Educashun, Educashun, Educashun
A recent priestly Anglican convert to Rome was duly re-ordained and given his first posting in the true church. He was to be assistant to a long established parish priest of inscrutable catholic provenance (i.e. Irish). On arrival at the presbytery Father Paddy showed the neophyte to his minimalist accommodation - a small cell-like room with a bed and a desk and a chair.
" I wonder," enquired the severely reduced former Anglican, "if there is any other space in the presbytery; only I have rather a lot of books"
"Ah, well," replied the seraphically beaming guardian of the doctrine of the faith, "Now's your chance to get rid of them.
Admitting homosexuals into the Navy has caused fewer problems than admitting women on board, according to Rear Admiral James Burnell-Nugent, assistant chief of Navy staff. Such conclusions will come as no surprise to long standing members of the Anglican church whose institutional experience is not dissimilar.
What is, of course, becoming increasingly clear to servicemen is that, if they do object to such wise and inclusive policies, they can kiss goodbye to the sort of promotion enjoyed by Burnell-Nugent and the political "yes men" sailing a desk at the Ministry of Defence.
Another curious parallel with the good old C. of E.
To nobody's great surprise, it appears, that Wobbly Bob's famous Falklands sermon was, in fact, penned by his chaplain and mentor, "Big Dick" Chartres - now Bishop of London.
The sermon, which so infuriated Mrs Thatcher, was (as most who bothered to analyse it at the time concluded), a wholly catholic appeal for charity in praying for the departed and bereaved of both sides in the conflict.
Enunciated in that apologetic nasal twang by a man representing an episcopal bench almost wholly hostile to the Conservative government, it was taken as an attempt at public humiliation.
Imagine, however, the same speech given by Chartres himself in full Churchillian mode and one can imagine the Iron Lady leaving St. Paul's swathed in the magnanimity of victory.
The "Thunderer" reported recently that a church conference on parapsychology would be urged, by an anglican priest, to hold "Christian Sťances". The Rev'd David Christie-Murray argues that we can communicate with "the other side" and help the souls of the lost, bewildered and unbelieving.
Although such necromancy is expressly forbidden by Holy Scripture (Deut 18 v 10-12) such outmoded thinking obviously cannot be expected to restrain a forward looking and scientifically enquiring mind.
Before "Fr" Christie-Murray goes any further down this road it might be a kindness if someone instructed him on a little used, and utterly old fashioned, but safe and orthodox way to minister to the departed. It's called a requiem mass.
A wag in the editorial office has suggested that Fr C - M may not be entirely off his trolley. Given the precipitous decline in attendance at liberal churches, Common Worship could offer an alternative greeting at the beginning of the liturgy.
"Is there anybody there?"
Any congregation could use their old copies of the ASB to respond by banging them on the pews. One knock for 'Yes'...
Cox Upholds Priestess
"Archbishop" Michael Cox, head of the "Tridentine Order" in Ireland, has suspended his beloved brother in Christ, Martin Pius Kelly, "Bishop of Leinster" for suspending the lovely "Archdeacon" Sinead O'Connor for advertising her sexuality and her tongue stud on a recent visit to Rome. Pop-star and pope baiter O'Connor has been commended as a "good priest" by Cox who claims his order is "not prejudiced against divorced, gay, or lesbian people or anyone who is marginalised because we have no right or authority to judge them".
Sinead will no doubt, have been delighted to a receive a letter from "Bishop" Michael Hynes assuring her, "We are all behind you."
Cut Price Worship
Parishes that shelled out a couple of thousand pounds on ASB's a few years back now find themselves facing potential bills of between £3000 and £8000 to equip themselves with the full range of Common Worship books. As Common Worship is little more than a fifteen year tinkering with the ASB and the Prayer Book plus a couple of cringe making additions and a genderless bible this all seems a bit extravagant.
Wise modernists will simply download material from the website and create their own liturgies making the term Common Worship a misnomer.
Others will be delighted to see Cambridge University Press and the Prayer Book Society producing the Book of Common Prayer for £5.21 per copy. Curiously, where this arcane trite has been re-introduced congregations have grown. Wasn't that what ASB/CW was supposed to be about?
Cut Content Worship
Purchasers of the new Common Worship rite of baptism who have tried fitting it into the main morning communion service may be tempted to write to the Advertising Standards Authority. Head liturgist and would be Cantuarand , "Bubbles" Stancliffe , described it as "inclusive, rich and timely".
Unfortunately it is too long, too wordy and very boring. (How long before congregational pressure shunts baptism back into its old afternoon slot?) Imagine the surprise of clergy in one diocese to receive within weeks of its publication a leaflet from the diocesan liturgical guru entitled " Too Long? Too Wordy? Too Boring?" outlining Ten changes just approved by Synod to make this "inclusive, rich and timely" offering more bearable.
Chalke and Cheese
When lottery lady Anthea Turner married Grant Bovey recently, after a long and public affair which destroyed their previous marriages, they were said to be hurt that their wedding day press release showed them eating and apparently advertising a new Cadbury's chocolate bar, "Snowflake".
This is the couple that sold the rights to this circus to O.K. magazine for £250,000 and had security men ensuring that no guests brought cameras to compromise this exclusive.
This is the man who got his daughters to act as flower girls at the ceremony at which their mother was formally replaced by his mistress.
This was the woman who apparently asked her former husband to give her away to the man who had cuckolded him.
Presiding over this delightful scene was the unctuous one man religious industry Steve ("the T.V. vicar") Chalke.
It was, as the comedian Kenny Everett, used to say, "All in the best possible taste".
What may have upset the delightful Boveys more than the "tacky" photo was the knowledge that they hadn't got a contract from Cadbury's who got several days national press publicity for their new nibble at no extra cost.
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