ICE CREAM SUNDAY
Another spiffing wheeze from Head Office was trailed in the media last month.
‘THANK YOU’ – the National Clergy Appreciation Week (14–21st October, 2001) publicity was launched with an eye-catching poster. Two damp-looking male clergy wielding three-foot teaspoons leer at the camera while a woman in a cardigan digs her spoon into an enormous ice-cream dubbed a ‘Vicar-bocker Glory’. The aim of all this is to remind parishioners of the need to be grateful to their clergy.
In the bad old days laity could show this appreciation directly via the Easter offering. Now, of course, that all goes in quota to pay for Bishops’ expenses, the black hole in the pension fund and… these jolly little posters.
‘Mother's Day banned to appease Gays’ ran the headline in a British newspaper. The story is of one of New York's leading primary schools, the Rodeph Sholom – affiliated to the Reform.
Parents have been informed that the ban was in response to a complaint by a homosexual man and his lover whose adopted child attends the school. This is clearly homophobic black propaganda and utterly implausible. Whoever heard of a seriously gay man wanting to reduce the opportunities for paying public tribute to his mother?
NO GOD ? TRY A WOMAN
So desperate is Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali's working party on women bishops to get the right answer that they are widening their consultation to include people of all faiths and none! Confirmed atheists’ opinions will be welcomed as well because of the bishop's role as a ‘community figure’.
Mrs Christina Rees has already ‘proved’ that 80 per cent of Anglicans want women bishops. Independent research has actually proved that women priests did nothing to stem the rate of decline in the CofE – indeed it got worse.
So what can other faiths tell us? No doubt they will be delighted to give advice on how the CofE should be run (down?). The General Synod asked for a ‘theological study’ of the issue, but our Mike seems to have gone all ‘New Labour’ focus groups and rather lost the plot.
CREM de la CREM
Real people's funerals were delayed last month when Agecroft Crem. in Salford was booked by Granada Television for the ‘funeral’ of Coronation Street character Alma Halliwell . Alma, who ‘died’ after a long and harrowing battle with cancer, displaced the service of Bill Hamer, 44, a dad of four, who really did die of cancer of the week before. Other would-be clients were turned away too.
Mind you, Granada missed a really great opportunity for giving Alma absolute authenticity and coincidentally wowing the Northern Province. They could have got either the Ven George Austin or the Bishop of Beverley to officiate. Both men are fully paid up members of Soap Addicts Anonymous and never miss Corrie (or Neighbours or Emmerdale or…).
CREM de la CREM. 2
When Vera Anderson died at 78, her son Ross set about fulfilling his mum's greatest wish – to travel! He posted her ashes to 200 countries asking the head postmasters to scatter them for him.
Vera is now in Lake Titicaca, the Choo Praya river (Thailand), on the Russian Steppes and down mainstreet Montgomery, Alabama among many other ‘resting’ places.
Ross, 53, described his mum's posthumous adventures as ‘a nice send off’!
The Scott-Joynt proposals are history. Rod Stewart, the diminutive neo-elderly jock crooner, with a voice like a Peke with laryngitis, has come up with the solution. The twice married (and much ‘partnered’) Mr Stewart suggested the vows should be brought up to date and renewed every year ‘like a dog licence’. Quite what Miss Penny Lancaster, 29, his latest pet, thinks about this proposed reform is not recorded.
THE BARKER OF LUSAKA
Exorcist, rap singer and Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Lusaka, Monsignor Emmanuel Milingo, 71, has wed Miss Sung Ryae-Soon in the New York Hilton in a mass Moonie marriage. The ‘wedding’ was presided over by the self-ordained Revd Sun Myung Moon, now happily restored to his followers after his time inside over some ghastly misunderstandings with the Revenue.
ALL TOO FAMILIAR
The charming Taliban rulers of Afghanistan are to make Hindu men wear special coloured marks on their clothing (a yellow wheel perhaps?). Mr Wali, the minister for religious police says this is in line with Islamic law as all religious minorities must be publicly identifiable in a Muslim state.
Current militant Muslim propaganda on websites run from Luton and Harrow target France for an Islamic state by 2015 and Great Britain by 2025. Anyone for a pink Cross?
ARCHBISHOPS’ COUNCIL PR
The May 2001 bulletin, entitled ‘the work in progress’, includes the following tribute to Common Worship.
‘It's like getting fruit cake after years of plain cake’, was the reaction of one churchgoer after using a Common Worship for the first time.
MAD, BAD AND DANGEROUS?
A kind of reader has sent in a copy of the latest Open Synod mailing. OS correspondent, one Bernard Silverman, congratulates the group (and himself) on their tolerance and inclusivity of other people. He also notes, in passing, that General Synod members regularly receive a monthly which is a mixture of ‘MAD magazine, Private Eye and Watchtower’.
Difficult to know which publication that might be; but it's undoubtedly a huge compliment. All three comparisons are notable for huge readership, great entertainment and extraordinary longevity.
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