, you can feel him assessing people by their cars and front gardens, sizing up the houses for custom.

He waits a little longer, but nothing happens. Just when he’s starting to get really anxious the lay minister dashes out with a cassock bundled under her arm. The youthful undertaker is poised to open the passenger door. They drive off at a slightly more rapid pace than he is perhaps accustomed to drive at.