Forward in Faith’s own Master of Ceremonies and unofficial R.S.M. was in the news recently when the beam supporting the solitary bell of St Martin and St Wilfrid’s Brighton gave way during Evensong.

Canon Beaumont Brandie, for it is he, was appealing for mercy when the clanger dropped and the congregation had to go like the clappers before they were recast as martyrs. At least that’s the tabloid version of events.

In reality, while the frame ripped down the roof and landed in the garden and the half ton bell lodged in a bell cote crevice with an appalling crash, Fr Brandie completed the absolution, extinguished the candles and led the congregation, in a dignified manner, to safety. Members of Forward in Faith will know which version to believe.

In the sanctuary as at the National Assembly – “No-one moves until Beau says Go.”


Girls…… Have you wondered why you’ve got a crush on the vicar? Why, in spite of all physical evidence to the contrary, he gives off an overwhelming and scarcely resistible sex appeal?

The Sunday Times Magazine (12th October 1997) inadvertently gave the game away thus:
“Fashions come and go but when a man wears black he is tapping into a potency that has for centuries created the aura of masculine power. Hipness, authority, glamour, danger, grief, anarchy, aloofness, sex – you name it – black stands for it. Black is mystery, wisdom and subversion. Above all, it is strength – no man ever looked pretty in black. And before you ask, yes, it’s true: black is the new black!”

Now it’s been revealed in the bible of the chattering classes, clerical outfitters should stand by for a slump in the sales of blue, brown, pink and floral print clerical shirts.


While “Slick Willy” Clinton, America’s favourite soap opera, continues to avoid being sunk by allegations of Whitewater, mysterious “suicides”, Asian “Bungs” and a legion of sexual improprieties, poor Al Gore, the Vice President is sinking even deeper into the waste product of the ventilation system.

T.V. footage of three Buddhist nuns telling a Senate enquiry how they “donated” (i.e. laundered) 15,000 dollars of temple money to the re-election campaign at a California dinner for Gore could be the writing on the wall.

Gore, a one time hot favourite to succeed the “Teflon Kid” in the White House, is now the butt of some insensitive religious humour.
QU: “What do you think Al Gore would like to be in his next life?”
ANS: “President of the United States.”


Those who have “crossed the Tiber” with such enthusiasm in the last five years may be wondering if it isn’t, at times, a frying pan / fire situation. Opportunities for exciting feminist revisionism abound – even in holy catholic Ireland!

St Mary’s Teacher Training College now train their students not to use words like Mummy and Daddy to the children in their classrooms. In order to get alongside “the real situation”, Regina O’Callaghan, R.E. lecturer, suggests such phrases as:
“the adults who live in your house” and “the people who look after you”.

Alert catholics will realise that whole areas of our faith suffer from insensitive and outdated familial and religious presuppositions. 30 Days respectfully offers them this familiar devotion rewritten for the real situation, ongoing, now.

“Hello Mary full of good things. The adult who lives in your house is concerned about you. You are in solidarity with other women and so is the one you are genetically responsible for. Holistic Mary, the person who looks after the non paternalistic she/he who looks after us, think positive thoughts about us in a non-judgmental way now and at the time of our last out of the body experience. O.K.”


Enthusiastic sacramentalists will be thrilled by the latest news from Oxford diocese.

For some time now various diocese have allowed “experimental areas” where under-age pre-confirmation children can receive communion. When the House of Bishops tried to end this experiment they were rebuffed by the parishes concerned who, quite understandably, thought the sudden excommunication of children might not be widely understood.

Now Oxford has decided to pioneer wholesale a new eucharistic approach. Children will be able to receive communion from the age of 4!

Traditionalist parishes wishing to be in the vanguard of the Crèche Communion Movement will have to write to the diocese for examples of helpful pre-school eucharisitic prayers but we understand there is likely to be a rush on Father’s Rusks, Ribena and the new Tommee Tippee unspillable chalice.


Never a dull moment at St Paul’s. Canon Michael Saward, scourge of the orthodox, is publishing a book of 24 sermons called, “These are the facts.”

The Old Testament is compared to a blockbuster film – full of sex and violence, “cruelty and coitus”. The Immaculate Conception gives the pensionable Canon an opportunity to speculate on the whereabouts of “Mr Sperm and Ms Ovum” and the Song of Songs, with all its references to thighs and breasts must have the Evensong congregation doubling their blood pressure pills as the candid Canon discourses on this “luscious erotic poem.”

One national newspaper correspondent told her readers that these were the kind of simple down to earth sermons that Dr Carey is hoping to establish as the norm in the C of E.

Exciting times ahead eh!?


A family visiting St Paul’s on All Souls’ Day were astonished and outraged to find a couple having sex on the floor behind the American Memorial.

Quite why anyone would have sex on their mind while going round a cathedral is a mystery.