Thirty Days

STONES OUT

WHEN the Bishop of Bristol, Barry Rogerson, announced his new "woman" priest, Carol (nee Peter) Stone, he declared that he had made enquiries and there were no theological objections.

Not for the first time in his colourful and entertaining ministry, Bazza was talking what Peter now lacks. Who he consulted, apart from Uncle George, is unclear but any ecclesiastical lawyer would have told him that seeking salvation by surgery is out. It's against canon law. Has been since Nicaea.

 

PRAYTIME

THE PRAYERFUL of St. Albans Diocese are in for a real treat this coming May. The cathedral is booked for a day of exciting workshops.

The Dean, Christopher Lewis, offers us "Daffodil-free spirituality". This could be the start of a most fruitful series:

"Grass-free Rastafarianism", "Climber-free ecclesiology ", "Pansy-free liturgy", "Weed free Scottish theology" etc., etc.

Sr. Rita is enabling a workshop entitled, "Hope is like a Red Balloon" - not clear if this is an imaginative rehash of sister's cinematic childhood memories or just confusing her virtues with her vows .

And, stand by gentlemen, the lovely Wanda Nash declares,

"God wants me as his playmate."

This must be from the new Hefner translation, "I am the Gatefold".

For those intimidated by such demands on their imagination and creativity, Archdeacon Richard Cheetham offers the more realistic "Spirituality for those who don't feel very spiritual". Should be packed.

 

TAPAS BAR

EVERY YEAR "Jezebel's Trumpet" runs its own "Train a Priestess)" fund. This year its readers were encouraged to give by a story about one formerly prestigious bishop factory. Westcott House, once a catholic college, raised 60 apparently with help from regulars at their favourite pub, the St. Radegund. A delightful photograph of cheery ordinands surrounding Terry, the landlord, in sackcloth and hair braid, adorns the front page.

Apparently "last term they celebrated St. Wilgefortis, the Hairy Virgin" together. The origin of the college's devotion to this particular saint is not made clear. Who on earth do they know would rather grow a beard than marry a man?

Answers on a postcard please.

 

JEEZER GEEZER.

AN IMAGINATIVE retelling of Holy Scripture is to be published in May with the full endorsement of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The "Cockney Bible" has Our Blessed Lord rabbiting in rhyming slang - a sort of early version of "rap".

Breaking the "Uncle Ned" and distributing the "Lilian Gish" makes a more than adequate "Jim Skinner" for 5000 "geezers" apparently.

Our East End correspondent confirms that this exciting initiative is genuine "pony".

 

OLD IS BAD NEW IS GOOD

FROM A RECENTLY released supplement to the United Methodist Hymnal, "Praise the source of faith and learning":-

"May our learning curb the error
Which unthinking faith can breed
Lest we justify' some terror
With an antiquated creed"

30 Days is happy to offer an additional verse:-

"The Word of God is dated
We want something that is new
Out with Jesus, Paul and Moses
Bring on Rabbi Lionel Blue".

 

TAKE TWO

The results of the voting in diocesan synods on the Scott-Joynt proposals excited the national press briefly last month. Most exciting of all was the go-ahead Bishop of Chester, Peter Forster who, on the back of his diocese's rampant enthusiasm for remarriage in church, announced that Chester would implement the proposals. Less adventurous reformers will, no doubt, be waiting for General Synod's considered view.

Those who were shocked by the progressive prelate's implementation of diocesan autonomy obviously never knew him during his all too brief and only incumbency at Beverley Minster. Certainly the exhaustive research done by the Secretaries to the Crown Appointments Commission in 1996 would have informed the Vacancy in See Committee. members of the former theological college tutor's ground breaking pastoral initiatives in this area.

 

FUTURES MARKETS

THE YOUTH GURU (academic dept.) Dr. Leslie Francis, has published his most recent findings on young Christians' beliefs. Overwhelmingly they accept fornication as not sinful, divorce as somewhere between OK and

 

DIRECTIONS

inevitable and batting for the other side as a tolerable christian diversion.

Apparently Dr. Francis and many press commentators think this augurs ill for the CofE.

30 Days, as ever, tends to look on the bright side of life. These findings show clearly that an overwhelming number of young people are potential candidates for the Anglican episcopate.

 

SORRY GIRLS

FUN AND GAMES with poor old Colin Buchanan, Bishop of Woolwich. When we published a story indicating that he was about to replace the last male Link Officer to the staunchly woman priest free zone of Zimbabwe (Manicaland), with a woman priest, he protested loudly in copious correspondence that this wasn't the case. He himself, he declared from his sick bed, was to be the new Link Officer.

On the point of publishing an apology, 30 Days" attention was drawn to his subsequent letter to his Area. In this missive "Buckers" duly appoints himself Link Officer but points out that the work will really be done by two women priests. Curiously these are the names that 30 Days was given in the first place.

This interesting split between the title and job (credit and work, status and elbow grease) has, of course, nothing to do with our original story. It is difficult to imagine how we could have got it so wrong.

Colin Buchanan is 66.

 

WALLABEES

THE POOR FEMALE contestant on Who wants to be a Millionaire, who failed the key church question has continued to cause mirth in unlikely quarters .

When asked if an Archbishop was a primate, a rodent or a marsupial, she unerringly opted for the latter.

Our secret source in the House of Bishops meeting, "Deep Cope", informs us that much theological energy was expended on deciding if they were duck-billed plats. or wombats.

We look forward to the design of an internal chasuble pouch for the first woman bishop with nursing infant.

Copy for 30 DAYS should reach the New Directions Office in Tufton Street by the nineteenth day of the month before publication.

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