Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Appointment Method

Radio Chadderbox goes to the far south of its transmission area.

Interviewer: In the Church in England, you are the Chairman or is it now Chair of the Appointments Committee.

Appointments Committee Chair: Chair, with three legs: scripture, tradition, reason. Ha ha.

Interviewer: In the new spirit of Anglican Glasnost, can you tell us the reasoning behind the appointment of the new bishop of the Isle of Ely, Stevie Llandudno?

Chair: Yup. We thought we needed a big chap. If he meets you, he is likely to be taller than you and has some presence. During his upbringing people will have called him names and he'll have had to have grown some thickness of skin, the ability to avoid conflict and so on. He also wears specs. He hopes to use his height to advantage, by riding on horseback through the flat fens and being seen from miles around, just like one of his ancestors. It will ensure approachability, man and horse too, if you give him a lump of sugar.

Interviewer: Right. Anything else?

Chair: At the interview we asked him to roll up his sleeve, and we saw five little studs that continuously pierce the skin and ooze puss and blood and these remind him who he is, as he is the suffragan bishop of Sheeptown already.

Interviewer: What's that all about then?

Chair: He was made bishop before, down south.

Interviewer: No, the studs and not healing the wounds they cause.

Chair: They are the five marks of mission. The top one is to proclaim, the second is the grab new believers, the third is loving service, the fourth is to change unjust structures of society if he can, and the fifth is to sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Interviewer: Not exactly small tasks then, for one man, to transform society and renew the earth. Was that it then that decided it? Presumably lots of bishops pierce their skin in this way, or in some other places.

Chair: Well no, because the Isle of Ely has a certain liberal reputation. We think about continuity. However, we seem to be running out of suitable candidates these days and so we picked the next best thing, a Catholic and bit of an arm waver - but, don't worry, an Affirming sort of Catholic. The last chap was a bit of a sociologist, but they are even rarer.

Interviewer: Good wife and family?

Chair: We use the steering wheel and heavily emphasise the family.

Interviewer: At least he didn't go to public school.

Chair: No. A grammar school, as they were, but no problem: he ended up teaching in public school and he did go to Oxford. So no real deviation there. Plus he was trained in Cambridge at our broadest and most academic of seminaries - so a good well trodden route upwards. And done a bit with the old Muscular Christianity sports, except in this case stretching up a bit. Didn't quite make the Harlem Globetrotters, but then people from Oxbridge don't. Just in case, he did do a bit of the old rugger. Get in there, sort of thing, as well as dribble around them.

Interviewer: Is he anything of a theologian?

Chair: Well, Rowanov Treetri taught him, so he should be quite flexible in making the history-like look like history down in the detail. But he can theologise about the silver screen. Done a bit of mental health too, the mystery of the mind.

Interviewer: Did you pay attention to his interests?

Chair: Certainly. The clincher, in fact. He's a good reader. His literary pastime is crime, mystery, suspense, like about shadowy people killing other people and sometimes finding out who did it. Nasty people really, obsessives and dark personalities, and plenty of paranoia. Likes the odd red herring laid out, and a twist in the tale, a good cover up, conspiracy and the machinations of people in close proximity. So he should make a very good diocesan bishop.

Interviewer: Thank you for that insight.

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