For T.S. Eliot April was the cruellest month. Eliot wrote before Al Gore had invented global warming and consequent season switch. In 2011 September replaced April in the cruelty charts.
Proof came the first Sunday of September, meeting a couple who’d joined, in April, with great rejoicing, St Bloggas, a local branch of the Ordinariate.
In response to my ‘How’s it going?’ they shouted ‘Going? We’re going!’ Given their new allegiance I said, ‘Of course. A Fatima pilgrimage?’ ‘No, we’re quitting. Coming back to the CofE.’
Understanding dawned. ‘Ah yes. After the coldest summer for many years guess the lack of incense in modern Romanism meant you missed the warmth.’
‘Wrong again. It’s this new Roman Missal. Benedict must have been got at by PBS agents when he came to Britain. Horrible Prayer Book echoes, such as ‘And with thy spirit’. Missal? It’s a missile firing us back to Cranmer’s crap.’
‘But aren’t AC parishes rushing to adopt the new Roman rite?’ I ventured. ‘Of course, but being Anglican Catholics we can choose which bits we like. There’s the added fun of refusing to take part in celebrating the 350th anniversary of the 1662 BCP. Had we stayed in Rome they’d have been flying the flags for that.’
However, the cruel disillusion of the St Blogga’s folk seemed but a September midge bite compared to the wound that could be inflicted on the hitherto triumphant Watchwomen and their episcopal expectations.
Rumour has it that following her Big Brother triumph, Sally Bercow is favourite to become the CofE’s first woman bishop. Having unvested herself in the Palace of Westminster, vesting at Lambeth Palace will be a doddle. What a blow to the ambitions of the Ms Mitres in waiting.
If the rumours are right – for Watching read Weeping?