Third Time Lucky?

Our Crem. correspondent was present recently at a funeral where the “Dear Departed”? was not the usual first timer. The recently deceased had, originally, requested a burial at sea which was duly carried out by the chosen morticians. Whether they failed to adequately weight the casket or employ the time honoured naval tradition of shooting a few holes in a suspected “floater”? is unclear. What is clear is that the package intended for Davy Jones locker proved considerably more seaworthy than the Titanic and enjoyed a leisurely cruise to the French coast. There the passportless ex-pat was duly buried and British Authorities informed. Shortly thereafter the luckless foam flecked Funeral Directors arrived complete with police and Customs Officers – presumably to check I.D., paperwork and that no contraband was involved. Up came the much travelled loved one and back to the much duller but safer English way of death – half an hour at Gas Mark 5 then into the cremulator.

Dopey Dick

Say what you like about the Bishop of Edinburgh (you usually do – Ed.) but you can’t fault him for his refreshing candour.

Hard on the heels of homosexual rights, godless morality, adulterous genes and a little light sadomasochism, our Dick treats us to a little reminiscing about his time as a puff-head. As always his thoughts on legalisation and the education of our children in such matters are suitably progressive. It must be just a matter of time before the Scottish Episcopal Church develops ecumenical links with the Rastafarians.

Our medical correspondent writes:

“Bishop Holloway’s teaching on cannabis could solve many of the problems of the Anglican Communion. Smoking this drug leads to a sense of euphoria, pleasant sociability, reduced vocabulary (usually “yeah……right”), and the illusion that everyone in the room agrees with you. Smoking a joint is a collaborative ministry par excellence and the ideal start to a P.C.C. , a synod or meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council. Nothing is decided but actually…nobody cares anyway.”?

Spot the Prologue

Love began it.
Love is how God tells it.
Love is God
Love lights a living lantern in the dark and its gentle strength wins over every shadow.
Love is not a Thing.
So those who say “to know” means “know about” cannot “know” Love.
Love has no atoms and no molecules;
Love rates low in an “Enlightened” age.
Love became human; an animal, and God.
And all who understand this themselves become all three.
Love came camping with us;
By day we climbed the hills, discovering hidden tarns and unexpected views.
By night we drank and talked, discovering hidden views and unexpected depths.
We have shared all this from the First Sign to the Last Supper:
Love’s lantern burns in us and we in turn must light a lamp,
Enlightening a world which, lasar-bound, does not know Love.

Yes, of course, it’s good old John Chapter 1 in a new and relevant form as offered at the Holy Communion for Lay Readers’ Training Day in Newcastle recently.

Life was never this exciting under dear old Alec Graham.

Failure of Intelligence

Following the latest farcical deliberations of the Crown Appointments Commission – the appointment of Michael Langrish as Bishop of Exeter – the stonewall of confidentiality about these matters has begun to crack.

Used to defending the indefensible in the matter of appointments, several senior bishops and at least two members of the Crown Appointments pantomime have quietly and privately broken ranks.

Appointing Langrish, whose wife Esther is seeking ordination, to one of the most catholic dioceses in England, shows spectacular contempt for the diocesan brief. In self defence members of the CAC have let it be known that they were never given these facts. The blame is, of course, hurled at the Appointments Secretaries who provide the secret intelligence on all candidates.

While we should not shed too many tears for the secretaries, they can scarcely take all the blame as they wade through the orthodox free zone of clip-board carrying jobsworths and apparatchiks that comprise the bishops promotion lists. How were they to know that Esther Langrish was a Priestess Too Far?

New Directions Too

A would-be subscriber to our magazine placed an order for it at his local corner-shop newsagent. The Asian proprietor, knowing the gentleman to be a regular churchgoer, gave him a big wink and said, “Not you as well!”.

The orthodox customer assumed that this meant a good number of the local flock were getting their copies from this source.

Imagine his surprise when, a week later, the newsagent handed him a glossy photo magazine with two scarcely clad ladies on the cover in a gymnastic position complete with a legend inviting him to participate in a mixture of the impossible and the unhygienic. The title of this porn sheet? “?New Directions”.

In the interests of safe theology, order yours from 7, Tufton Street, London SW1P 3QN

Energy Crisis

Parishioners worried by the stressed out and apparently exhausted state of many of their clergy may be shocked by the reasons. According to a recent report to the American Psychological Association, Dr. John Thoburn, a former vicar, claims his research questionnaires point to alarming conclusions. The eight year study amongst Protestant clergy revealed that one in six was committing adultery, one in six fancied other men, fifty per cent used pornography and ten per cent went to strip joints and/or prostitutes.

This behaviour, only four per cent of which is confessed, is apparently caused by pressure of work! Must be quite hard to fit work into such a punishing schedule.

A Song of the ACC

Our Wee Free correspondent, the Irreverend W. McGonagall writes:

Diminutive cathedral town on the banks of the Silvery Tay,
I am really very sorry to say,
That the Archbishop of South East Asia and Bishop of Singapore, the Rt Revd Moses Tay
Will be staying away
From the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in 1999
Which will be remembered for a very long time.

There are fifteen more verses. A full text is available from: Canon John Peterson, Partnership House, 157 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UT.