30 DAYS
July 2000

 

MARRY ON DOCTOR I

The gutter press has been rife with speculation about the marital outlook for Mrs Familiar Parker-Knoll, consort extraordinary to the Supreme Governor in waiting. More than anything they have been exercised by her clandestine meetings with Uncle George.

30 days can reveal that, so riveted was Her Organic Majesty by the religious and constitutional niceties of her instruction that the owner of the safe house where the secret talks took place, may be able to enhance the value by installing a blue plaque proclaiming "Queen Camilla slept here"

 

MARRY ON DOCTOR II

St James Palace spin doctors took Lambeth by surprise by leaking the news of Camilla's close encounters of an Archiepiscopal kind. The good doctor, of course, is perturbed at the apparent lack of urgency for the kilted kinglet to make an honest woman of his long term paramour - but conscious also of the constitutional crisis looming if he does.

Our Camilla was reported to be baffled by the conversations. What can have baffled her?

Uncle George's interest in her (virtually non-existent) religious views is not without purpose. As one of the few divorced women in the kingdom not seeking ordination Camilla is missing the obvious solution. The C. of E. could not envisage a straight forward rematch but .... as a fully fledged priestess she would be simply following a well - trodden and synodically approved path.

 

FOLLOW THAT CAR.

Following on the recent number plate sighting of V1CAR, 30 Days has been apprised of several others. Most notable, in this time of austerity, is the employee at Church House with a Porsche bearing the plate SINOD, and a stonking red Ferrari at St Albans Diocesan House bearing the number of the beast, 666.

Beating both of these into a cocked hat (and incidentally revealing the more modest nature of the Asian Almighty) was a sighting of the Khan family's modest green BMW at Brent Cross proclaiming A11AH K.

Prayer Book devotees should remain secure in the knowledge that God is still an Englishman and drives a Bentley.

 

VEN.MEN (AND WOMEN).

News that 684 clergy persons applied for the vacant Archdeacon job in Salisbury diocese is startlingly good news for Carey's Cabinet.

Given that, excluding curates, those nearing retirement, the blacklisted and the lunatics, this is approximately 10 per cent of the workforce ,this shows not only laudable ambition but a realistic assessment of the future of parishes under the Turnbull plan. If another 10 per cent could be persuaded to be as forward thinking and managerial each diocese could have 30 Archdeacons running locality worship centres with a couple of priests and the rest down to non--stipendiaries and the retired. The upwardly mobile get the status they desire, the dioceses get the clergy cost cuts they require.

Who will be the first brave diocesan to advertise for a suffragan ?

 

A NEW ENCUMBRIANCE.

Rose Castle, the stately seat of Bishops of Carlisle, is preparing to meet its new occupant, Graham Dow, Bishop of Willesden. One of David Hope's finest appointments in London has now been poached to join the glittering array of episcopal talent in the northern province.

Dow, or the "demon king" as he is affectionately known to charismatic cognoscenti, is just the man to exorcise the masonic stronghold of Penrith and finally lay to rest the Croglin Hall Vampire.

Carlisle is about to learn the meaning of a "hands-on" bishop.

 

CAROLINE DIVINE

Congratulations to Barry Bristol. First to ordain women to the priesthood and now first to confirm a male priest into womanhood.

Eschewing those uncompassionate reactionaries who raise doubts about the wisdom of transgendering, our Bazza has swung his support behind the Revd. Peter Stone's desire to become "Carol". There are, he claims, "no legal, ethical or moral objections" to Mr Stone having the operation and continuing as vicar of Upper Stratton near Swindon. He cites, in support, the full backing of Uncle George. Both men realise that this event will add a whole new dimension to the debate about gender and trump the traditionalists arguments completely. If a priest can become a woman, how can you argue that a woman can't become a priest? And when Peter becomes Carol - something he has apparently dreamed of since he was five years old and throughout his two previous marriages - he has no immediate plans to remarry.

Judgmental Catholics should recall that the present Pope started life as plain "Karol" .

 

SMEAR CHRISTIANITY

Worshippers at St Luke's, Holloway enjoyed a rare treat recently. As part of the "Art in Sacred Spaces" exhibition, performance artist Bobby Baker danced up and down the aisle representing sin by smearing herself with ketchup, wine, mustard, salad dressing and mint sauce.

Particularly appropriate the last item as the vicar is the Reverend Scott LAMB.

 

WALLIS AND GRANDAD.

The Church of England Newspaper is advertising for a new sub - editor who must be "a stickler for accuracy". Not a moment too soon! In the self-same issue the editorial reminds us that the monarchy nearly came to grief over the relationship between Wallis Simpson and Edward the Seventh.

Unless this is one of those rare cases of posthumous adultery, for which even the Board of Social Responsibility doesn't have a working party, then the famous exponent of "Legover Langtrey" must have been an intercontinental child molester.

 

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Those who miss Bishop David Jenkins' regular festival undermining of key parts of the Christian faith have found a worthy successor. Good old John Spong may have retired, but retiring he is not.

He has become the theological contributor to the new Internet sex magazine, The Position, started by a former editor of Penthouse ( not an architectural periodical). There, alongside colleagues like Candida Royale, a former porn star, and Annie Sprinkle, who reviews the most gut wrenching film perversions, Spongiform treats us to his deep wisdom about the sexual bias of the Ten Commandments, the delights of the goddess and the evils of patriarchy.

Like most parish magazines it has regular columns but with up to date titles. For "Strange But True" read "Queer and Now", the cookery page is under "Thandie's Cake Fetishism" and the traditional charity appeal = "Nighties For The Needy".

Presumably "Four Breasts Are Better Than Two" is a meditation on Diana of the Ephesians.

I’LL GET YOU, BUTLER

Fans of the old sitcom, “On the Buses”, will remember the above phrase all too well as the crafty Reg Varney (Butler) tried to escape the wrath of petty minded Inspector “Blakey”??.

A conversation at a recent Southwark meeting gave the phrase a whole new meaning. The Bishop, also a Butler, turned in exasperation to an unsympathetic member of the Vacancy in See Committee and said, “ Well you voted for me.”

“Actually”, came the amused reply, “yours was not one of the names on our list.”

This only adds fuel to the rumour that “Sir” John Holroyd got the Crown Appointments list mixed up with his old friend the Provost’s request for senior domestic staff.

 

 

 

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