30 DAYS for DECEMBER 1997

WEE FREES

Enthusiastic evangelical parents and grandparents can now purchase the ultimate Christmas gift for untrained and uncooperative children - "The Praise Potty".

Designed by a home counties granny called Iris, who noticed how well her grandson responded to encouragement, The Praise Potty has won an award at a recent major toy fair. Every time the Toddler sits on it there is an encouraging word of welcome and, when an offering is made, the Potty goes potty cheering, shouting "Goal" and singing "We are the champions". Apparently the cathartic effect is phenomenal.

Of course it is too early to assess the side effects of such training. Children who develop a Pavlovian response to the "Praise Potty Syndrome" may, in later life, have to steer clear of charismatic worship and football matches or "psyche" themselves up with a few rousing choruses of "We shall not be moved."

LITTLE BO PEEP

Parish priests........Is your parochial church council less than co-operative? Do they sometimes come to conclusions rather different from your own? Do council members fall out with one another and with you over controversial decisions?

It need not happen anymore if you follow the novel democratic procedures followed by a church in Wales.

A parish which had petitioned for the flying bishop was obliged to meet and "discuss" the issue with one of the diocesan dignitaries. The dignitary addressed them at length and then called for a vote - but with a difference. This was to be a secret ballot so there could be no recriminations afterwards. Fair enough but..... wait for it....

The council members had to close their eyes and raise their hands at the appropriate moment and the dignitary would count them. Quite miraculously the vote went in favour of the diocesan establishment and the highly liberal bishop has become a selective advocate of blind faith.

LENT OVER

A Muslim correspondent has contacted 30 Days to express his disappointment in the Bishop of Jarrow. Alan Smithson, for it is he, announced that he was reading the Koran for Lent this year. A few months later, clearly unimpressed with the holy book's moral teaching, he announced that he was prepared to bless homosexual unions. This, it was claimed, is entirely in accord with the collegial view of the House of Bishops if not, at a superficial reading, the Bible.

Definitely not in accord with the Koran viz.: "Woman is thy tilth, plough her as thou wilt".

Can't imagine anyone in the C of E getting preferment with such agricultural, heterosexist sentiments.

HAMAR THE HORRIBLE

Norway is in ferment. The lovely Rosemarie, bishop of Hamar, has suspended one of her woman priests for contracting a secular marriage with a lesbian friend. Though defended by the mildly conservative Prime Minister, the majority of both political parties has condemned the bishop's intolerance.

The only consistent support our Rosie has received is from the Free Synod (firm allies of Forward in Faith) who, ironically, don't think she is a bishop anyway.

SILICON VALLEY

A remarkable photograph has been doing the rounds of the bar at the residential conference of the Forward in Faith National Council. A lovely "exotic dancer", in the briefest of miniskirts, has her arm round none other than the Archdeacon of York, George Austin. On the back is the affectionate message, "Thanks for being a good sport. Lots of love

Before the establishment start popping champagne corks at the imminent demise in scandal of this turbulent priest - a word of explanation.

It is a publicity still for a series of articles in "Punch" where people of very different moral views are in debate. And George has the soundest of alibis - wife Bobbie was in attendance throughout. Indeed she and the girl got on well enough for Bobbie to ask the $64,000 question. Were her remarkable professional assets God given?

"No love", she bounced back....."surgery!"

APPOINTEE HAT

With the help of extensive leaks from recent Crown Appointments and Vacancy in See committees we are able to bring you a complete and detailed breakdown of the lists from which senior appointments are drawn. (With apologies to the Prime Ministers Appointment Secretary, John Holroyd, who is not responsible for the lists he receives)

30 Days has set the information to a well known seasonal tune to be sung by T. Blair:

"On the last Crown Appointments John Holroyd brought to me

12 old lord bishops
11 similar suffragans
10 creeping canons
9 ambitious archdeacons
8 pining provosts
7 sycophantic sub deans
6 bishops chaplains

NO WOMEN PRIESTS

4 friends of Bob
3 friends of George
2 friends of Charles
And a parson in a parish church.

We apologise for the inclusion of the last line which clearly lowers the tone of the piece.

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