A QUICK glance through the Andover Advertiser of 30 June confirmed my hope that in Andover and our surrounding villages and towns, life is going on much as usual!

Cars, houses and other items offered for sale, sports reports on the back pages (we’re not all couch potatoes then!), commendations after inspections for nurseries and the doctor’s surgery, art work on display, two MBE awards for Stannah’s joint chairmen and of course the many happy activities to raise funds and offer enjoyment locally and …. (well, read the paper yourself!).

The front page last week however told a different story. What is a fair rate of pay? What is a fair pay rise? Who decides? Who receives? It’s complicated.

In the Holy Bible, in the ancient book of Ecclesiastes, there are pithy observations about life and a conclusion that we should all enjoy what we have worked for. It is God’s gift. Alongside that, of course, it is important to remember the 10th commandment, “Thou shalt not covet.” Later on, slaves are advised to work honestly and their owners to treat them fairly (in the 21st century we need to read employees for slaves and employers for owners). It is complicated.

Perhaps Mr Micawber (a character created by Charles Dickens) had it right — “Annual income £1, annual expenditure 19s 6d (97.5p), result happiness. Annual income £1, annual expenditure £1 0s 6d (102.5p), result misery.”

Rev Jill Bentall