Saturday, 19 July 2008

Lambeth Secrecy

As no one knows what is happening at Lambeth 2008, now known affectionately as 'The Circus', we are all forced to make it up due to the cordon sanitaire.

Well we did get nice pictures of arrivals. Here is one of personnel from my neck of the woods:

This is what happened on the second retreat session:

Rowan Williams [He opens the morning session]: As part of introducing Better Bishops, in that we are all on the road and can never be wholly situated on one part of the road, my staff, who I understand are affectionately known as the God-Food Squad - something to do with LamPal apparently - have arranged a number of visiting speakers. In the spirit of my predecessor, and in some continuation with this gathering ten years ago, an invitation has been made to a Todd Bentley. Is there a Todd Bentley here? I confess I have never met him but he is here to continue to underline the meaning of my Advent Letter last year. Todd Bentley?

Bishop John Mcintyre [Shout outs out from the gathering with his Australian accent]: He's been comparing notes with the wife!

A man full of tattoos comes running up the aisle.

Rowan Williams: Who is that man? Can security come and, er, throw this thug out? Help... I mean, of course, we should pray for minorities and show no violence at any quarter to those we oppress, but we don't want riff raff in and this is supposed to be closed off...
Todd Bentley: I am Todd Bentley.
Rowan Williams: Good grief. Are you the right one?
Todd Bentley: Are you the hairy biker round here? What's wrong with you?
Rowan Williams: There is plenty wrong with me but not for this moment.
Todd Bentley: I hear that sometimes you wanna sleep foetal position.
Rowan Williams: That was an interview for the press. Why are you staring at me? Are you going to discuss the Bible for us? Why are you shaking your head like that? No?
Todd Bentley: You ain't goin' a wanna be like that no more! You ain't gonna do that no more!
[Two people come behind Rowan Williams. Bentley puts out his arm, points his finger.]
Todd Bentley: Bam!
Rowan Williams [He looks quizzical: he does not move but is reminded of something]: Ah yes, the theology of "Bam", perhaps you will tell us all about it.
[The two people behind Rowan Williams withdraw. Rowan Williams goes to sit down]

[15 minutes later]

Todd Bentley: I have never, ever, come to such a peculiar place. You lot show no response. When you lot go anna stick your arms in the air?
Rowan Williams [He returns to the front]: I suppose I should thank you but I have not a clue what you were speaking about. I must ask my God-Food Squad what they think they were doing inviting you.
Todd Bentley: I'm going back to Florida.
[Greg Venables comes forward, to take him away] Greg Venables: We have some uses for you where I come from.
[Two people approach behind Venables]
Todd Bentley: Where you come from? [His head starts shaking side to side]
Greg Venables: We gathered in Jerusalem.
Todd Bentley [He puts his arm out]: That's one nice place. Bam!
[Venables falls back and is caught, and his eyes are glazed over]
Rowan Williams: Extraordinary. I will have to write about this.
[Venables leaves, taking Bentley by the arm]
Rowan Williams: Well, yes. Well tomorrow we start with a presentation from a Rod Parsley, called, I am told, 'The Bee Eye Bee Elle Ee' and, apparently, we shall all be offering a collection and will receive a free gift. I do not remember seeing this in the Lambeth Reader, I confess.
[There is a pause as he looks around for a copy but returns without one]
Rowan Williams: Is my staff trying to sabotage me? Well I suggest we all go and meet one another from our Indaba groups now so that no one will know what anyone else is doing. Thank you for now.
[The Bishops all clap as they are keen to show the Archbishop support]

I suggest that this is the most accurate report to come out of the Lambeth Conference so far.

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