30Days is grateful to old trouper George Austin for news of a report in The Stage newspaper containing new and interesting insights into TEA. We know that no-one from Forward in Faith was consulted in the deliberations. Apparently however, ‘there were a lot of interesting delegates from Europe, the USA and beyond, including the technical directors from several opera houses.’ How wonderful!
Obviously the introduction of women bishops is going to require changes in our church buildings and the report commented that the philosophical debates on ‘how auditorium design can influence the relationship with performers were fascinating.’ Dutch delegates explained that ‘manual handling on the fly floor was a problem’ and our sympathies go with them. Or was this a different TEA?
News from t’North
Ugandan-born Archbishop Sentamu has revealed he has Yorkshire roots. In a recent after-dinner speech at Bishopthorpe Palace, he pointed out this his middle name is Mugabe – ‘which is E ba gum spelt backwards.’ For those unfamiliar with the Yorkshire language, New Directions’ very own stereotypical Yorkshireman, Fr Geoffrey Kirk, explains: ‘E ba gum is an expression of astonishment roughly translated as My word! or Good heavens!’ The Archbishop was obviously so happy with the reception that his revelation enjoyed that he felt moved to repeat it in his Presidential Address to the General Synod last month where, unaccountably, his audience erupted into gales of raucous laughter.
Goodness, Gracious, where?
The Forward in Faith Dean for Scotland (postcode IV3) despatched two boxes of the glossy last night programmes for the recent Brighton and Hove Teaching Week (postcode BN2) on his way to the airport to catch a plane to St Martin’s, Brighton. They were marked for next day delivery. The next day came and went and so a search was instituted; no doubt thanks to a dyslexic computer operator, they had ended up in Kent (postcode CT2).
So far this seems like an understandable (?) mistake, but now the plot thickens. Evidently someone had indeed signed for them the day after they had been despatched and, having taken them into their vicarage, gone away on a clergy conference. After much research a possible plot began to emerge.
Could it be that the signatorix (the local Diocesan Dean of Women’s Ministry) was determined to thwart the plans of that well known ecclesiastical impresario, Canon Beaumont L Brandie, ssc, for a spectacular ending to the Brighton and Hove Teaching Week? Surely she must have realized that it was not her name on the boxes? However, God is not mocked, and her parish is now reportedly seeking a new incumbent!
Let’s hear it for St Leonard’s Church of England Primary School, Exeter who took the courageous step of dropping John Lennon’s song Imagine from a concert because it was not felt to be ‘an appropriate song to perform publicly’. As the liberal press went into paroxysms of righteous anger at this slight to the memory of Blessed John of the Cavern, Head Teacher Geoff Williams gently pointed out that the lyrics begin ‘Imagine there’s no heaven…’
Presbyterians vote for dope
Reports have reached 30Days that Presbyterians in the USA have endorsed access to cannabis for medical purposes. The recent General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church voted to endorse legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients, by passing a resolution ‘urging Federal legislation that allows for its use and that provides for the production and distribution of the plant for those purposes.’
30Days was delighted to read in the Daily Telegraph recently that ‘Baron Pentregarth, of Ceinewydd in the County of Dyfed, is the gazetted name, style and title of the life barony conferred upon the Rt Rev Richard Douglas Harries.’ We are delighted that the noble Lord, having done with full-time pontificating, is to have a hobby to keep him out of mischief during his twilight years, and we trust that he will be kept so busy legislating that he has hardly a spare moment in which to regale the readers of The Tablet with his diverting views on the problems of the CofE.
The Anglican Church of Canada is suffering such a serious decline in membership that it could disappear entirely, according to a report to the House of Bishops. Keith McKerracher, a retired marketing expert who advises the church, published data showing that, between 1961 and 2001, Anglican membership had plunged from 1.36 million to 642,000 – a decline of 53%. McKerracher said the ACC is losing 13,000 members a year and ‘is facing extinction by the middle of this century’.
According to the Canadian 2001 census, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were showing a loss of 8.1%, the Mennonites 7.9% and Pentecostals 15.3%, so it is certainly heart-warming to see our Anglican brothers and sisters across the pond leading the way so very markedly.
Welsh Church news
The headline on Guardian Unlimited – the online version of the newspaper of that ilk – certainly caught the eye, as it trumpeted: Channel 4 puts its faith in the Church.
What could it mean? The return of Priest Idol, perhaps, or maybe Channel 4’s executives had finally taken FiF’s proposal for a Big Brother House of Bishops seriously. (You’d be able to ring up and vote them out!)
But no. It turned out to be the news that Charlotte Church is to have her own chat show. 30Days confidently predicts that it preferred her when she had the voice of an angel.