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Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town: The Learning Resource

Four: The Ministrations of the Rev. Mr. Drone

Summary
The Ministrations of the Rev. Mr. Drone introduces the Church of England’s Dean in Mariposa, Reverend Drone. Dean Drone’s primary interests appear to be outside of religion. He enjoys making children’s toys and reading Greek history. The Dean’s only apparent ambition related to the Church of England is the construction of a new church for Mariposa. However, because “mathematics were not the rector’s forte” (72) the costs of building and maintaining the new church are not fully understood. This leaves the local congregation overwhelmed with debt.

ReadIng Questions
1. What is the fate of the original stone church? What is being suggested about respect for history and the past in Mariposa?

2. What are Dean Drone’s interests? Are any of these interests strongly linked with Anglican theology?

3. Why does the Church of England find itself in financial trouble?

4. It is not just the Anglican Church that is being mocked. What does Yodel the auctioneer say about Catholic services in the city? (78)

5. What reasons do Mariposans give for avoiding church? Are they losing faith and interest in the Dean and his services, or are they just trying to avoid helping the church in its time of need?

6. What do Mariposans do to raise funds for the failing church? How does each effort fail? (p. 82-84)

7. The new Church of England is built on the same hill where Jefferson Thorpe had hoped to set up a home for incurables in “The Speculations of Jefferson Thorpe.” Is this significant?

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