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Promotion in the Highest is a short story with a religious motif, written by Agatha Christie.


It is New Year’s Eve in the year 2000. In the dead of night, a drunken man, Jacob Narracott, sees a strange procession making its way down the hill from the church. There are fourteen people, among them a woman carrying a wheel (Saint Catherine) and a man carrying a gridiron (Saint Lawrence). Narracott tells the local police constable of his sighting, feeling that he has seen them somewhere before...

The fourteen are saints who walk the earth again on their way back to heaven. They stand before the recording angel and tell him of their guilt that they attained eternal life when they feel they did not do enough to deserve such a reward. The recording angel is dismissive but the archangel Gabriel intercedes as every millennium, judgements given can be appealed. The saints are given promotion in the highest and return to earth where they start to do good deeds among needy people. Back in the church, the vicar is told that his 15th century altar screen is beyond repair and that the images of the saints on it have gone for good and cannot be restored...


  • Jacob Narracott
  • Saint Catherine
  • Saint Lawrence
  • Police Constable
  • Recording Angel
  • Angel Gabriel
  • The Vicar

Publication history[]