It is either Parkinson’s disease, at quite a young age – or he is an alcoholic. Twice now he has dropped something and his hand quivers desperately when holding a piece of paper. He is charmless, speaking with the officious, indifferent, slightly malicious intonation of a B-list public schoolmaster. But he’s not one of those who can impress the schoolboys. His intimidating aspect never melts into a reassuring or inspiring charisma, it just lets off a bit in proportion to your cold deference. He has never smiled and no one around him does.
He can’t have been successful, to be where he is now.
The liturgy is delivered slow, chilly, the only warmth a crack or cough; the sermon is short, not mercifully but depressingly; he handles the chalice and even the host without surety and tenderness. The spectacle is that of a weak, cold, small man pacing alone and unhappily around his shabby-carpeted altar space like a decrepit lion his old cage in winter.
There can be no reason for it except that his survival depends upon it. (Why can’t he be retired for Parkinson’s?) He is not begging pennies for a Tennant’s Super on a park bench. Belligerence and faith are intertwined. This man survives solely for the praise and glory of God’s name, for our good and for the good of all his Church.
Who else would?