Cock and Bull

Many thanks to the Daily Telegraph for this gem from a profile of Watch Chairman, General Synod stalwart and BBC Radio monopolist Christina Rees: ‘I had scrambled peacock eggs for breakfast,’ said Christina, over her shoulder, as she stepped inside. ‘I need all the primal peacock energy I can get, to do battle with the bishops!’ It’s interesting but hardly surprising to note, of course, that Mrs Rees keeps a flock of birds where it is the male of the species that lays the eggs. Presumably all her peahens are holding down well-paid jobs in PR.

So cool

News that Truro Cathedral is to replace Evensong one Sunday with ‘an evening of worship led by an Elvis impersonator’, as part of a series of alternative services involving line-dancing and country and western music, is reportedly a response by the Chapter to its fear that traditional services have only ‘limited appeal’. Apparently, Canon Perran Gay, the Chancellor of the Cathedral, will give a talk on Presley’s spiritual side and meditate on the significance of the lyrics. ‘We want this to be partly like an Elvis gig and partly like an act of worship,’ he said. 30Days particularly looks forward to his take on such classics as Devil in Disguise, Kissin’ Cousins, Crying in the Chapel and, of course, (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear. Rock on!


Readers of the Church Times were variously outraged or amused by its cover photo following the York Synod, which showed three young ladies demonstrating their support for women bishops. Unfortunately for the brave lasses, the dressing-up box was short of mitres that day, so they had turned to the sort of inventive cardboard solution that Blue Peter would have recommended and a jolly good job they did of it too. Which is why it is odd to read on the Watch website: ‘Watch is very pleased to note the support given to the cause of women bishops by young people at the York General Synod, as evidenced by the photograph on the front page of the Church Times for 14 July, but was not responsible for their actions nor for the ensuing press interest.’ Now, if Watch wasn’t responsible, who on earth can it have been? In the best traditions of Cluedo, 30Days can only speculate: Mrs Peacock, perhaps, in the dressing room with a pair of scissors?

Opinion forming

Many thanks to the 30Days reader who drew our attention to some of the more curious past results in the Church Times online ‘Question of the week’. Amongst all the more predictable opinions:

Taken as a whole are the bishops worth the money? Yes: 63% No: 37%

Should faith schools be phased out?

Yes: 75% No: 25%

Is Dr Williams’s vision for the Anglican Communion the right one?

Yes: 31% No: 69%

~ were a number of more surprising, not to say encouraging, ones:

Do you believe that the immaculate conception and the assumption are ‘consonant with scripture?

Yes: 87% No: 13%

Should the Church now invest in brewing and distilling?

Yes: 53% No: 47%

~ and one which can only cause a huge sigh of relief, given the average reader of Jezebel’s Trumpet:

Would you strip off for art?

Yes: 29% No: 71%

~ and finally two on which words fail us:

Does your pet pray with you?

Yes: 77% No: 23%

Do you pray with your pet?

Yes: 51% No: 49%

Let there be light

Spare a thought for the residents at 73 Nicolson Street, Greenock, in Renfrewshire, who are living in the dark, thanks to a 35 foot high tree growing in the grounds of the adjoining United Reformed Church. Tenant Cameron Strachan, who lives on the ground floor, said: ‘We’re fed up with light being blocked and with insects getting in if we open our windows because the branches are now so close to the building. The Church claim the Council and our Landlord are quite happy with the tree. We are not and we think something should be done about it’. Given that the Landlord is the Oak Tree Housing Association, you might have though that he’d have realised he was on a hiding to nothing, but the good news is that the Church has at last agreed to do the necessary, ‘as an act of good neighbourliness’, provided that the tenants pay in advance for the work to be done by its contractor. (For those interested in stereotyping, Renfrewshire is located in Scotland.)

The stuff of which . . .

The lesbian couple whose lawsuit led to legal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts have announced that they have separated. They were ‘married’ in May, 2004, by a Unitarian Universalist minister and their (sic) daughter, Annie, now 10, served as ring-bearer and flower girl. Now, a spokesman said, for Annie’s sake, the unhappy couple want privacy. (Presumably it was also for Annie’s sake they courted all that publicity two – yes, just two – years ago.)

Listen up, ladies!

Meanwhile, take a look at (‘If you don’t have a King James Bible, you don’t have a Bible!’ ‘Liquor is the liquid devil’ ‘The rosary is blasphemy!’) and, in particular, at its Women’s Page. Amongst its many diverting articles, 30Days loved the one called Christian Women and Sports, where we learn that that ‘sport greatly hinders the development of godly, Biblical, feminine character. Parents today expend extraordinary amounts of time and energy taking their daughters from one sports event to another, week after week, even to the point where it exhausts the family and family resources. The fruits we see are that today’s Christian women are often ill-prepared to be Biblically obedient wives and mothers. . . . we should keep our daughters away from competitive sports and spend our time training them how to be Biblically feminine women, wives and mothers.’ And they call Forward in Faith misogynist?