Thursday, 28 July 2011

Barn Conversion's Bicycle

Edward Barn Conversion Writes from the Tour of Rome

I was very pleased the other year to be given the asnonymous gift of a bicycle, and I was furiously pedalling backwards as I do when I realised the bicycle was one of those that puts the brakes on when you do that.

It reminded me of my friends in Backward in Belief and indeed I rather think the bicycle came from one of them, as I notice the model several times chained up outside the meetings.

Nevertheless, I thought this is just the sort of bicycle that I could pedal backwards into the ordinariate, now that I was free at last, free at last, with the lay woman, a lovely lady in flowing frock, in the bike shop having got her spanner out and put the brakes on the front motion and the wheeling possible on the back motion. I can now pedal backwards to my heart's content.

However, I have since discovered that the wheels of the bicycle have special tyres on that are indeed very slippery on Roman roads, and it looks like I might have to give the bicycle up. I was hoping too to hitch up a trailer and put on some Anglican booty and cycle it trailer first into the ordinariate shed. However, the special foundation tyres make this impossible, though some people say it depends which way round they go on.

I suppose with the bicycle as it was we simply cannot take it or any of the booty, and indeed I only imagine I am a bishop now, as I wasn't one once when I thought I was, unless I was in a Protestant sense, and being Protestant is highly inadequate as I may as well have been consecrated by the descendents of John Wesley.

So the river widens and I wave furiously at my former Anglican friends, many of whom strangely haven't followed me and a few who did may even be going back. I want to stress that this is the only way to be Anglican and Catholic, that is to lock your bicycle in the ordinariate shed, or perhaps give it back, and get a bicycle that looks like the one we had but has more grip on the Roman roads or, as a celibate priest said, who mused that I looked quite muscular after all my reverse cycling, that the Roman roads in fact grip the bicycle.

Indeed we are rather identified with the bicycles ridden in Rome, each priest being regarded as a kind of 'bicycle' by other priests, which is particularly exciting when operating the pump and blowing in some air. Yes I know we or you Anglicans did that too, pumping furiously. I notice now around quite a few bicycles for children, though actually some of them are prevented from riding these, having gained the experience beforehand. Though I think some still do behind the bike sheds.

I remember what fun we had in the last days of Anglicanism as a Catholic in a Protestant Church. We went to that GAFF-CON or was it FoCA or was it AMiEr or Maria More? There were lots of boneshaker bicycles and Penny Farthings at that event. Asking about them, the sweaty attenders said they were once delivered from the bike shops and kept the same ever since. In the end that was just a Protestant circus, a velodrome of low life, where we were helping someone else's race. Now I understand that they are coming under the moral leadership of Big Benn and some people from Africa, which means they have a dodgy compass.

Anyway, you Protestant Anglicans, who would be better dressed; if you can make your bicycles work at all, come and park outside my ordinariate shed for a cup of wine (the real thing here, but bring your own and we'll sit outside) as I would still like to persuade a few of you to come over and have a drink.

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