Friday 30 July 2010

Radio Eboracum: The Covenant

Host: Good evening to this weeks' What's the Point? discussion forum on Radio Eboracum featuring some of this country's leading bishops. We have the Main Most Reverend Rowanov Treetri, Archbishop of Anglicanism, the Other Most Reverend John Sendmehome, the Archbishop of the North, the retiring scholarly Right Reverend New Testament Wrong, lately Bishop of the North East, the soon to retire Right Reverend John Sackme, Bishop of Imp, and Right Reverend Donald W. M. Troosers, Bishop of Peter Brough.

The subject matter is the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant. A new set of pages has appeared on the Ye Olde Once-Modernist Union of Churchmenpeoplepersons website that give opposition to this Covenant, and the Bishop of Imp is the President of YOOMUC. Bishop Imp, can we start by outlining the Anglican Covenant and why you are President of a pressure group opposing it?

John Sackme: We can. The proposed Anglican Covenant is a document by which Anglican Churches will propose to consult one another and the Instruments of Communion before innovating on any matter thought to be controversial by other Churches and thus bringing together a more coherent Anglican identity.

Host: I thought you were against it?

John Sackme: No, I am a President of YOOMUC which has taken a position regarding the Anglican Covenant but I am not the same as YOOMUC.

Host: So you might be in favour of it?

John Sackme: No, I am a bishop of the Church in England, still active at the moment, which requires me to uphold the faith and order of the Church in England.

Donald W. M. Troosers: I love liberals now. Don't you love liberals now? Such is the breadth of this Church that promoted me. Despite the fact that these liberals are evil, satanic, and undermine the utter reliability of the Word of God and being hung, drawn and quartered is, frankly, too good for them.

Host: John Sackme, does the Covenant not do a job that can uphold the faith and order of the Church in England?

John Sackme: Probably, but if I speak favourably about things it doesn't mean I can't investigate how we can scupper things, for example find out that the thing is illegal according to the faith and order of the Church in England.

Host: How might it be illegal?

John Sackme: The Church in England cannot accept any form of direction from outside itself. It is autonomous, purely a national Church. No direction from abroad.

Host: How do you answer that, Rowanov Treetri?

Rowanov Treetri: The purpose of the Anglican Covenant, the fruit of the Windsor process, is not in particular to direct, demonstrate or purposefully guide any Anglican Church into any direction regarding what it sees as its own canonically correct arrangement of faith and order issues; it is, however, I think reasonably as we are of one Communion, to offer means of process and I suppose to some extent guidance towards some kind of general identity regarding the faith and order that we share, so that ecumenically we can be called of one Church without being a Church, that is to say towards a Catholic faith and order recognisable ecumenically where no one local Church is radically different from any other in terms of its treatment of, say, a tentative but expressive biblical hermeneutic or the development of an essential doctrinal position.

Host: Yes, I think you are saying...

John Sackme: He is saying that the Anglican Covenant is non-binding, but we have to see whether it is.

New Testament Wrong: It's time to back our leader and damn well adopt the thing. There's been enough of this shilly shallying around. It's as clear as any biblical scholarship, and after all I am leading the field, and so we should take it and have it and put your money where your mouths are. Thank God I'm going and getting away from all this.

Host: But if you see whether it is or not binding, it's too late.

John Sackme: No, because it might not be legal, see.

New Testament Wrong: Look, if we are going to spend all this time on the thing, under his leadership, then bloody well let's have it. There's this sort of namby pamby shimby shamby voting here and namby pamby bimby bamby voting there. You put it in your pipe and you smoke it, that's what you do. In, smoke, puff.

Host: You've not spoken, John Sendmehome.

John Sendmehome: I say he is my great friend, who has put up with too much criticism from a horrid, horrid media. Rowanov said to me, "I want to go to Paris." I said, "Eurostar?" He said he wishes he was, but has to make do with being Archbishop.

Host: You agree with Rowanov?

John Sendmehome: Well it's not like a lorry load of tortoises crashing into a train-load of terrapins. That would be a turtle disaster. No, we have Rowanov telling us what the Covenant is and isn't, and I trust the man. Three men start talking to a girl in church. One says, "Hello, I'm Peter but not a saint," and then the next one says, "Me, I'm Paul but not a pope," and then the last one says, "Well, I'm John but not the Baptist," and she replies, "Hello chaps, and I'm Mary but not the virgin."

Host: It's the way you tell 'em Archbishop. The YOOMUC website says that The Covenant would make the Churches more backward-looking by needing to consult biblical texts or church law, not reason or experience, that it would be inward-looking, responding to Anglican bureaucracies not people, increase outside interference via procedures, add to centralisation and hierarchy restricting which beliefs and norms are permitted to Anglicans, hinder ecumenical relations thanks to vetoes by other provinces but sees that at least if the Church in England's General Synod votes against it, it will probably not be viable.

New Testament Wrong: What utter drivel. How dare they? The modernist period in the Church in England, coming to us big time in the 1960s and 1970's, was the worst period I can think of theologically, thankfully reversed since I came along and started selling my books. What Church do they think they're in? The whole point is to consult biblical texts and Church law and we do absolutely restrict which beliefs and norms are permitted to Anglicans. We're not misled like nineteenth century Unitarians or dissenting Quakers, you know. We're Anglicans, proud and true, of the Christian community, and we have a world wide fellowship of Anglican believers too. All that liberal ipsy dipsy tweety twippy claptrap is just a long gone passing phase; we're now back to the good solid red meat of the biblical research I make up as I go along.

Donald W. M. Troosers: But just read the pages of the Bible. I thumb mine so regularly I have to buy several Bibles a year, just for me. It is like honeydew and nectar dripping off the page. Every word gives us guidance for life.

Rowanov Treetri: It is a matter of discerning the latest research and approaching that from within a context of a faithful and, yes I do believe, doctrinal perspective, and of course we are not free simply to determine as we would wish the boundaries of that perspective, at least not in a manner that could contradict the great Councils nor the guidance they have given in the hermeneutic we employ, and this is why consistent with a Covenant that is not directive we ought to do more work as a Communion on the legitimate boundaries of a working hermeneutic. I recognise that there are historical issues and cultural issues too, and these have been tackled by the likes of Frei on the Protestant side and our own regeneration of Platonic insights in a postmodern setting thanks to the boundary marking activities of the likes of John Milbank, Catherine Pickstock, and Graham Ward, producing I think a vibrant and new Anglican-Catholicism, so to lead to me to try to persuade some not to leave. But in recognising these major and of course challenging issues we see that we are closer to one another and ought to recognise that we just about share a common gathering of bishops or at least invite them to come together and thus to edge, ever so gently, towards being more of a worldwide Church than perhaps some are comfortable with.

Host: Not your perspective, John Sackme, being the President of YOOMUC.

John Sackme: What a great teacher we have in Rowanov. Well putting that hosting side to one side, of course we can come to having open discussion and I do settle at the point of affirming the Incarnation, see, and again an open approach to the resurrection, which I fully affirm. Indeed, curiously, I affirm it all, openly, at least until I retire when I might consider all these issues again and think of another book with a snappy title. But, on the other hand, we ought to have the space to be Anglicans in a very broad sense and whether the Covenant is for or against that we will, like I say, have to see. It is the quality of affirming who we are whilst being both for and against, and that is quite the way we are as Anglicans. And I say this as the most radical bishop probably in office today, really pushing the boat out but still wedded to the very same beach that all Anglicans enjoy, clearly without upsetting anybody. It is not like John Robinson or David Jenkins, in that nowadays we know our place and we need to secure our place - that, yes, you can be sort of liberal, if that is what you are, and still to affirm that you are fully loyal to indeed affirm the Anglican cause in our own context. We need to establish that reassurance, you see, which is why the argument against a Covenant is somewhat muted but hope to kick it into touch at the same time via some backroom skullduggery.

Host: We are coming to the end or our time. There will only be a straight vote, not two-thirds. Is that a fix, a set-up?

New Testament Wrong: Dead right too. Get the thing passed. It's not as if it makes great changes, as we move from autonomy to a worldwide fellowship, including faithful believing sorts as among our cousins in Africa and Asia. It is not like women bishops, where we can wait for them - too controversial, where we have to have the dioceses and yes a two thirds vote. No simple majority there, sod that for a game of soldiers. But I want to thank everyone for the support they have given me before I retire and my parting message is that it was a privilege to be at the centre of this Church and to see how this Covenant has been steered along. Well done Rowanov; you're my very good friend mate.

Donald W. M. Troosers: How can one say that Paul did not write the apparently later Pastoral epistles? Who are we to say? No no no, every word, every word is so directed. For 6000 years we have come to a point where we are ready, ready for His return. Are any of you ready?

John Sendmehome: I get what John Sackme is saying, like a pastoral side to let people think. I had a man come to my bishopidge once, and he said, "Bishop, bishop, I haven't eaten for four days," and I said, "Force yourself." He said, "I want a thousand pounds for a cup of coffee." I said that the coffee shop sells it for two pounds, and it's 25p if he goes into a local church. He said, "Yes but I want to drink it in Brazil." And that's how it is with the Covenant - it's like we drink it in Brazil as well and around the world, bringing up together, and yet the Covenant makes it 25 pence local rate. We come closer together. There was a bishop who went abroad on Anglican Communion business, and said there was this very glamorous girl banging on his hotel door all night. Eventually he let her out. I was conducting a wedding once, for a fastidious couple. She was fast and he was hideous. He was always frank and earnest with women. In London, he was Frank and in York he was Ernest. His wife wasn't thick but when she took the dog to school they gave the GCSEs to the dog. She must have had Egyptian blood. He said that every time he tried to kiss her she went, "Tut Tut!"

Host: You might have the wrong radio show here, John. Perhaps you need a phone in show.

John Sendmehome: A man rings a solicitors' and the receptionist answers, "Grabbit, Grabbit, Grabbit and Grabbit." The man says, "Let me talk to Mr. Grabbit." "I'm sorry," she says, "but he's on holiday." "Then let me talk to Mr. Grabbit." "He's in court advising his client's barrister on a big case, and is not available for one week." "Then let me talk to Mr. Grabbit." "I'm afraid it's his day off - he's playing golf today with other solicitors." "Okay, then let me talk to Mr. Grabbit." "Putting you through."

Host: What's that got to do with anything?

John Sendmehome: A vicar called John asks his parishioner at the church door after a service, "Are you alright Michael," and he says, "No, I keep getting headaches." John the vicar says, "Well, when I get a headache, I put my head on my wife's bosom and the pain eases away." "I'll try that," says Michael, and later the vicar returns to the vicarage to find Michael's head lost in the ample cleavage of John's own wife.

Donald W. M. Troosers: Sin. Sin, just sin. What can we do about sin?

John Sendmehome: What the original or the new? Where's me flat cap?

Host: Right, well thank you everyone. Next week we shall discuss: The Creeds: Guidance or Imposition.

John Sackme: Is that 'Imp position' eh John?

John Sendmehome: Stick to the day job, John.

Rowanov Treetri: I haven't a clue what's happening.

Donald W. M. Troosers: You're all lost: you all need to be saved!

John Sendmehome: A fundamentalist went up in a helicopter. It went up to six thousand feet and then came crashing down, and smashed all over a mountain side. They sent the rescue teams out, like. The black box recorder revealed the fundy saying, "It's getting chilly up here, I'm turning the fan off."

Host: Goodbye. Next up on Radio Eboracum is Peter Levite's Yes or No. Get ready to text in.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

My Writing is Horrific

According to a writing analyser, my latest presentation to the Anglican In Depth Group approximated to the style of H. P. Lovecraft. Books exist such as: The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre and Dreams of Terror and Death and The Road to Madness.

So now we know and beware.

Monday 26 July 2010

Anglican Hierarchs on the Highway Code

Anglicans can see the difference between answers in General Synod to instructions on the Highway Code and the Highway Code itself. Imagine if the Church in England in Synod wrote the Highway Code...

Q. Has the Archbishop of Anglicanism considered the impact of traffic signals as contained in the Highway Code and how this is likely to affect those organisations of the Anglican Communion and to which the Church of England contributes members and support?


Traffic light signals and traffic signs. You MUST obey all traffic light signals (see 'Light signals controlling traffic') and traffic signs giving orders, including temporary signals and signs (see 'Signs giving orders', 'Warning signs', 'Direction signs'). Make sure you know, understand and act on all other traffic and information signs and road markings (see 'Signs giving orders', 'Warning signs', 'Direction signs', 'Information signs', 'Road markings' and 'Vehicle markings').

[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10, 15, 16, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 36, 38 & 40]

The Archbishops consider that Anglican Communion personnel are jointly affected when in the UK regarding the Highway Code contents; and read the Highway Code to state that traffic lights indicate which actions should be taken and not taken, and so advise that vehicle drivers should know what actions various signs suggest and how to respond in each particular case. The matter is the same broadly, that is for other information signs and road markings, specifically warning signs, directions signs, information signs, road markings and vehicle markings. As ever it is the totality of what one does that matters, not just in what is indicated but in how it is indicated, in the complete liturgical experience of driving a vehicle.

Q. Given that Anglican sounding of horns no longer represents the width of opinion currently held by loyal drivers of vehicles regarding horn sounding, will the House of Bishops review the value of the Church of England’s continued participation in such activity or the value of the use of the horn when driving along the road.


The horn. Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively. You MUST NOT use your horn

* while stationary on the road

* when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am

The House of Bishops is aware that horns are sounded for various reasons from a variety of vehicles, including saying hello to the local parish priest as he walks on the pavement going about his daily business. We advise parish priests to be less 'jumpy' about this practice.

The advice necessarily is that the horn is an instrument of a moving vehicle, and is only an indication of real presence. Use of the horn is a matter of delicate and deliberate reasonable action, and the bishops of course advise against any form of aggression. They discussed that assertion is different from aggression. One can be assertive even while being defensive, and one should perhaps always drive in a defensive manner. The bishops further suggest a practice that relates to church bells in most locations, that the horn is not used between the hours of 11 pm and 7:30 am in areas of denser collections of buildings.

Do the Archbishops and other bishops ever have recourse to flashing their lights when driving?


Flashing headlights. Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users.


Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully.

The House of Bishops discussed this matter with the Archbishops present. They are aware of the informal use of headlight flashing, such as that which indicates to another driver that they may proceed first in a situation where two vehicles are gathered. There are also other uses, such as in red light areas in order to make signals to service providers, being different from uses in green light areas. However, the bishops remind everyone that it is canonical that headlights are used rather like the horn, in order to indicate real presence and during liturgically correct ordinary vehicle movement. For those receiving headlight information, other users should never assume a headlight flash is a permission to proceed in any direction. Meanwhile the bishops warn that the use of headlights as a mode of aggression is entirely unAnglican. Bishops remind everyone that sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit for journeys to and from evensong when these occur after the sun has set, and for morning prayers where these occur before the sun has risen. Strangely, the use of headlights in street lit areas appears to be optional, but would advise against switching headlights off and on again.



* ensure all sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit between sunset and sunrise

* use headlights at night, except on a road which has lit street lighting. These roads are generally restricted to a speed limit of 30 mph (48 km/h) unless otherwise specified

* use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226)

Night (the hours of darkness) is defined as the period between half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise).

Sunday 25 July 2010

The Spread of A Spiritual Death

When I go to church, I do so with seriousness. I approach it, I hope, fairly rationally and reasonably. So I went to the Unitarians in the morning and the Anglicans in the evening (evensong). There was another new face visiting in the morning, a once Anglican who had found the Unitarians on the Internet and wanted a place that respected what he did and did not believe. My chat with him was about the theology I'd been presenting.

Always, however, I look for some sort of response at a more emotional level in services, and that came particularly this evening.

For the first time, in a convincing way, I came to a view that I was right not to have pursued Anglican ministry. It has always hung around me that it is something I should have done.

Two years or so back, I realised I could not give Anglican promises, and it hardly matters that only clergy have to state these. I stopped taking communion, and chunks of that service I leave blank. In fact I leave the whole communion prayer blank, to sit in meditation, but have said the Lord's Prayer in the middle. Recently I stopped saying the Lord's Prayer, and that includes when invited to say it in the Unitarian church (it was left out this morning - the presenter was a "Spiritual Humanist").

I thought that the 1662 Evensong would just drift on nevertheless, perhaps endlessly, even as a kind of participating spiritual wallpaper. But this evening it was as dead as a doornail, and I just thought the person presenting has a remaining lifetime of having to plod through all these words. Not me: as I said to a friend afterwards, when I say words I mean them (including when expanding and elasticating theological concepts).

I know this is my final Anglican church. I'm not going to 'top up' in any other. My recent theology has led me to the view that theology as we have it is a construction, a mythology, within which there are ethical principles to test and some to reject - each have to be lived again.

The sermon, delivered by someone else, was about the unlikely and various people that do the work of God, like James the Apostle, and it was said later that God chooses us. I am always happy to think that in the divine selection conference, I was missed out. It's supernaturalist nonsense, of course. What matters is what we do.

He also said that without often criticised Paul, we might all be worshipping still at Stonehenge or, more likely, have minarets instead of churches and worshipping as Muslims. I thought that as for Stonehenge, what a good idea, and as for all being Muslims, that rather denies the fact that Islam has decidedly post-Christian and post-Jewish elements built in: you cannot do that with history. Muhammad wanted his tribes to come together to have the monotheism the others had. Indeed he built a monotheistic tribe.

As for the Church of England, I'm struggling that the institution above the worshipping centre has much ethical basis left. Well it has, contrasted with the Anglican Communion: which is becoming revolting.

Anyhow, I came away picking up a Crosslincs, and I see my letter is in there. The service response and letter seem to go together. If you want to read my letter in the publication, and any of the rest of the publication, it is online, but I suggest pressing the Save button and then opening it up as a .PDF - I think the online page turning thing is horrible.

It was a pleasure to read the heartwarming story about David Yabbacome and his ongoing return to health.

Nevertheless, I must question the use of the words 'miracle' and 'resurrection'. The account of his recovery is entirely natural. Others equally could have recovered, or slipped to death.

Perhaps, these days, words like 'miracle' and 'resurrection' have become a way of speaking, offering no more than adding a theological gloss to otherwise natural events.

We are combinations of biology and culture. It may matter, as consciousness returns, that a community is known to care, or that value is seen in liturgical repetition. But such are mind based strategies of healing along with the rest of the body, and part of who we are, and in relationships between others and the self, and in forms of belief and the use of language.

Words like 'miracle' and 'resurrection' seem to have undergone a shift of meaning. The use in this article clearly responds to our nonsupernatural culture: the problem being that the language adds nothing in public, explanatory terms, other than the subjective use as a person regained consciousness.

People must notice this shift of usage. No one died, and so there was no resurrection into a transformed body; there was no miracle.

There is surely a need for theological honesty. These words are overused and strained. The real sense of wonder and awe is in the recovery itself.

It needs more direct language and more explanation, and therein should lie the theological fascination about our transitory being and the relationship between culture and biology. Theology's obsession with maintaining doctrinal metaphors and the gloss of such language is why explanatory power for our culture-biology interplay has passed to the social sciences, with the sciences providing the basic data.

Adrian Worsfold
Barrow upon Humber

Saturday 24 July 2010

Shocking Spread of Female Ordinands


Exposed: Dirty Secrets Of Ordinands


IN a dimly lit corner of the theological college, stood two figures bosoms apart. They whispered in hush tone, with brief moment of hand-gesturing interrupting their gist. Then, as if in a Hollywood movie they drew even closer, blessed and began a slow process of gesticulating. Love-birds, no doubt, only that they were female ordinands with time on their hands. Welcome to Liberal Anglican Theological Establishment (LATE).

"Beware of women," says the notice in Catholic Anglican Formation Establishment (CAFE). That age-old, ominous advice a mother would give to her daughter, has since become old-fashioned. Like a wildfire in harmattan, female ordinands are spreading across other theological colleges, both Open Evangelical, Open Catholic and Liberal. Female students are falling head over heels in love with their God, National Daily Weekend learnt.

Intriguing is the fact that the current prevalence of female ordination is no strange happening. "It's no news even inside and outside campus. It is dirty, I would prefer flirting with Catholic and Biblicist men than my fellow girl mess around. All these ordinands should be recommended for deliverance and prayers; it is very embarrassing to fall so low. I know a lot of them involved even in my room and class but I always pray that God will have mercy on them. Some of them get in there out of ignorance while some get in there due to the kind of company they keep. I don't think that any of them can approach me because when they see their type, they will know because it is not the case of a mistaken identity. Parents can help the school authority control this because the lady will always listen to her parents better than anyone else," Uche Uchogukwu, a student at Biblicist Anglican Rigid College (BARC) said.

Like every normal clergy training relationship, female ordinands too suffer from suspicion syndrome. A student who spoke with this newspaper claimed that squabbles over heresy suspicion are not uncommon. "It will sound so funny if anybody claims that he has not heard about female heresy on this campus, it is a normal thing, in fact I can count as many as ten of them that I know. I have witnessed an incident where a girl's body was blessed by a female hand by the people sent by her ordinand partner all because she had a prayer with another girl, in fact I didn't even know how that case was settled. It is really a terrible issue that needs to be checked," Dele Onugbiyi, an Economics major at University of Social and Liberal Anglican Girls (UNISLAG) revealed.

Investigations by National Daily Weekend revealed how female students get lured into ordination. The dorm is an avenue. Girls with time on their hands are exposed to female clergy in dormitories while still in secondary schools, especially girls-only schools. Findings showed that some of the junior students who are protected and regarded as 'school daughters' by the senior students are easy preys.

For those who may not have had the exposure at the post-primary level, they face another hurdle when they gain admission into tertiary institutions, where more freedom for students is guaranteed. Sometimes, without experience and exposure, these ones become entrapped in Anglican cultism and subsequently, seek to become chaplains. One of such students who had undergone the initiation process into White Collars, a female cult group, spoke under condition of anonymity with National Daily Weekend about her ordeal.

"I just got admission into the University of Norwich, Martineau Campus, then and was lured into the cult by a friend who I knew in my town at Oswestry. We were ushered into a room at Lady Gaga Hostel and there were plenty of girls inside. We were all asked to cut up Fairy Liquid bottles and put the strips around our necks back to front. Some of the girls that refused were forced to sit on wooden benches as if still in the congregation. Later we were asked in turns to show love to one another which we did. They encouraged us to love one another and assured us of protection," she narrated.

Another strategy employed to trap unwary female students is by demonstrating a sense of magnanimity. "Once you are greedy, you may be a victim because some of these Anglican ordinands are from wealthy homes and would want to spoil you with their collection plates. Please they should not be considered as topic at all, they are not worth it and I even pity anyone that wants to start preaching - for them to stop. They have a lot to offer themselves if you volunteer yourself, you belong," an undergraduate student at the University of Great Yarmouth who identified herself as Jeanette revealed.

From the University of Norwich to Norfolk County University; from University of Ipswich to Chelmsford University, the story is the same: female ordination is practised with reckless abandon and the ordinands are in desperate search for more female initiates. They lure young girls into the practice through various means like direct approach, social networking sites, churches and text messages, National Daily Weekend learnt. Emmanuel Bassey, a Mechanical Engineering Student at UNISLAG told National Daily Weekend how ladies hold lectures on strategies to win more God lovers.

A 16 year-old girl's experience illustrates this fact. "She invited me over to her apartment, and when I got there, I discovered that she was alone. Then after talking with me a little while, she started making lovely advances towards me and made a move to touch my heart and at the same time offer the kiss of peace, I refused. I was very shy and it was at that time I realized what I was into. I told her I couldn't do that because she is a woman like me and that it was a dirty act. She laughed and said that I was still a baby that needed to be trained so I could see the light. That boy-in-charge girl-in-the-pew relationship is no longer in vogue; I don't know how to put all that she said to me now because I feel am still in a trance. After her sermon, she tried a second time to encourage me and I stood and left her house and I have never been there again ever since, though she calls me often," she narrated.

Though many of the girls that spoke to National Daily Weekend condemned the act, they acknowledged the prevalence of female clergy and to them it is a lifestyle choice. "Me I don't see anything bad in it long as am concerned, it is part of life. The girls are enjoying themselves, so they should go on with the enjoyment. I don't know why we are disturbing ourselves unnecessarily in what is not our business; men clergy may not be as reliable as ladies. In fact I would have even joined long time ago if not that I decided to change my mind. Men are hard hearted. Meanwhile, I don't really think there is something that pushes them into it, they are enjoying themselves and let's leave them alone," Aminat Lawal of the Wivenhoe College of Technology said.

For Itiboye Damolila, a third year Mass Communication major in UNISLAG, she does not see anything bad in a girl being in love with another girl's God. "Well, it's the case of different strokes for different folk; I don't really see anything bad in it. If both ladies feel that they enjoy themselves, why not, they should go ahead and do whatever they feel is right for them. The funniest thing is that nobody introduces them to it, while some of them came into campus with it, others got in there as a result of curiosity. They should not be condemned as if they have done worse than what a lay girl and her clergyman does. Let's face reality, sin is sin, atrocity is atrocity, whether it is with a boy and a girl or between two girls. Nobody has ever approached me to be an ordinand, although it is rampant on campus but I don't think we should waste our time thinking on what to do to check or stop it," she said.

National Daily Weekend also learnt that some of the students have spiritual directors that are elderly who they usually regard as "Mother" not "Father" as at the Catholic Anglican Formation Establishment. Some of these mature clergy are church ladies with time on their hands who are affluent. They have been alleged to be the brain behind the spread of ordinands from universities. They fund social events hosted by the girls and task their younger trainees to recruit (this recruitment exercise goes with a financial budget) more girls into their group, investigations revealed. "These women have money to spend and they are the ones really corrupting some of these girls. If you stand at Corner Stand Hall, UNISLAG, on Fridays you will see them drive in to take the girls home for weekend and their churches. They buy everything for these girls from expensive phones to watches and electronics; some even pay for their trips to Colchester and Cambridge," Alex, a post-graduate student at the University of Norfolk informed. In addition to the mature clergy using their wealth and affluence to accompany young female students, this newspaper found out that some of the girls are introduced to bishops and their wives of whom a healthy number are in the same league as bicyclists.

Married women are prime suspects too. A popular Norfolkwood actress, Ewube Nbagbo once told National Daily Weekend in an interview that she was constantly being disturbed for church by women especially the married ones. While reacting to a question on how come ordination is common in Norfolkwood, she replied: "Ordination is not just in Norfolkwood, it is everywhere but because it is Norfolk it is news. I have heard about it and get calls from women all the time and they are not in Norfolk, yet they want to be with you especially married women. I get such calls all the time. I avoid them by telling them I am not interested. Before, I used to be polite which made them keep calling me. It is sickening and when I found out that they want me as their ordinand, I told them off, by bluntly making it clear that I am not interested. I discovered that being polite does not solve matters."

To some of the students, ordination is loathsome and dirty while others described ordinands as being under a curse. "I just believe that the people involved are cursed and that was why God took away their conscience so that they will not see anything wrong in doing it. Those involved should go ahead to possess their possession but the truth of the matter is that I can never associate with anybody doing such a thing. There is nothing leading them to it, they lead themselves into it and may God punish any of them that will get to my door step. It is just prayers that will save them," said Blessyou, a student of Norfolk County Polytechnic. For Mudon Aseleye, she sees the game as dirty.

"It is a dirty game, but I don't know what my fellow ladies see in it, according to a friend of mine who is also in the business, she said that she just feels comfortable praying with a lady instead of a guy because praying with a guy will give you more headache and problem. Though I have them around me, none of them have made advances at me because I have always condemned it. Secondly, once they see you as a Father-girl, they just start admiring you and may finally lure you into it. It is only through prayers that they can change," she said.

For Caoimhe Uninformed of UNISLAG, ordination is part of the life they live on campus which cannot be stopped or checked. "Definitely, it is part of life on campus; you can't just check nor stop it but sometimes I will be asking why a girl will want to be doing such things and what a girl can give to her that the male clergy cannot give her. I believe they are just fooling themselves and don't really know what they are doing. I have been approached on so many occasions with different kinds of gift to belong but I couldn't imagine myself being a ordinand and that was when I found out that it was collection plate and money that really entice these girls. The school, government and parents, to be able to check and minimize this should set a punishment for any culprit," she said.

While parents should be thinking of the way forward, Ivy Egghen a second year student at the Attleborough Suffolk University sees the practice as a life which must go on. "Life goes on. Ordination is fun, and it is just part of the Church's mentality that is trying to paint it black. I don't have anything to do with guys; they are only thorns in my flesh. A fellow girl will never lose faith and you people will always live peacefully. Talking about what can lead someone into it, I will tell you it is love. The way you will see a clergyman and love him is the same way you will see a clergy-girl and love her so what's the big deal? What is there is there; so you can't change it," she said proudly.

With the ever rising poverty level and sky-rocketing cost of education in theological colleges, there stands a chance that with time majority of the female students from indigent homes who are easy targets for ordination cliques, the trend may be increasing across the country if urgent steps are not taken to curb the spread.


Apart from individual acts, there is also an emerging circle of ordinands in town. Investigation has it that these group of younger girls, many with time on their hands, of which are neither in school or employed (but in theological college) mainly take part in church service that take place every Wednesday at a hotel located in a high-brow area of Attleborough, close to the County Council House, where they are receive a thank-you- for-coming fee of £5,000.

After the show, the girls end up at another hotel located at Wymondham with their "Babies" to wine up. There, they book for rooms where they engage in the act of Bible reading and heavy praying and talking. Other business of this circle is displaying the act for rich and influential bishops who later pay them off to the tune £10,000 and above, depending on the calibre of bishops and female ordinands on display.

Similarly, married women clergy are not left out of the business as some of them who were in theological college before marriage finds it hard to let go with training after settling down with a man. According to Ebele Okeke who recently got married, she stressed that ordination is an act that eats deep into the flesh, that once you get it, it would be hard to let go. "I was a trainee ordinand and still am training. I became an ordinand because of the bad experience I got from men clergy, you see men are busy and they can never keep to one church at a time but when you have a student and you are taking care of her, you are sure you have her to yourself anytime, any day. Again, the issue of infection or disease from the cup or host does not arise, also you don't entertain the fear of getting pregnant… and in all that, you get full satisfaction. If not for the purpose of Sunday School, I don't think I would have married a clergyman but I tell you frankly, If I had the opportunity of being abroad, I would have ended up being in a missionary position with another girl, instead we run a Sunday School if need be," she said.

Before the present upsurge in ordination in Attleborough, two female students of Horsey College Wymondham were caught by the anti-cult group pants down in the changing rooms trying on cassocks. Reacting to the deed, the lead girl said that it was a bad spirit that always pushed her into the act as she could not always get hold of herself any time the urge comes. She confessed to having about 11 different girls she indulges in the crazy act with. However, the authorities of the school reacted swiftly to the development by expelling the "Barchester Towers Two" on the grounds that their act could possibly smear the image of the institution.

Though no reason has been established for the recent rise in the number of ordinations in Attleborough, a sociology psychologist, Dr. Handi Okwud attributed it to the degenerating moral standard in the society and the quest for spiritual interest on the part of the young generation. Okwud, however, cautioned parents against being unconcerned with the type of friends their children keep and also to ensure they have sound moral upbringing.


The despicable act, ordination is also spreading in Essex. National Daily Weekend findings show that some girls in the higher institutions of learning engage in this unwholesome act, just as some of their male counterparts engage in becoming bishops.

Acknowledging the existence of ordinands in the nation's universities, Miss Tricia Treacle, a 300- Level Microbiology student of the University of Ipswich, told our correspondent that though she does not indulge in such act which she described as "an anathema," she was not oblivious of the fact that some of her female counterparts indulge it.

"I have my clergyman, why should I do such a thing? It is an anathema, I don't see why girls should do such a thing," she said

Another female student of the same University, Miss Glad Tobehere, 200-level Accountancy, said she was aware that some female students were engaging in ordinand formation.

"I went to visit one of my friends in her hostel and do you know what I saw? I saw four girls hilariously watching a Training film where ordinands are being displayed. You can then imagine what those girls are up to?" she queried.

To Miss Rita Meter of the Department of High Mass Communication, Suffok Higher Institute of Technology, (SHIT), "ordination is spreading like wild fire because of foreign films and even home videos."

A Norfolk College final, Electrical/ Electronics Engineering, IMT, Mr. Austin Ike N. TeenaTurna, said "some girls have gone mad. They engage in this thing (ordination)." He narrated his experience of how he chased a particular girl for months without success and he was aware that she is not religious. He concluded that she could belong to one of the groups known on the campus as MATES (Men Aren't The Elect, Suckers), also a brand of condom, which is "a group of women who detest having church services led by men but rather prefer their female counterparts for fun. "

Ordination which is an age-long practice, historians say, dates from the early pre-Christian times and was mainly attributed to Ordo, a poet, who was considered ontologically different because she forgave sins. The word "ordination" derives from the name of the island of Ordo's birth, Ordinariate. The narrators of many of her prayers speak of infatuations and love for the Divine.

Once again, many homes are put on the spot as ordination seems to have come to stay with the high level of rejections experienced by the male applicants and the perks that come with being a clergywoman.

Friday 23 July 2010

On the Radio

Radio Eboracum's Peter Levite: Archbishop of the North, thank you for coming in for a quick interview.

Archbishop of the North: I am always available. Have you got a BBC plane I can jump from?

Peter Levite: Can you explain your bizarre recent Synod voting figures, where you abstained on everything except your own amendment? Your own amendment to something you abstained from! You did vote against recommittal to the revision committee, but what sort of leadership is this?

Archbishop of the North: Well as Archbishop I sometimes need to pastor to everyone on all sides of the argument. I'm really just an ordinary clergyman, you know. York Cathedral had a sermon lasting two hours. "Was that a record?" I was asked. "No," I said, "it was me speaking."

Peter Levite: Yet the Bishop of Beverley voted for, for, for, for and for.

Archbishop of the North: He's for a lot. The Bishop of Beverley went into a pub with the jump lead from his car. He said, "One drink for me and one for my good friend the jump lead." The publican said, "OK but tell your friend not to start anything."

Peter Levite: He showed more leadership than you. Yes or no?

Archbishop of the North: Two peanuts went into the same pub, not looking to start any trouble. Unfortunately, one was a salted.

Peter Levite: Now there's your Bishop Okoh of Pokey Poko Nigeria who said recently, "Same-sex marriage, paedophilia and all sexual perversions should be roundly condemned by all who accept the authority of Scripture over human life." How can you agree with that joined up categorisation? He's been in America, called boundary crossing in your Anglican Communion, complaining that he could be in trouble for that as an 'evangelical initiative' when others are doing things unbiblical, as he puts it. What do you say to that?

Archbishop of the North: Pervasions, he said. Who knows what he meant. A gay man has a strawberry stuck up his bum and goes to the local surgery. The doctor says, "I'll give you some cream to put on that."

Peter Levite: Come back to you in a minute. Time to have the weather with George Hudson down at York station. Tell us the worst.

George Hudson: That Rowanov Treetri, he looks a bit like Father Abraham.

Peter Levite: I'm glad you said that.

Archbishop of the North: What, our grand patriarch of the Jews who came from Ur?

Peter Levite: Err?

George Hudson: No, not him: Father Abraham of the Smurfs.

Peter Levite: Lah lah la-la-la-la la-la lah la, lah lah la-la-la-la la la lah la, la la lah. Give us the weather.

George Hudson: It's raining. By the way, you were spotted eating a sandwich in a sandwich bar yesterday.

Peter Levite: Thank you! Speak to you later. Archbishop, then, you've got this guy, the Bishop of Poorborough, wishes he was a rich man, who says that 'a Code of Practice will not do' and there is no reason we should change our minds. He says that the landscape in the Church of England for traditional Catholics and Evangelicals will be bleak. Is that true - yes or no?

Archbishop of the North: Rich, poor? He's very ordinariate. The Bishop of Poorborough has a fetish for exhaust pipes. He loves to look under cars and he can tell you all sorts about them. Bit icky if you ask me. He's a Catholic ick converter.

Peter Levite: On the reformed side is Reform itself, led by Rodney Doubt. He says there's a need for a complimentary bishop.

Archbishop of the North: Not so. No no. He said he wants a bishop who says to evangelicals, 'You did that well,' and, 'You did that well.' He was quite specific. He wrote that he wanted a complementary bishop. Who knows what he meant. It's like this man said to a woman in the pub, "You have the shape of a pepper pot," and she said, "I'll take that as a condiment."

Peter Levite: And all that's about women. Like with Okoh in Pokey Poko, you've the gay issue as well.

Archbishop of the North: A chap had a male satchel and a female satchel. He loved them both. He was bisatchel. He tried to put himself in one. He could hardly contain himself.

Peter Levite: The fact is that pubs are more popular than churches and they are in decline too. People now go shopping on Sundays.

Archbishop of the North: Two people from Tesco go into the pub and the publican still says he wants no trouble, observe the bar code. They say, "We've got your bar code." So the drinker alongside, hearing they've got the bar code, asks, "Are you two an item?" and they say together, "BOGOF."

Peter Levite: So what do you think? Do you agree with the Archbishop or do you think he is unsure? And what about his flat cap? Let us know by text or email. We've got a text vote. Is the Archbishop of the North a true Yorkshireman? Should he be able to play cricket for Yorkshire? Send your text vote in, yes or no, and we'll reveal the results tomorrow. Archbishop, thank you for talking to us.

Archbishop of the North: A drunk comes out of that bar and passes two lady priests going in with time on their hands. Hey, now who said that?

Peter Levite: Who said... What? Competition time!

Archbishop of the North: Who said "lady priests" attending General Synod "have time on their hands."

Peter Levite: What's the prize?

Archbishop of the North: DVD of the most recent General Synod.

Peter Levite: I bet that's a popular one. Oh leave the answer with me, Archbishop. Leave it with Levite. Answers by this time tomorrow. Text or email in.

Archbishop of the North: A drunk comes out of that pub and passes two lady priests with time on their hands. He says, "I'm Jesus Christ." One says, "No you're not: he rose again and ascended into heaven," and then the other says, "Well it's a story." He says "Look, I can prove it," and walks into the pub in between the priests. The publican takes one look at the drunk and exclaims, "Jesus Christ, you're here again?"

Peter Levite: Thank you Archbishop John Sendmehome and have a good day.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Presentation on Access to HE

I hate Powerpoint and equivalent, because it suggests that education can be reduced to bullet points. I have a 15 minute presentation in a job interview on Thursday. I'm not going in for elaborate diagrams and pointless pictures, and the writing I do is a resource for others to which I say less not more. This is what I shall use on Thursday.

Monday 19 July 2010

Sceptical Me

Just a quickie and a suggestion to look at Larry Hurtado's blog where he has essays and my scepticism is on display. He makes his scholarly case but I still think some historians wouldn't go along with the constructions. I much prefer April DeConick's approach and who has written about early Christian origins within her blog many months back in a way that I find convincing. Larry Hurtado stresses the 'binitarian' nature of early Christian worship, though it is through Christ to God. Personally, I think there was an 'acceleration' of Jesus's status and titles after his death thanks to Paul's salvation based religion, but I like the characteristic of diversity that April DeConick indicates, including the cultural settings of each faith subsection and how the gospels don't close just because a canon was declared and a proto-orthodoxy is something only known to be such later on.

I mention this after a Sunday when I shocked a Unitarian congregation by my pre-recorded singing a verse of a hymn written to the tune of 'Come Labour On', to help the folks fit the words to the tune, followed by labouring on in a congregational meeting that went on for some time.

Friday 16 July 2010

Church and Sex Latest

Interviewer: Archbishop of the North, have you a few moments?

John Sendmehome: I always have time for an interview, even a quick one.

Interviewer: Disappointed about the Synod?

John Sendmehome: Time to move on. You know you put in an amendment to get it passed. When it isn't, OK, keep going. A guy goes into a pub with part of the York ring road under his arm. He says, "I'll have one for me and one for the road."

Interviewer: Why do you have that funny name?

John Sendmehome: Because when I was a toddler in the village my mum wanted me back in case I got lost. Bet she didn't think I'd end up here. Know what I saw the other day? There's this blind guy in a shop in Harrogate, picked his dog up and was swinging it around by the tail. Shopkeeper asks, "Can I help?" and he says, "No, just looking around."

Interviewer: Talking of which, on the same continent as your origins, Nicky Okoh down in Pokey Poko is saying students shouldn't come to the Western universities for their first degrees because they might become homosexuals. He states that homosexuality is equivalent to paedophilia. How are you in communion with him?

John Sendmehome: I am in communion with him through the Anglican Communion Office. An American Episcopalian bishop came to a meeting in Britain and said, after, "Can you recommend a good port?" and I said "Yes, Southampton."

Interviewer: And you will aim towards having women bishops while the Vatican categorises the ordination of women as an offence in the same category as paedophilia, a 'most serious crime'. How are ecumenical relationships with Rome?

John Sendmehome: Well it is an ecclesiastical model that impresses Rowanov, you know. Like a man goes into a sperm bank in Leeds and says, "I'll make a deposit." Two hours later he comes back to the nurse full of sweat and his arms hurt. "What happened?" she asked. He said, "I used my left hand, my right hand, hot water - couldn't get the lid off."

Interviewer: Rome and Anglicanism surely are now very far apart. Do you think via this extraordinary language that Rome is now reassuring the Anglicans crossing to ordinariates that they will never encounter ordained women priests never mind bishops?

John Sendmehome: A woman Anglican walks into a Catholic church and says to the priest, "Can you help me out?" The priest says, "Same way as you came in." Here's one for the Scottish cardinal. A woman walks into a sex shop and asks for a vibrator. He says, "What colour do you want? Blue, cream, white, yellow?" She says, "I'll have that tartan one." He says, "You can't have that - that's my thermos flask."

Interviewer: Thank you for your insights into Church affairs.

John Sendmehome: Quasimodo went into a pub and asked for a whisky. "Bells alright?" "Mind your own business," he replied.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Auntie Virus

Here is some news. I have just spent fourteen hours attempting to remove a virus. An Internet Explorer use of a webpage used many times before (why IE - well because of how it stores in its cache) and suddenly I had a virus that acted as an anti-virus software, and producing a statement of a meaningless set of errors that was just as way of getting you to hand over credit card details. It stopped any program running after a few seconds of booting up, and it put out repetitive notices of a virus attack speculating what it might be. What is was was ehciuygtssd.exe and some registry changes.

The file had come in without a murmur from my anti-virus software and.

One way I tried to stop it was to run Linux Puppy, for the first time ever as well. I knew where it had infected files, so I went to remove them. I've no idea if removing them on Linux Puppy was actually to remove them, even with laborious erasing of files on a folder of which I'd never heard. All that was probably a waste of time, but I was trying to avoid going on the Internet.

I did go on the Internet, because Spybot set up demanded a download. I ran Spybot, as indeed I did my own anti-virus software, just as a reboot happened - constantly having to restart Windows to run any program. Once a program was running, it kept running, unless there was a change of operation external to itself. At one point I ran a system scan with the anti-virus software that gave a clean bill of health (after hours before a long scan had found one infected file - but an infected file is not the same thing as the cause and I removed that in Puppy) at the same time as Spybot, once it had those files. Spybot found the culprit, and erased the program and the registry fiddles. It wasn't just in my Application Data, but Local Settings\Application Data, which are half hidden folders.

The virus package was identified as Fraud.Sysguard, Fraud.ASecuritySuite, Autorun settings, the Program file, other autorun settings, and a Registry change.

Read and be warned.

Wednesday 14 July 2010

An Interview by Articles

I'm a clergyman being interviewed by the Ugley Vicar (one day I will draw him again). Here are my answers to his revival of the Thirty-nine Articles statements about which I, as interviewee, am supposed to comment...

1. “Christ ... truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of people.”

At the edge of empire the Romans could not subdue the Scots but they just about managed to exert power over the Jews, but only by a ruthless display of violence that peaked in actual wars. People significant and insignificant were picked up by the authorities and were disposed, and that's what happened to Jesus as the head of his small, probably seen as insignificant, movement. A theology that relies on a violent regime to create a deity-sacrifice creates a repugnant God, and therefore I reject all notions of an intended, sufficient and once for all sacrifice. It is better to see Jesus as acting selflessly for the purposes of healing, love and the final act of history (as he saw it); however, if he used the suffering servant as his model to bring about the end time (either he becoming the Messiah, or calling God to send another transformed being) then he was acting in folly. He, of course, within that subculture of supernatural expectation, had little other outlook, but even then sometimes you achieve more by being less of a martyr. Whilst living your principles is very important, it is the principles, or the ideas, that matter: to pass them on.

2. “Original Sin ... is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man ... whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil ... and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation.”

We all have our faults, and we all have our good sides, and that's about it. We are sometimes motivated by greed, and Adam Smith saw that this could have a good outcome by a different kind of invisible hand. We are social animals thanks to our evolved inheritance, and that matters far more than notions of original sin. Otherwise we'd better start teaching bonobos Christianity, so the joke goes.

3. “We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings: Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only is a most wholesome Doctrine.”

No. If we do something good, we do something good. The value of what is done is situational. What we believe may be good or bad, but it is of no effect unless something is actually done - by their fruits they are known. The question is: can you do something good with the least motivation?

4. “Holy Scripture doth set out to us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.”

It might do in the New Testament but it's not good enough. Once we consider what salvation is, then it might be brought about by less attachment and a more detached loving of one another. Prophetic figures in religions and philosophies can help, but in the end it is down to each person to reflect, contemplate and develop their selves towards themselves and others - perhaps to lose the self and to accept all transience. The Buddhists have it better, because it is more practical and based on practical steps.

5. “It is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another.”

There are many scriptures and many philosophies, all of which offer insight into the pluriform nature of truths, and we can learn from them all. So what if they contradict: the situations can be different, and, anyway, the Christian scriptures have contradictory philosophies, and these scriptures were artificially limited. There are no boundaries regarding inspirational texts.

Have I got the job?

Tuesday 13 July 2010

In Depth Meet

The Saint Mary's In Depth Group met tonight and I presented the material again, and one commented that it was a different angle and not one he'd heard before regarding the Oxford Movement - my overall point being that they were not some obnoxious right wing theological traditionalists, even if they were looking for defences against change they could see coming and seen come, whether German liberal biblical criticism and the actions of the State over the Church after the 1832 Reform Act. There was some engagement with the liberality of the day - John Henry Newman with his Unitarian brother Francis William, and Pusey having a delayed not an instant reaction to what he discovered first hand in Germany. Plus all that ritualism was later.

I kept pointing out to one in the group that he was relying on private judgement in deciding what was and was not objective reality - say on baptism, ministry and the like. If certain views in the Church of England are optional, then that is different from J. H. Newman saying private judgement is limited to only what the Church has not said and what has not been heard. F. W. Newman of course had a view wholly approving of private judgement regarding the scriptures and a Church he took as abstract. Some of the conversation took what happens at St. Mary's as illustrative of the points being made, but the Catholic basis is the Charles Gore affected 'Affirming' (though some regard it as 'Denying') variety rather than the traditionalism from the later Oxford Movement that is now coming to an effective end within the Church of England.

Take baptism. You can have a Protestant believer's view about it, and refuse it to those who don't adopt a Christian stance. Or you can see people have all sorts of views about it, but the Christian minister may have a view of objective regeneration that happens anyway, so no matter what 'they' think the rite has its objective impact. But there is another view, the one that I followed in the Unitarian church when providing the music for a 'child naming', where a British Humanist Association approach was made a bit more sacred and religious, and the children had their heads wetted - that this was a meaningful rite of passage, the 'proper naming' of the child, for those who wanted this ceremony. All those who come can be so served, but there is nothing objective taking place beyond the views and the gateway passed through by the families. Now the question regarding the 'Affirming Catholic' position in general is how much is actually Catholic and objective, and how much is wrapping paper around much private judgement and subjectivity.

One said about being thoroughly confused, and I said, "Oh good," as indeed another had said before that I don't make religion easy.

Anyway, there it was. Now there are personal reasons that the next session could be my last, or I may carry on. Nevertheless, after today, theologies to discuss, with the exception of Radical Orthodoxy, are general and don't have particular Anglican impact. So I thought next time I might wrap it up, or at least summarise some of the issues and we can discuss them in general. It will therefore be less a paper forged by delving into books and be more of a personal reflection to put issues out to the folks who come along. Plus these papers printed go to other people. Even if I then carry on, next time can be a transition point. We next meet end of August, just before my car tax runs out.

Sunday 11 July 2010

That Synod Speech

Master of Ceremonies: Archbishop, bishops, clergy, ladies and gentlemen, the Archbishop of the North.

John Sendmehome: I'd better give you a copy of my speech 'ere by gum so you can check my doctrine as I go along. I'd hate in the present atmosphere to be regarded as heretical.

Master of Ceremonies: Ah that's a good idea you cynic you.

John Sendmehome: It's a paradox of our time that we know the price of everything and the value of nothing. For example, how much does our own Archbishop cost, and have you ever thought of his value to the Anglican Communion? This man, my friend, has such modesty: asked his job once when in India, he said, "I am a clerk in Holy Orders," and so the man said, "Can you just check me tax returns?" Here in our global village we are trying to engage with Anglican recovery, from what we see as some kind of meltdown from enormous speculation. We try thus to get to what is true and what is value, and separate such from what is vanity. We are not talking about leadership like familiar characters in the Old Testament that takes a bribe; we do hope however that they take an interest. However, it is the over interest and the huge speculation that annoys me. It was not legal in the Old Testament: you don't make a profit out of misery, which is why when the Daily Torygraph makes a profit out of Rowanov's misery, my Yorkshire flat hat gets even flatter as I bang my head with my fist. You just don't know how hard he works: like what's the difference between Rowanov Treetri and the M1? You can turn off the M1. This man does not even have the respect granted to their Lordships by the Magna Carta, which incidentally with an h used to be a ferry linking your province with mine, Archbishop, and is now reduced to being a pub in our limited service economy. Well we make a living through what we get and a life through what we give, and our living is pretty miserable and needs sorting out, and your life has become very religious lately, Archbishop - a living hell. I'm not just asking whether you, Archbishop, add value, but what you add to the whole of our ecclesiastical life as we try to recover this Communion, and here we are, at Synod, where we have direct decision making in our own local Church, where we can contribute to how we do things internationally. And we are local. He is my friend, this man. I was taking him around York, and a bus came along and I told him, "This is a one man bus," so Rowanov said, "Well you get this one and I'll get the next one." Like Adam in the Garden of Eden, the bus driver on the road gets dignity, worth, fulfilment and is not just about adding value. And we as Archbishops should get fulfilment in what we do but it is increasingly like we don't.

It is not just about being consumers or rights in consuming but a different kind of rights. or the duty that binds us and won't let him resign. Good work is not necessarily paid employment. A Yorkshire friend of mine went to an attractive lady on the corner and she said, "Do you want a blow job?" and he said, "Will it affect me benefits?" We want to do work and do it well, and John Paul the Second reminded us that we should be not be subjected to this kind of 'Buy one get one free', not like we get in the Church in England, with two Archbishops for the price of three. We don't want to be known as the Morrisons Church, where they say BOGOF, or to be seen as Ikky, although Ikky once had a very good mission statement that it replaced in the 1990s with some lesser text focussed on shareholders - and the company then did less well. Now medicine is like fire control to forest management, but our lives get longer by caring for ourselves and having mutual respect, and I just wonder how all this media criticism is cutting the life expectancy of this man next to me.

This man here is a prophet, not making a profit, but so talented is he that if he were a chef he'd make excellent profiteroles. Chocolate can be ethical, like the Quaker Trinity ha ha of Cadbury, Fry and Rowntree, when they housed their workforce rather well on the backs of rotted teeth and children getting a high in the classroom. Profit alone can cause war, said another Archbishop, when Archbishops made social statements and were heard in general, unlike now when we are all specialists. But this Archbishop's role is specialist, not as a chef but as a theologian and an ecclesiastical fixer. He speaks often and says much, almost as if some profit maker not prophet giver would charge for hot air. If you breathed out they'd charge you for it, and you need to rethink shareholder maximisation. It is like a man says to his wife: "Pack your bags, I've won the pools," and she asks, "What should I pack? Where are we going?" and he said, "We're going nowhere. Just pack your bags and get out." Such is the price of a wife, not her value. Wealth is there for our common citizenship, like believing in God the creator - and not all hierarchies are bad, and ours certainly isn't, we two at the top like a Dave Cameron and Nick Clegg, they also trying to sort out their economic problem, though I warned about this in The News of the Screws. Cuts, cuts, cuts. Surely we need to invest in people, not cut - a strong public sector, not a society of individuals. Don't throw the individuals on the scrap heap. What will happen? What numbers of bishops do we cut - no, we don't, we add to them all the time, don't we. It gets us closer to God: and for that we should speak the truth, in thought, word and deed. We have to believe people are telling the truth: Quasimodo was running down the street chased by a group of kids in Hull. He stopped and said, "For the last, time, I haven’t got your football."

So at this point I want to offer not a football note but a footnote. I write in The News of the Screws and so we know what journalistic honesty means. But we see spin and misleading opinions. Blogs are appalling in the way they have democratised opinion and undermine hierarchies and how they have mushroomed in their carelessness and propaganda to mislead about my friend and dear colleague, one Rowanov Treetri. I say enough is enough, so I shall stop my high speed sermon very soon. He possesses a high regard for truth, which is why he has private opinions but speaks public opinions - let that be the controlling factor, and of course Anglicans say much in their liturgies they don't actually believe any more. It deeply saddens me that there is such a general disregard for truth. When it comes to Anglican business, I wish we could apply high ethical awareness regarding our controversies, but in putting Anglicanism back together again we have to consider bureaucracy first over the inclusion of the people. given worldwide prejudices. And here, in this Synod, we shall consider fixing having women as bishops, and making sure that the old hierarchy can continue, if you accept our amendment or something like it. We have a long tradition of recognising women within the hierarchy in Anglicanism, you see. Two old ladies were at Evensong when a streaker jumped out of the choir stalls and ran down the aisle. One lady had a stroke, but the other one couldn't reach.

Whatever, I hope that my own philosophy of life is consistent with the New Testament. In the name of the Father, a Son and something else. Amen. Oh it's not supposed to be a sermon. Was I doctrinally sound?

Master of Ceremonies: I couldn't keep up.

John Sendmehome: Couldn't keep up? Did you hear about the lorry that delivered viagra to the dairy by mistake? Produced a huge knob of butter.

Gentle applause followed.