Is nothing sacred?

30Days was diverted to learn from The Daily Telegraph that a Canadian academic, Shauna Wilton, has recently completed research on a series of books which, she claims, demonstrate a lamentable failure ‘adequately to represent women’, owing to their ‘conservative political ideology’. The books’ right-wing politics show their heroes ‘punished if they show initiative or oppose change’ and (naturally) they ‘highlight the class divide’. The object of her ire? The Railway Series by the Revd W.V. Awdry – better known to most of us, of course, as the Thomas the Tank Engine books. Ms Wilton added

‘The female characters weren’t necessarily portrayed any more negatively than the male charaters or the male trains, but they did tend to play more secondary roles and they’re o«en portrayed as being bossy or know-it-alls.’

Well, quite.

Bah, humbug

Christmas is, of course, just gone but we can’t let its passing go by without drawing attention to two first-rate initiatives to prolong its twelve days to a period worth talking about. Second prize goes to Ely Cathedral which, according to a letter published in The Daily Telegraph, had its Christmas Tree on display in the nave (complete with flashing blue lights) in October. That might be just a tad early (like about two months) but, to be fair, it was only the one tree.

St George’s, Whyke, in Chiche£er, had no less than forty-three trees in the church during the week before Advent (with some hung upside-down from the roof to ensure they would all fit). Oh, and a skating rink (sponsored by the Co-operative Funeral Service) where the nave used to be. Ripon College, Cudesdon-trained Parish Priest Stuart Craduck (‘eccentric’ – The Daily Mail; ‘barmy’ – The Sun) celebrated the Parish Mass on skates but later conceded:

‘Some did stay away, but I just think it was something they couldn’t relate to. The church is a sacred place to people and this event didn’t fit with their idea of what they come here for.’

Watch this space!

Hands up all of you who thought that WATCH stood for Women and the Churc” (proprietor: Mrs C. Rees). How wrong you all are! Ap–arently, it really stands for World Against Toys Causing Harm – a first-rate Stateside organisation which publishes each year a list of the world’s most dangerous toys. The real WATCH is a Massachuse±s charitable non-proit corporation, founded in 1968 by one Edward M. Swartz, a nationally known trial lawyer and child safety consumer advocate. We look forward to the no doubt inevitable litigation which is bound to follow now that we have helpfully pointed out to him the confusion being engendered on this side of the pond by Mrs Rees’ Johnny come lately little set-up.


30Days is grateful to a reader in Oxford for pointing us to The Unofficial Katharine Jefferts Schori Fan Page at for, if he had not, we would never have known about Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Los Angeles. And, if we had never checked out the Holy Nativity website (having been urged to do so by unofficial KJS fan Stacey), we would never have discovered the work of LA artist Steve O’Loughlin. To be specific, we’d never have seen his icon (sic) hanging close to the altar in Holy Nativity. The artist writes,

‘The painting shows an oversized Mary and Jesus stoically witnessing the blessing of the animals event at Holy Nativity. Los Angeles International Airport can be seen in the bac˜ground and many of the people from the parish and the comunity are depicted. On the right hand side church members plant bushes while musicians play. Above Mary float four golden angels. Along each side of the composition are eight figures showing religious and cultural diversity…’

And who should we see, bottom right, but Mrs KJS herself complete (of course) with a halo! Presumably yet another manifestation of the cult of Our Lady of Perpetual Litigation…

Divorced from reality

Talking of Los Angeles, the Diocese has of course been much in the news, following the election of its new Su¶ragan Bishop, Canon Mary Glasspool. Glasspool looks set to be the Anglican Communion’s “rst out lesbian bishop and, nee•less to say, there has been such a row that no one has noticed Vicky Gene Robinson for simply weeks!

In response to a reporter’s question about whether she might not receive the necessary consents from other dioceses, diocesan bishop J. Jon Bruno said:

‘That would be a violation of the canons of this church. At our last General Convention, we said we are nondiscriminatory. They just as well might have withheld consent from me because I was a divorced man and in my case, it would have been more justi”ed than in withholding them from someone who has been approved through all levels of ministry and is a good and creative minister of the Gospel.’

So that’s alright, then.

Just deserts?

From The Church Times:

KENNEDY. The Revd Dr Joseph Kennedy, Principal of the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, to be also Hon. Canon of Wakefield Cathedral (Wake”eld).

Copy for 30 Days should reach the FiF office by the 10th day of the month: