Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Radio Chadderbox Christmas Gathering

Peter Levite: We are in the William Thomas Ford room of the Radio Chadderbox Complex here in Wykkyfish and our presenters and I are moving around a Christmas gathering of many of our Justify Fullguests to the Religion Slot this past year. Don't forget: we've got the microphones and we're transmitting!

Lara Crofter: Yes, they've braved the snow to get here and we are all together in the warmth including even our weatherman George Hudson, for once not on a railway station. Let's hear what people are saying.

George Hudson: The points are frozen, you might say, and anyway Lisa Thin is doing my forecasts. I think we'd better split up and meet the people, all here in the WTF room, and see what they're feeling and talking about. So hello Rowanov Treetri, the Archbishop of England, how are you...

Lara Crofter: Archbishop John Sendmehome, Archbishop of the North, is having a drink here and talking to Bishop Ken Beans, no doubt anticipating his move that we mentioned last time. Archbishop, we have relaxed your ban for this occasion after your swearing on air. You are going to behave yourself! Are you relaxing over Christmas?

Archbishop John Sendmehome: What, relaxing? What do you think? I'm a member of the clergy.

Lara Crofter: Oh yeah, I suppose so. But, like, you like a bit of publicity and put yourself about on the radio.

John Sendmehome: Yes. I will behave myself be assured. Well I've signed up to go on a television programme you know: me and my auntie as a team on a daytime programme.

Lara Crofter: Oh. What's that one then?

John Sendmehome: Antique Hunt.

Lara Crofter: Sorry. Is that the programme or your auntie's name?

John Sendmehome: They are both antiques.

Lara Crofter: What else? Like I heard you were doing your own like a Fresh Expressions Tour, going around the clubs, telling jokes like a good flat-capped Yorkshireman.

Rachel Marsovenus: Did I hear Fresh Expressions?

Lara Crofter: Hello love. It's Rachel Marsovenus, isn't it. Come closer. Where do you get your lipstick?

John Sendmehome: Madam, here is our future, one of our great prospects. I think I might propose a new TV programme where we have prospective blogging ordinands and each week I say, 'You're fired'. But to you, my sweet, I'd say, 'You're hired.'

Lara Crofter: Tell you what, love. That dress. I mean, do clergy wear dresses like that? There's less plunge in the Victoria Falls, love.

Kenneth Beans: Who's your friend? You're a delectable pair both of you and that's one loud dress.

Rachel Marsovenus: Can I introduce Jade Stowaway? We're really really excited because Jade has got her first job in church and it's you know called Open Evangelical and that means vital doesn't it Bishop Beans.

Lara Crofter: What it stays open, doesn't shut early on Sunday?

Jade Stowaway: It's not big scale consumerism. No, it means we have core evangelical sources but are aware of the anthropological issues that overlap with issues of Church order. I mean, we cyberphiliacs are discussing with some urgency whether, sort of... Well, are we evangelical or post-Evangelical?

Rachel Marsovenus: Fantastic question, Jade. Something for my Christmas essay: fancy having to do an essay at Christmas! But it allows me to engage with the issue, like what is Christmas and how we can spread the message and perhaps look at that winter solstice moment as a post-Evangelical.

Jade Stowaway: It's a liberating question. These issues of gender and anthropology interact with the cycle of time and the institution of the Church and create problems that run back into source intepretation for some of...

Cudden Careyless: [Taps on his glass of beer with a teaspoon] Anyone introducing this event?

Rowanov Treetri: [Moves to the two women, Ken Beans moves away] Hello young women, it is wonderful to see our future before us. Would you like some nuts? There are some Big D there I think.

Rachel Marsovenus: An Archbishop asking me if I want some nuts. Is that cool or what? And, Archbishop, these are Big D and our world is 3D and Jesus is infinitum D. It just blows your mind. We only see 3D with our 5 senses but there's Big D and then Infinite D. Think of nuts and then think of the Holy Spirit. So it's really pretty cool being a Christian, isn't it Archbishop? God speaks the word and the Word is a person. Jesus is the ultimate nut eater and there are no allergies with him. He is the nut, the kernel, the skin. Crumbs I'm, er, beside myself.

Jade Stowaway: I can hardly speak. Give me some nuts. Rachel, oh Rachel the loos are outside next to the Leonard Oliver Leyland room. I'll come with you. Sorry Archbishop.

Rowanov Treetri: Before you go, just to say quickly, if you want to follow the line of the perfection of nuts in a platonic sense then do contact John Milbank. You may know that I do feel some sense of involvement in the history of Radical Orthodoxy; and it has given me both an enormous stimulus and constant mental stretching listening and wondering what John Milbank actually means in any real sense, like my own narrative theology of course. Bye. Quickly now. I didn't know I had this effect on people.

George Hudson: Archbishop Treetri, welcome.

Rowanov Treetri: It is not unpleasant to be here for this social occasion of meeting so many colleagues and I would venture to suggest that...

Cudden Careyless: Ladies and Gentlemen. I think someone should introduce this session and as your former Archbishop of Anglicanism and someone of national authority this may well fall to me. Although I have never appeared on this programme on this channel before, I am grateful to my son for arranging me to come here. I'm afraid he cannot be here or pass a press release to the media around us because of the weather, but my decision to give some formal introduction to this event - otherwise missing - brings to mind my many achievements and reminds me of my time with the Decade of Evangelism and the opportunity that gave, as this does, for outreach, as well as the advancement we made, since stalled and likely to be I think regrettably, regarding unity and moral standards for the Anglican Communion, as well as the place of the Church in our nation which is under so much threat today from the type of equality legislation that marginalises the Church. And not to mention the Royal Family. So let us at least rejoice in little opportunities gained by small events such as these. And I would like to thank my son, should anyone be recording this for posterity. Thank you all very much and I give a toast to the place of Christianity in the life of the nation. Please do join in in your own time.

Peter Levite: I don't know you. You are?

Stephen Preson: I'm Stephen Preson, a Unitarian: Harry Tickpaper invited a few of us along and Sammy Kwava from Bradford, the music maestro of the denomination. Well, there are only a few of us to invite along, though good to have C. Shore and Celia with us. I've come with my little boy here and this is Melanie Pritstick with me, and over there is Cornelius Istreeman, in the bow tie, also from Wakefield.

Melanie Pritstick: What a beautiful room for sharing our stories.

Peter Levite: Stephen Preston, Wakefield's the place that is taking over Bradford.

Stephen Preson: No my name is like Preston, but there is no T. And I'm a Unitarian not C in E so Wakefield stays just the same, as does Bradford. So we are quite as we were.

Melanie Pritstick: Yeah we've given up on telling old stories like all that Jesus stuff, and we like the more Pagan thing don't we as that's more up to date. So Bradford is safe with us and my doctorate is all about Christians and Muslims so I was sort of in the middle twixt cross and crescent and they have their faith-packages and I have my own.

Peter Levite: What? Your own?

Melanie Pritstick: It's like facilitating one another, isn't it; telling stories and sharing experiences. Like Stephen and the sadness over his dead hamster. That's a unique experience, although hamsters die a lot. Does anyone know where Harry is? Sammy Kwava - he's our music man, there with the beard that matches his hair - have you seen Harry?

Samuel Kwava: Pardon? Can you be a bit more forte?

Melanie Pritstick: We haven't seen Harry Tickpaper. Have you?

Samuel Kwava: No, no, but he only really lives a short concerto away, so he should be here soon, depending on whether he is presto or not.

Arthur Francis: I've not seen him either; thought I would have by now. Hey I bet Cornelius Istreeman and Janet Treetri are having an interesting chat.

Lara Crofter: We have Reverend Professor Animal Lindsey, who has now joined Bishop Harold Wilson. Both of you are sat down puffing pipes. I'm not sure this is legal.

Animal Lindsey: [Puffs his pipe]

Lara Crofter: Harold Wilson?

Harold Wilson: [Puffs his pipe]

Lara Crofter: Either of you. Would you like a chicken sandwich, Professor Lindsey?

Animal Lindsey: [Chokes and coughs]

Harold Wilson: [Puffs his pipe] We were having a conversation.

Lara Crofter: You weren't saying anything.

Animal Lindsey: I was giving my opinion through the medium of theology about the condition of theology today.

Lara Crofter: But you weren't saying anything.

Harold Wilson: I understood him perfectly.

Lara Crofter: Bishop Lindsey, perhaps you can say what you are doing over Christmas.

Animal Lindsey: I can assure you that I am, fortunately or unfortunately, no bishop, with absolutely no pwospect whatsoever of so becoming; indeed the question has become where to find a decent Church or denomination, whilst remaining where I can best advance the cause of all cweaturely rights of course.

Lara Crofter: Sorry. Why not?

Animal Lindsey: [Puffs his pipe]

Lara Crofter: Why not?

Animal Lindsey: Well, in addition to my pursuit of theos rights for all cweatures, I was an editor of a book with a certain Dick Churcher about Gays and Anglicanism and that most dweaded Covenant - and it is all his policy - and once you put your head above the twenches like that you are forever a marked man. [Puffs his pipe]

Harold Wilson: I would question this, Animal.

Animal Lindsey: Well, yes, we can question so much, but occasionally we have to say something. Humm. We just, you know, sometimes, have to do something. [Puffs his pipe] Good job I don't have say it directly, but can use the medium of theology. By the way, why are there no decent nibbles when you try to avoid all this filthy meat? Oh hello, that's er my good correspondent from these parts Reverend Lynn Shea-Doyle and who's with you?

Lynn Shea-Doyle: Over the river like. Harry Tickpaper told us this was happening. So this is Rev. Eric Clapton, my temporary boss, now Vicar of Chad.

Eric Clapton: Where's the drinks? What? I've got freehold now, so there. Blimey there are people here that I don't want to - that is not his Lordship Cudden Careyless over there?

Lara Crofter: Shall I bring him over? He gave an interesting opening speech we weren't expecting.

Eric Clapton: You can pass on that idea.

Lynn Shea-Doyle: No no, heck, leave him there. By the way, this is Flora Faunamor, a good veggie like me.

Animal Lindsey: Excellent, excellent. You know we few people marching at the head of the little band must stick together.

Harold Wilson: I think we can possibly manage a little chicken and perhaps fish, if I was to compromise.

Animal Lindsey: You see, these so called questioning liberals, they just do so often let the side down. They just turn into blue rinse Conservatives.

Lynn Shea-Doyle: And this is Reverend Carrie Rabbit and her husband, a fantastic organist, Hugh Jorgan Rabbit.

Samuel Kwava: Did I hear that someone has got a huge organ?

Carrie Rabbit: My husband, and I love beards. I am the happiest curate in the world. Ooh, there is Rowanov Treetri, I wonder if he'll let me have a feel?

Samuel Kwava: You are?

Hugh Jorgan Rabbit: Hugh Jorgan Rabbit. Organist, composer, smiler of the Bible reading.

Samuel Kwava: Can we swap notes? I do a lot of composing, playing, innovating for the Unitarians.

Hugh Jorgan Rabbit: Oh, you are one of them. Yes, I used to know one of them. I saw your hymnbook and noted: pages for the Judeao-Christian tradition. That's just not good enough, but, well, let's not get too cynical about these things.

Samuel Kwava: There's Janet and Cornelius in animated conversation. Yes let's withdraw from some topic that's bound to be too controversial.

Flora Faunamor: Can someone get Eric back here? He is getting too close to Lord Cudden Careyless.

Peter Levite: Bishop Bigg, it is good to see you here again. How is it going?

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: [Sat down alone] Well I am concerned about the absence of many of our people here.

Peter Levite: Who are your people?

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: [Speaking slowly with possibly a sense of menace] Well loved presbyters of Bible-believing parishes. Yes. I am looking around for some actual evangelicals. I've even overheard that we even have some heretics here.

Peter Levite: Actually, a local blogger and he's not here but some of his associates have come.

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: No, I am just talking about people who are misusing the evangelical name, people who are stretching it to a point of meaninglessness and then those who even misuse the Christian name. Goodness me, there's a woman coming. Oh dear there are two.

Jade Stowaway: Bishop Bigg, can we engage? I am Jade soon to be a deacon and this is Rachel an ordinand.

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: No, I am married to a loyal wife who knows that I am head of the household, just as Christ is head of the Church.

Rachel Marsovenus: This is the vital debate of the century, Bishop Bigg. [She bends to shake his hand]

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: Goodness me, whatever is happening? Where is my blackcurrent juice? Are you intending to be a clergywoman?

Rachel Marsovenus: We both are; Jade has got a fantastic job in London. She is so excited.

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: Have you heard about what once happened to even dissenting clergy in the streets of London? But consider when they were acceptable. I mean, you would not even have passed the essential tests during the period when the Lord Protector was in power, you see, and that was a very tolerant period in between the Stuarts. Not the 1940s but the 1640s I'm talking about. Now let me be clear - no, no, there is no debate - that your mortal souls are in great danger. First of all, both of you, cover up; second, you threaten the godly Kingdom by your disobedience. I need to report you to the nearest presbyter who's reliable in each case and your attendance will be required, and I mean only in a Bible believing church with a presbyter all can love and a curate all can like.

Jade Stowaway: Come on Rachel, let's talk to someone else.

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: It is a first order issue this, you know. Ah, come across Bishop Broadarse - or are you still a bishop?

Barry Broadarse: Well, yes, it is bye bye to the fascists and such a sense of coming home.

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: Do we still agree on the core doctrines?

Barry Broadarse: Anglicanism is nothing if it is not attached now to the one true Church. The generosity of the Holy Father knows no bounds, and by this historic gesture the future of the Anglican can only be within the Catholic Church. This here would be good communion wine: what is it?

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: I'm sorry, I'm drinking Ribena. Well, the future of Anglicanism can only be with properly confessing, reliable Presbyters, and that means men ordained alongside men only, and men in charge of fully doctrinal churches going out and creating godly parishes.

Eric Clapton: Mr Broadarse, for your information, I'm a Catholic and I'm staying. Just tell you that. And as for your kind, Bigg, not a foot inside my parish.

Barry Broadarse: Faux, faux; so, so. Where is my colleague Stanley Urwin?

Stanley Urwin: I'm overloady over hereyfold. Come and join me; I'm feeling lonely now I'm even less ordinariate than I wazzy was not. Fuzzy Wuzzy had a bear.

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: Not me. Just a second. You see, this is why we need our Society, our Fellowship. We know about Chad, from our people who come over the river here to Duckpond church, you see, and we just have to provide something for our people. Is there no one from Duckpond church here?

George Hudson: Rowanov Treetri, I see that your wife Janet has now joined you.

Janet Treetri: I was just saying to that Wakefield historian that the steam age tells us that we are connected like pipes, that God clearly designed us to be plumbed in together and feel warm with one another.

George Hudson: I work with digital graphics in this day and age and I only see steam trains between Grosmont and Pickering. This is the age of the train.

Rowanov Treetri: My wife was, I think, alluding to the fact that we have available several levels of historically grounded stories that indicate, from the Bible especially, and onward, and including whatever historical interest we might have, that there is not a little potential to extract the theological meaning inherent in these and show a continuous purpose for the human project. There is a philosophical extraction to be made from history, and one cannot be naive in the manner of Richard Dawkins and his lack of philosophical extraction from biology. Perhaps he should read Ayer.

George Hudson: Someone is nearby with a notebook.

Rachel Marsovenus: I'm just writing that down, that's all. It's just the wisdom of his words, his utter leadership in every sense. Fantastic. No Jade I'm all right this time. Hey, there's Bishop Monarch. It's getting better and better.

Jade Stowaway: He's like a God to me. Oh no, I have to control myself, he's not only - not only - with Bishop New Testament Wrong. Ooh ooh.

Rachel Marsovenus: What, gosh! This is like God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit rolled into one!

Rowanov Treetri: That is not the least uninteresting way to address the matter, but they cannot be rolled into one if divided in an already non-divided manner; and as for those bishops, they would be binitarian.

Janet Treetri: I'm an Evangelical but before I might go on about that, let me ask where you get that lipstick from.

Jade Stowaway: Sorry, we've got to go; we've got to see them now. Come on Rachel.

Graham Monarch: Hello my wonderful prodigies. Kiss kiss. Kiss kiss. What antidotes to the boring clergy impact in terms of world wide wearing don't you think? From little butterflies world spanning changes can be made.

Stanley Urwin: I heard that, pardon. Not if you wearyout the kind of clobbergear I like to holdyhold wear-e-well too as well yes oh a deary dear out it bit of lace on a like yum.

New Testament Wrong: Ignore him, he's the past. Student life, and so refreshing after all that diocesan drudgery. Hello Jade, and your friend. Yes, I can travel all over now and get my books sold. It's so good now that I can tell the Americans what I really think, to maximise my sales.

Jade Stowaway: You're not even in England now, oh it is so sad.

New Testament Wrong: Well you have to take a balanced view. Graham here, he's still potentially on the up. In the sticks, but; and then there's me. That was it really, especially with him over there.

Rachel Marsovenus: Jones James, but he might be called post-Evangelical too - isn't he like us Jade?

Graham Monarch: Er no, not really. You keep the faith. But we might have to take directions from Jones James, yes. I tried my Worldwide Anglican Wargame with Jones James in charge; and quite interesting outcomes. See, the driving wheel is in his sights and this could emphasise the need for modelling fellowship over communion but factor in that we had an overwhelming majority, my friends, for that Covenant vote, and we put the liberals right; yet, what did he do? He abstained. Quietly, quietly distanced himself. Perhaps we enter him into the modelling strategy of the game as a wildcard.

Lara Crofter: I do believe that is the local blogger Harry Tickpaper arriving and, someone leaning on his shoulder, hanging on for what her dear life? Hey she was that interesting woman, here last time. Peter - you're the nearest.

Peter Levite: We think this is Harry Tickpaper and his friend, looking a bit bleary-eyed I must say, is...

Harry Tickpaper: I am and this is Lesley Bloke.

Peter Levite: Looks like she's well inebriated! How is she? Who's behind you?

Lesley Bloke: Oy I'm not disabled you know, I can speak for myself. And I am not drunk.

Harry Tickpaper: Behind me are two Unitarian ministers, C. Shore from Sheffield and Celia Dunham-Skipton now retired. Oh they've gone over to the Wakefield lot. See you later and thanks.

Colin Shore: What a good opportunity to meet!

Melanie Pritstick: Building? Building?

Colin Shore: It's building.

Stephen Preson: What, historical-thingy or future-peoply?

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: [From a distance, looking at Lesley and Harry] No wonder we have to rely on godly men, it's really quite scandalous.

Kenneth Beans: [One of a number approaching Lesley and Harry] I'm Bishop Ken Beans: how is this person?

Lesley Bloke: I am worn out: what a day so far; what an evening into last night; what a day travelling.

Harry Tickpaper: She's very tired, and definitely not drunk. Have you tried to travel in the snow - like arriving last night after a long day on the train and then people to see?

Peter Levite: Well, get yourselves a drink and speak to you soon. And a welcome to your associates over there.

Harry Tickpaper: They are actually staying in one of the rooms upstairs. Any soft drinks by the way as I'm driving. [Suddenly there is the sound of someone falling, and eyes looking at Harry turn around.]

George Hudson: It's Lord Cudden Careyless on the ground. Did he fall or was he pushed? Em, we have Rowanov Treetri nearby, Rev. Eric Clapton, some more folks from Chad...

Cudden Careyless: I swear I was hit from behind on the back of my head.

George Hudson: Did anyone see anything?

Rachel Marsovenus and Jade Stowaway: [Approaching quickly and saying together] Lord Careyless, Lord Careyless, are you not well?

Cudden Careyless: If my son was here!

Rowanov Treetri: I have to say that if I saw anything I perceived nothing in that it is most unusual to see and understand anything like this actually happening. The narrative lacks coherent plausibility.

George Hudson: Anyone else see anything?

Eric Clapton: I had my eyes closed.

Cudden Careyless: [Getting up] Perhaps I should call the police. At least these two women have their hearts in the right place but please move away.

Flora Faunamor: No one perceived anything, and what no one can back up means there's no evidence. Hey that lipstick - I wouldn't mind using that.

Rachel Marsovenus: Look it's this, in my bag.

Cudden Careyless: It just shows the lack of moral standards today and here are people hiding their honesty. I'd expect this behaviour of certain Americans but not here.

Animal Lindsey: [From a distance] Well, situations are ethical, and ethics are situational, and I'm sure where his good Lordship is concerned it is very difficult to make a mowal judgement in his favour.

Cudden Careyless: Perhaps if I can find someone to talk to, I might be more protected. At least he or she would see behind me.

Rachel Marsovenus: It's really really exciting to meet you Lord Careyless. Perhaps we can talk about your theological outlook?

Cudden Careyless: No I really can't be bothered. Who else is there?

George Hudson: Sure you were hit? You cudden have had a fit or something?

Cudden Careyless: I am quite sure. The only fit I'll have is the one following the contempt shown to figures of authority like myself when we are only standing up for traditional values. Ken Beans, there, can we talk? You are probably more my kind of man. How will you manage the loss of Bradford after your appointment?

Peter Levite: I think everyone is here now. Are you all right?

Lesley Bloke: I'm fine. I've hardly slept. I've had travel and different kinds of meetings.

Peter Levite: Well it's great that you have come up to these parts again.

Lesley Bloke: Harry showed me his chapel yesterday evening and then a bunch of us came back here. Very modern, very new, warm. New sound system, though we put that off.

Harry Tickpaper: Well we'll go back again today because I'll show Stephen Preson, Mel Pritstick, Cornelius Istreeman and Arthur Francis the sound, and Sammy Kwava should be impressed I reckon.

Lesley Bloke: He's a proper church DJ, he is, and definitely knows when to open the drawers of his double CD player. You put your stuff in and you've got the plugs and it's sweet music all around.

Arthur Francis: Did I hear my name?

Harry Tickpaper: Yeah, how's the old gardening going on?

Arthur Francis: Pretty cold this time of year.

Harry Tickpaper: Lesley, he's the gardener I told you about, who was on telly.

Lesley Bloke: You've got your clothes on now I seem to notice. I can tell the difference.

Arthur Francis: Yeah, most of the time.

John Sendmehome: Hello. A new survey said women are more comfortable undressing in front of other men than in front of other women. They say that women are too judgemental whereas men are just grateful.

Lesley Bloke: OK, yeah. Different people, your associates.

Harry Tickpaper: I like Arthur; it was stupid the way people reacted after that programme was aired. This is what I meant; supposed to be progressive but what happens. You may as well know.

Lesley Bloke: Prejudice must be everywhere.

Eric Clapton: Have a word?

Harry Tickpaper: Yes, meet my one time pastor.

John Sendmehome: Before you do. Two intellectual nudists were talking and one asks the other, 'Have you read Marx? And the other replies, 'Yes it's the wicker chairs.'

Lesley Bloke: Why do men and women go to nudist resorts? To air their differences.

John Sendmehome: Oh I'll leave you to it. No I won't. A little girl at the nudist beach says, 'Mummy, why have some ladies got bigger boobies than you?' And she says, 'Because they are more stupid.' 'And mummy,' the girl went on, 'why have some men people got bigger thingies than daddy?' So mummy said, 'Because they are more stupid too.' So the girl said, 'Well mummy, daddy is over there talking to the most stupidest person on the beach and now he is getting ever so more stupid.' Yeah? Bye. See if any one else laughs at my jokes.

Eric Clapton: Come over here Harry a second and tell us what's going on. Just me you know. [Lesley Bloke stands on her own].

Peter Levite: Ladies and gentlemen, and listeners, and the little boy. I do thank you for all coming. Just to say that Nicky Okoh down in Pokey Poko Nigeria sends his apologies as his plane cannot land in the snow.

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: Most regrettable. What a waste of my time coming here. I was going to ask him to start ordaining some of our people from our theological colleges.

Peter Levite: Radio Chadderbox has not being going for long. Named after one of our regional saints and consequently one of our towns, we try to bring you some diverse programming and this includes the religion slot. We are criticised for being Anglican biased but that's the media for you and who knows what happens in the Methodists or URC.

Lynn Shea-Doyle: Well I was a Methodist once. They are now mired in anti-Israeli controversy, and also about a President and Vice-President once talking as if the whole denomination was about to throw in the towel.

Rowanov Treetri: Well I do believe that we heard a quite generous ecumenical offer in that Synod, whatever the practical difficulties of following such a process through, and we ought to respond with full Christian charity to the potential closure notice on the Methodist Church in Great Britain, even if that comes at the risk of small breakaways, and, after all, we have not learnt only a little about Covenants from the experience that the Methodist Church has maintained each year and actively renews, unless of course they do decide to make a full and comprehensive offer one day to the Church in England.

Carrie Rabbit: Except more of us are ignoring the invitation to attend the Covenant Service, even as an ecumenical gesture. Where's the ritual?

Peter Levite: Well I just want to say thanks to everyone gathered for supporting the station and here we have the best wishes for the season. In turn we do try to throw some light on the issues concerning you people.

Graham Monarch: Could I suggest, given that this is a gathering largely speaking of Christians, that I say a prayer? Well I will anyway. Yes I know there are Unitarians present so I'll be generous and open. Father God, most precious Trinity of you, your Son and the Spirit, with angels descending, with only hints of subordination of your divine Son to yourself: you have sung to us creation's story and sent your Messiah to be among us. Shepherds, the lowest among us, were your witnesses as we are all your witnesses still to this day of this breaking through into history. Let our brighter visions beam afar, in witness of he that was born, and died, and resurrected, and ascended, and let us be guided by the Spirit that you and the Son sent. We say all this through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen. There we are: N. T., I thought it was right to do that. I'm a bishop now and this is what I should do.

New Testament Wrong: Good one.

Cudden Careyless: I think you should have asked me to lead such worship.

Harry Tickpaper: [Nearby] Sounds like divine congestion to me.

Eric Clapton: Could do with a spot of real absence.

New Testament Wrong: It might not be strictly biblical but it is justified biblically: your so-called divine congestion is properly proto-orthodox and can surely be found through the techniques of apologetic biblical criticism.

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: I hear increasing revisionism from too close a distance.

Lesley Bloke: I'd rather pray as you go.

John Sackme: I'm sorry I'm late everyone but I've just come in from providing air cover in the sense of doing prayer outdoors. People have had fewer accidents in recent years, and some years back I thought I'd bless some gritting vehicles for the region. How essential this is this year! I am a bishop for a little longer and this is what I do.

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: It gets worse.

Harry Tickpaper: [Just returned from Eric Clapton] Lesley, come and meet Animal Lindsey. Hello Animal, this is Lesley Bloke.

Animal Lindsey: Oh dear oh dear. What passes for liturgy today. Did you hear those! Harry indeed, and your friend. Yes, we have never met, Lesley, but I feel I know so much about you already. [Lighting his pipe] You see, yes, my friend here: First an agnostic, then an Anglican, then a Unitarian, then an Anglican, then a Unitarian.

Harry Tickpaper: You're missing out the Western Buddhism and much nothingism.

Animal Lindsey: Oh, I can't keep up. Did you ever find a decent denomination, Harry? That's what I want to know.

Harry Tickpaper: I float. But what about your friend at Winchester?

Animal Lindsey: Well, humm. [Puffs his pipe] You are such a free spirit, and you Lesley too from what I read but, you notice, I never comment.

Harry Tickpaper: About your friend, and where you get some of your books published. An Archbishop, no less. I'm talking about you and your contacts.

Animal Lindsey: Well I know. A woman Archbishop too: amazing isn't it.

Rachel Marsovenus: Did I hear someone mention a woman Archbishop? Jade, over here, this is electric.

Harry Tickpaper: There's also a woman bishop in Yorkshire in the recently revived Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church, and there's that woman bishop in Wales and in the south of England in the Open Episcopal Church.

Animal Lindsey: And I thought, well, just as Liz doesn't talk any more about lesbian and gay wights, I should stop talking about animal wights, and say instead cweaturely theos wights, for that's what we all are, human and beast.

Rachel Marsovenus: Jade, give me my notebook.

Lesley Bloke: My, my head; and my bones are aching. But, er, you could then combine her holism for people and yours for creatures: really holistic and really inclusive.

Animal Lindsey: Absolutely. You see, Lesley Bloke, reading all about you, we just have to say of the utter tagedy that people who we thought were minor bumps on the Christian landscape are now in the driving seat. And this Archbishop - no, not the comedian - he is just with his foot on the bloody accelerator all the time and heading stwaight for the wall.

Peter Levite: Please, we are transmitting these conversations - can you not swear.

Animal Lindsey: Goodness me, Big Brother at the party. Are you not well Lesley?

Lesley Bloke: Just shagged out from yesterday.

Harry Tickpaper: You don't fancy joining Liz Leadbeater, Animal? After all, you pay your own way.

Animal Lindsey: On what little I have. But then would one still be able to convince the largest Church in the country to change its ways if one has moved to one side?

Lesley Bloke: That's the issue isn't it.

Harry Tickpaper: What about the legacy of Theosophy and all that, a different culture even among a tiny handful. Some have that, some don't.

Jade Stowaway: Rachel, put the notebook away. It's Episcopi Vagantes.

Peter Levite: Can I ask you all to mind your language?

Lesley Bloke: Harry and Animal, listen, that is the issue. Even if you become priest in Little Piddle cum Pisswater you can at least address the wider constituency.

Peter Levite: Can I remind you yet again?

Harry Tickpaper: Doesn't make any difference any more. All the ponds are small.

Lesley Bloke: So then you move to a very tiny pond, hardly even a puddle.

Harry Tickpaper: But we address the wider world still; same World Wide Web.

Animal Lindsey: Well I wish you both the best and to you Lesley my newly discovered friend.

Lesley Bloke: [Both moving from Animal Lindsey] Isn't he profound?

Harry Tickpaper: Yeah, made a stance. Anti-Covenant, like you.

John Sendmehome: I heard someone was using bad language. A man was fed up with his neighbour's young cat soiling his garden and went to see his unbelieving neighbour who said, 'Don't push it.'

George Hudson: Ladies and gentlemen our broadcast is coming to an end. You can still mill around a bit in the William Thomas Ford, but thanks for coming. I am the weatherman around here and I ought to suggest you leave earlier than later and leave plenty of time for your travels. It is snowing quite heavily out there and I've a train to catch myself. So bye everyone!

Harry Tickpaper: Unitarians from Wakefield and Bradford. Can we all go to see the new sound system at the Wykkyfish chapel?

Lesley Bloke: Harry, after you've done that can we go off?

Harry Tickpaper: That's the idea.

Lara Crofter: You're an interesting lady, Lesley Bloke.

Peter Levite: Lara, we've stopped broadcasting.

Anthony Wedgewood Bigg: [Approaching and putting himself in front of Lesley Bloke] Ah, you are the well known Lesley Bloke. [Speaking slowly] Can I ask you to read your Bible please and then ask, after you have absorbed every relevant sentence, whether there is any headship at all regarding the teaching ministry of a woman other than to other women and children?

Harry Tickpaper: [From the side] Oy. You. Fuck off. See that chair over there? Go back and sit in it and keep your entryism to yourself. Now. Hia, Mel, and Stephen and his boy, and Arthur and Cornelius and Sammy - you all coming?

Lesley Bloke: Harry, just move aside a minute. Let's get something straight, Harry. I fight my own battles. OK. We might think Bishop Bigg is a bigot, but I'll tell him if I think it.

Harry Tickpaper: Yes, understood.

Celia Dunham-Skipton: Er we'll be off. Nice to meet you Lesley Bloke, and perhaps hear from you again.

Colin Shaw: You're well progressive and you'll make advances.

Samuel Kwava: Thank you Hugh, most most interesting. Pity time wasn't more andante.

Cornelius Istreeman: And a most enjoyable occasion I must say. The Archbishop's wife was most articulate.

Lesley Bloke: And then after this second chapel visit I need to relax.

Harry Tickpaper: Understood.

Lesley Bloke: Good. Keep it sweet and you won't go wrong.

Harry Tickpaper: No.

Rachel Marsovenus: Jade, do you think we won anyone over to the Gospel today? It would be so great if we did.

Jade Stowaway: It was a very strange gathering. I think I'll be better off in London.

Rachel Marsovenus: I'm so jealous.

Lara Crofter: Are you sure we're not recording, Peter? It's only just now coming up to the hour. That other clock, that's fast. It's not like we're in the studio is it?

Peter Levite: I think we ought to have that clock... [Radio Chadderbox jingle]

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