Pointing the finger of guilt

Midsomer Murders star John Nettles. Photo Getty
Midsomer Murders star John Nettles. Photo Getty
Nothing burdens the soul like guilt.

Guilt sits with its victim at night, wakes him each morning with its weight, and robs him each and every day of any moment of peace.

Guilt.

Guilt is weighing heavy in the Midsomer air.

Midsomer is of course, the setting for Midsomer Murders, the show that follows a wave of sick and violent fatal crime that has been surging through the fictional but pretty English countryside these past 15 years.

Midsomer is not, itself, a village.

It is a county, containing 60 villages, with names such as Midsomer Abbas and Great Worthy.

There have been 93 episodes since the show began in 1997, meaning a little more than 1.5 murders a year in each quiet country village.

And 93 murders mean 93 murderers.

It is no surprise, then, that the pain of 93 guilt-riddled minds is even distorting the true and rightful religion that only Anglicans practice.

A new series of Midsomer Murders - the superstitiously named series 13 - began on Sunday on UKTV.

Sonia was feeling the emotional pinch of something that happened just two years before; the death of her husband.

She was on the way to take confession with her Anglican vicar, after feeling unable to take communion earlier in the day.

What??!! I hear all good Anglicans ask.

Confession? We don't do that!

But most in the congregation at church are looking guilty, and considering the crime rate, that is no surprise.

The vicar was banging on in his sermon about the intolerable burden of sin.

Its toll was clearly twisting his faith into something more Roman in nature, as he offers Sonia absolution in the confessional.

But, of course, Sonia doesn't make it that far.

Long shadows darken the graveyard as she treads the path to the denominationally-confused vicar's door, and someone - lets call him Mr Stabby - has a sharp plan that means she never makes it.

Of course, Barnaby (John Nettles) is quickly on the scene, ready to point the trembling finger of guilt directly at the baddie by show's end.

And nothing can be more certain than the success of the man who shares a large country cottage with his wife Sarah and dog Sykes.

Except that series 13 of Midsomer Murders will again be enjoyable, as, no doubt, the already made series 14 and 15 will be when they arrive.

Watch and enjoy.

- Charles Loughrey

Midsomer Anglicans

As I understand it, confession is offered in the C of E, but not as a sacrament. The AngloCatholic church is not Roman, but that may be the only difference. Bear in mind Anglicanism is very broad, even including militant Protestants. Still, Midsomer is a fictional if murderous spot in rural England. I'm surprised the people don't all catch the London train.