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Go figure

The publication of the long-awaited (if not eagerly anticipated) Illustrative Draft Code of Practice sent 30DAys scurrying to its office abacus to see how its authors had fared. As a result, we are privileged to announce the following:

The Lord’s Prayer has 70 words;
The Beatitudes have 97 words;
The Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993 has 1,630 words;
The Official Secrets Act 1889 has 1,673 words;
The Complementary Norms to Anglicanorum Coetibus have 1,689;
Anglicanorum Coetibus has 1,762;
The Magna Carta has 4,579 words;
The European Parliament’s Directive 98/44/EC of 6 July 1998 on the Legal Protection of Biotechnological Inventions has 5,177 words;
The Revelation of St John the Divine has 11,972 words . . .
. . . and the Illustrative Draft Code of Practice to be made by the House of Bishops under section 5 of the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure has 12, 879 words.
Evangelism for the masses

Plan to attract more visitors to city cathedral ran the headline, so naturally 30DAys was intrigued. Apparently, Chester Cathedral has been running an online survey to try and find out what would make more people visit it. Cathedral spokesman Nick Fry is quoted as saying: ‘Millions of people come to the city each year, but only a relatively small number find their way into the cathedral. How can more of these visitors be encouraged to come in and look around this amazing place? What facilities do they want and how can the cathedral best meet their needs?’ Fascinated, 30DAys rushed to take part, only to find that the meat of the survey – Question 11 – was something of a let-down:

What would encourage you to visit Chester Cathedral? (Please select)

Better Visitor Facilities – Café, Shop, Toilets
Special Events
Better Information
Better Displays and Exhibitions
Unique Attraction
Opening Central Tower and Upper Galleries
Family Event(s)
Special “One Off” Exhibitions
Exterior of the Building
Other (please specify)
Unable to vote for ‘Preaching the Faith delivered to us by the Apostles’ without resorting to the indignity of Other, we decided, in the best traditions of investigative journalism, to make our excuses and leave.

Headline of the year

Full marks to the Hull Daily Mail for this January offering: Man banned from talking to his vicar for 10 years. Sadly, it turns out to be something of a con, as the ‘vicar’ in question turns out to be a Methodist Minister, but nevertheless the story will at least give the Illustrative Draft Code of Practice Working Party a whole new approach to consider if they have to go back to the drawing board after this month’s General Synod. Following the example of the Revd Robert Amos, who felt constrained to obtain an ASBO to prevent a local blogger from bothering him, it really ought to be possible for a bishop to do the same to a recalcitrant parish . . .

Chilling News

A shock press release from the LGB&T Anglican Coalition (that’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender for those of you not up in these things), to the effect that – wait for it! – a ‘limited survey’ by the Coalition has already revealed that ‘almost 100’ Church of England churches would want to explore registering their buildings to offer Civil Partnerships if the poor old homophobic Church of England would only allow it. (Almost 100? Well, 95 actually.)

Over to Canon Giles Goddard, Priest in Charge of S .John, Waterloo (the headquarters of WATCH, don’t you know), a member of the Coalition and Chair of InclusiveChurch who is quoted as saying: ‘The 95 churches we have identified are the tip of the iceberg’. Given that the Church of England has over 16,000 churches and that something like 85% of the average iceberg is below the surface of the sea, it’s clear that Canon Goddard’s grasp of mathematics leaves something to be desired! Still, only another 2,305 to go, Giles . . .

Stop Press

News has just reached us of the answer to all the Illustrative Draft Code of Practice Working Party’s prayers: an entirely new Church into which traditionalists could easily be shunted. The BBC News Website takes up the story:

‘The Swedish government agency Kammarkollegiet finally registered the Church of Kopimism as a religious organisation shortly before Christmas, the group said. We had to apply three times,” said Gustav Nipe, its chairman.

The church, which holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V (shortcuts for copy and paste) as sacred symbols, does not directly promote illegal file sharing, focusing instead on the open distribution of knowledge to all. It was founded by 19-year-old philosophy student and leader Isak Gerson. He hopes that file-sharing will now be given religious protection. “For the Church of Kopimism, information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore copying is central for the organisation and its members,” he said in a statement. “Being recognised by the state of Sweden is a large step for all of Kopimi. Hopefully this is one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution,” he added.’ And you thought the Porvoo Agreement was dotty?

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