Monday, 6 December 2010

Radio Chadderbox on the Abstainer

Peter Levite: Here at Radio Chadderbox's religious slot we seem to be stuck with the Anglican Covenant again, with the revelation - it has to be said - all about which bishop abstained. And he is with us among our guests - IT WAS YOU WASN'T IT [shouting], and he can enlighten us on this matter and anything else related. So welcome to you Bishop Jones James, one time Bishop of Wykkyfish indeed, where we are based, and also to the Reverend Lesley Bloke, a lowly curate and leader of the anti-Covenant bloggers, visiting our part of the world, and to our Archbishop John Sendmehome, who we hope will represent the argument in favour.

John Sendmehome: There must be a shortage of plumbers round here.

Peter Levite: Oh here we go. Why?

John Sendmehome: All the Wikileaks going on. There are so many Wikileaks it could cause terrorists to go on a nuke hunt, you know.

Peter Levite: Oh crumbs, that's another radio apology needed. Listeners, this is a consequence of live radio. Just don't do it again, right, Archbishop. Anyway, look, never mind leaks, there'll be floods when this lot of snow melts. Come on Bishop Jones James, why did you do it, or not do it? You said nothing at the time, after all.

Jones James: I'm in some doubt about the Anglican Covenant. I can see the argument for it, and for more cohesion, but not sure about its relational consequences and whether it excludes.

Peter Levite: You could have voted to pass it on to the dioceses for discussion: yes or no?

Jones James: Well I'm not sure whether we should take a decision about it. Passing it to the dioceses is all right, but the Synod has the right to make decisions.

Peter Levite: You weren't deciding anything: you don't seem to be very sure about it at all.

Jones James: It's all very high level stuff, you know, but it could have consequences lower down by the suggestion we can't manage ourselves when we take account - perhaps as we should - of what other Anglican Churches are thinking at the higher level about matters that concern us.

Peter Levite: I'll come back to you. Lesley Bloke, you must be disappointed that John Sackme, who is so against the Covenant, but said keep talking as long as there is no final decision, ACTUALLY VOTED FOR [shouting again].

Lesley Bloke: Bit of a surprise, but he was clearly in favour of open-ended faith and not the closed religion represented by the Covenant - just like me actually.

Peter Levite: Tell me something, Lesley Bloke. When we here were trainees or at hospital radio, we were never the international conveners of anything. We did well to keep our mouths shut.

John Sendmehonme: That train in the fog, it could have kept its mouth shut, with that puffa cough it developed.

Peter Levite: What? Lesley Bloke, it took me years to become the hard-hitting, confrontational, local journalist that I am now. How come you are the international president of the anti-covenant campaign when you are just a lowly curate in some hard to find rural ministry in the middle of nowhere?

Lesley Bloke: It's a road of honesty via the means of blogging your secrets to the world, starting with a parish website and a blog, your own blog and then something to campaign about.

Peter Levite: You seem to be so sure about this, but not so sure about other things according to your is it now twenty five different blogs you run?

Lesley Bloke: You don't need to be an intellectual to understand the euphemism of "relational consequences". That's dead clear if nothing else is. But it helps if you can see how your own life has gone via blogging with such a pseudo-marriage contract as the Anglican Communion Covenant. It may as well be a divorce notice. After all, if you don't have good relations, there's no point having a contractual bit of paper.

John Sendmehome: I've heard people describe the proposed Covenant as fastidious. Well, The Episcopal Church is too fast, and, now they've voted in Synod, the Church in England is tedious.

Peter Levite: Let's just get away from this marriage talk, but I must keep it personal.

John Sendmehome: Good idea. After all, a satellite dish and a wideband aerial on a house decided to get married. Not coming to our Church the ceremony was rubbish but the reception was excellent.

Lesley Bloke: I like a man who makes me laugh.

John Sendmehome: My wife and I agree never to go to bed angry with each other. I'm ever so tired.

Peter Levite: I put it to you, Jones James, that the reason you abstained was not because you couldn't make your mind up, but because of your own unending ambition. You want to be the other fellow with your colleague here, John Sendmehome. In other words, we have two high fliers here climbing the ecclesiastical greasy pole and one lowly church assistant.

Jones James: Well, bloggers don't have a good track record when it comes to the functioning clergy. I would say to Lesley Bloke that we have a responsibility in making our promises and managing our appearances. Yes, I was Bishop of Wykkyfish for a short period and I did get myself into the press a lot and on your radio programme, Peter. We must make contact with the people and be representative. But I have to serve my greater constituency, and that's why I went west. Now just suppose, then, that Rowanov Treetri's Covenant isn't passed by enough Churches around the world, suppose that the Gafconers ignore it, suppose the Americans run rings round it, suppose even our own dioceses don't like it - and yet the whole bench of bishops has given loyal support, and the Communion has gone along with the process. Who would there then be to give leadership? And what about the churchmanship...

Lesley Bloke: Churchship?

Jones James: Yeah, I could go along with that. I mean, when you think about it, the future isn't liberal at all. That's gone now, but the evangelical position has to be flexible.

Peter Levite: Are you that flexible friend? Are you like Winston Churchill waiting in the wings? But, if you are, he made speeches.

Jones James: But we are supposed to listen. I have been doing exactly the sort of listening that we should all be doing. A Churchill yes had to be at the side, in the wings.

John Sendmehome: Ah yes.

Jones James: Come the moment, then, to change policy, comes the man.

Peter Levite: Come on, be honest, you have no limits to your ambition. So why not SAY SOMETHING THEN?

Jones James: [Getting quieter] I've addressed the issue of honesty. To be clear, however, now is not the time to rock the boat, but to be like the season of Advent in one's outlook. Yes, the Anglican Communion is a marriage of sorts, but this marriage may need a counsellor who is not too close to any of the parties.

John Sendmehome: Ah the process and progress of marriage - it's very Christian you know. Baptism is like the engagement ring; confirmation, like the wedding ring; then the very life itself, which is suffering. Marriage, it gets to the heart of our souls.

Peter Levite: I don't follow.

John Sendmehome: Our souls. All right, I won't push it all over you.

Peter Levite: Archbishop, just about every week you invite yourself on to my programme and do nothing but come up with drivel and rubbish. You are now trying to get me off the air. Well I'm going to have to ask you to leave.

John Sendmehome: Look, before you crucify me, put yourself in my shoes. I cannot match Rowanov Treetri for his political touch, his institutional footwork, his depth of knowledge and the sheer power of his philosophical theology. He is an amazing Kierkagaard whilst I'm just a stupid Kant.

Lesley Bloke: Can't we tell jokes on the radio?

Peter Levite: Yes there is a place for jokes. OK then, do you have a joke? Tell us a joke about relationships then. A Covenant perhaps.

Lesley Bloke: Yes. I have one. A little child says to her mummy, once she's back from work, "Mummy I heard you and daddy making these noises again in your bedroom last night and I saw you bouncing up and down on his tummy." "Ah," said his mother, embarrassed. "Well daddy is getting a bit fat, isn't he, so I bounce up and down on him to make him go a bit thinner again." "Well that won't work," said the young boy. "Why not?" she asked. "Because Mrs White next door comes during the afternoons and blows him up again."

Peter Levite: Right, that's it. Get out. All over. Please all of you get out of my studio. Where are you George Hudson?

George Hudson: Stuck on a snow covered Howden Station, and hardly any visibility.

Peter Levite: What's the weather like? Hang on the line is dead. Quick. Lara Crofter in Grimfish, put on a CD quickly. Oh she can't hear me, I need to pull my knob first.

Lara Crofter: That's right Peter. Peter, honestly, we were told that in hospital radio. You can't get me in your studio or you in my studio until you pull your knob back. Hi everyone, it's your Lara with the mascara and this is The Beautiful South.


Lesley said...

LOL - at least I get a joke this week :)

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Careful. John Sendmehome might retire with hurt feelings.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Wonderful, Adrian, a real tonic in the cold weather. Yes, it's cold even down here in south Louisiana.