Saturday, 7 April 2012

At Southwark Farm

Peter Levite: Down in the London studio I have a number of people waiting to talk to me. It's all about the diocese of South Park.

Bishop Chestnut: South Wark is pronounced Suthurk anyway.

Peter Levite: So that was Bishop Chest...

Bishop Chestnut: Sounds like Bishop Chessnut.

Peter Levite: Well what you sound like is what people there are saying. The Suthurk Diocesan Evangelical Unification Group held a meeting because they say they are being ignored. Is that right Stephen Kuhrtsey? Why don't you stop complaining and curtsy to your bishop?

Stephen Kuhrtsey: The point is that in most dioceses Evangelicals are doing well, and might even be the majority. Here we are not doing so well, but we have the concentration of numbers who put their hands into their pockets.

Peter Levite: What do they do with their hands in their pockets? Are they frustrated?

Stephen Kuhrtsey: No, they take them out again with money, and deposit the money. So it is about time the purse started pulling the strings.

Chris Skilbeck: You might be forgetting the liberal Catholics.

Peter Levite: Chris Skilbeck, Archdeacon. You met these evangelicals.

Bishop Chestnut: I applaud the fact that we have these meetings where everyone pulls together.

Stephen Kuhrtsey: They keep promoting revisionists on all sorts of matters, including those promotions of so many who are working to revise the Church's traditional position on sexuality.

Bishop Chestnut: I am so grateful so many people turned up and showed their desire to pull together.

Annie Sugden: Aye lad but down in't farm tha calls the Church...

Peter Levite: Annie Sugden, continue.

Annie Sugden: ...lahk in Beckindale, tha lambs are supposed t'be shepherded bah thems we approve of, lahk, and tha's not givin them raht shepherds fair crack o'twhip, and if tha's not then we'll afta look abroad for us owen.

Stephen Kuhrtsey: Just let me list the names of those promoted. There's the Bishop of Croydon, Jonathan Shoes; the Bishop of Woolwich, Dr Michael Ipcressfile; the Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew None; the acting Arch­deacon of Southwark, Canon Dianna Gurgurgur-Gwanville; the Sub-Dean, Canon Bruce Chicken-Nugget; and the Diocesan Director of Ordinands, Canon Philippians Marlowe. They are all liberals.

Chris Skilbeck: You might be forgetting the liberal Catholics.

Stephen Kuhrtsey: They're liberals: like a horse is a horse whatever its breed, but then the question is: 'What is a Zebra?' When is a bunch of grapes a bag of marbles?

Peter Levite: Your lot voted against the Covenant! Heftily!

Stephen Kuhrtsey: This was a sad time for the diocese. We fail to see the higher level issues with all these localistic liberals and their obsession with Henry VIII. Our 10 clergy for, if 27 against, our 21 laity for, if 32 against, was nevertheless a moral victory for the Covenant, for its vision international, and no bishop here opposed it.

Peter Levite: You like the diocesan bishops when it suits you, then.

Annie Sugden: Nay lad.

Peter Levite: Are you really Annie Sugden, or is this a disguise? Can't get one past me, you know.

Bishop Chestnut: We try to see the higher level issues in place as well as keeping the bishops together. I am here for everyone: a focus of unity. But I cannot be a focus of unity if people start organising their own networks of bishops, colleges, fellowships, ministers and churches.

Stephen Kuhrtsey: Exactly bishop: so when we speak why don't you listen? Don't you recognise the inevitabilites of Church geography? We are supposed to like our bishops, but I have to say, bishop, that after a good hour of people making their points, you responded without clarity.

Bishop Chestnut: How to maintain unity. Humm. As I say we try to keep the bishops together and a lead has been indicated in how not necessarily to undermine the explanations of unclarity as indeed as not exactly unsuggested by the retiring Archbishop.

Stephen Kuhrtsey: In that meeting your points were general and rather vague in your hopes for the diocese.

Bishop Chestnut: I am so grateful so many people showed their desire to pull together.

Stephen Kuhrtsey: So you are not necessarily capable of under­standing Evangelical concerns.

Bishop Chestnut: Is that not necessarily capable or not necessarily incapable?

Stephen Kuhrtsey: It is not necessarily your fault; you seem to have very few people around to help you with this. So being kind and drippy, I'd blame the others. If you promoted an evangelical, like me, you might have someone who not necessarily fails to understand. But let me be less drippy. You couldn't have done more to encourage separatist movements in the diocese. It is your fault. Recognise how the glaciers are coming down the hillside.

Annie Sugden: We thinks we'll afta look fawwad to gettin' mower ordinations by ower owen bishops from t'other pastures, tha knows. Tha's t'new Fellowship o' Confessing Anglicans to organise mower and ta get tha moneys going into ower pockets lahk for us own colleges 'n' ministries.

Chris Skilbeck: Let's be clear. Out of the 25 churches that paid a hundred grand each year 11 were Evangelical, paying £1.9 million, and 14 were liberal Catholic, dishing up £2.6 million.

Stephen Kuhrtsey: That's as maybe. But what we don't want is the likes of Andrew None preaching on the word "inclusive" when what we want is to promote a much narrower biblical gospel that puts to the front what people do round the back and should not. That's the issue and if we don't promote more people like me then you'll end up having more Annie Sugdens or whatever he is called.

Peter Levite: Thank you all. Where are you George Hudson?

George Hudson: I'm at a pub opposite Kings Cross about to go to Southwark. I don't think I'll bother now. It's getting colder and wetter with these Cumulo Evangelico clouds gathering.

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