From the Board Room

Cardboard Fabrications Ltd

Dear Sir / Madam,

We are sure you have already come across our extremely popular cardboard products: Police cars (to discourage speeding), and Policemen (to deter shoplifters).

Following the success of these, we are pleased to announce that we can now offer Cardboard Clergy.

The cardboard vicar is invaluable to hard-pressed Readers during an interregnum (we hear you have one), or the incumbent’s many holidays and sabbaticals.

They are life-size, and come in male and female models, each in high, low or middle-of-the-road versions. Our latest model, a charismatic vicar, comes with arms that can spring up and down. It is especially effective when stood in the pulpit.

Field trials have shown that when a cardboard vicar was installed without the congregation knowing, 40% of those later questioned had noticed no difference, and 25% said there was a considerable improvement. We hope to have the cardboard bishop available soon, which can be placed in a diocese when the real Bishop is in the House of Lords, or on holiday.

Trial models have been installed in General Synod for some time without being detected. One was said to have made an excellent speech on the Ordination of Women.

Work on the cardboard archdeacon has been abandoned, because market research has shown that no one actually wants the real thing, and there would therefore be no demand for a substitute.

However, our cardboard congregation is now on the market, and selling very well. Its response to sermons is indistinguishable from the real thing. It has the positive advantage that, when volunteers are called for, no one makes a dash for the door. In some churches, there has been a marked improvement in singing.

All the cardboard we use is recycled from PCC and General Synod papers, thus enhancing the usefulness of these institutions to the Church of England by an estimated 75%.

Furthermore, the judicious deployment of cardboard clergy could reduce your Diocesan Quota by up to 50%. We commend our quality products for the consideration of all Readers, and existing members of the congregation, and hope that you will find them just what you are looking for.

RJB.V. Card (Managing Director)