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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Church of England BAPs - Those 50 Secret Tricky Questions

It is a well-known fact that all Anglicans who are possibly called to ministry, having attended a Bishops' Advisory Panel (BAP), are sworn to secrecy regarding what actually happens. The status of BAP candidate is akin to the outer circle of the Freemasons, in more ways than one.

So it was at great personal risk (thankfully not mine) that we managed to get a Beaker infiltrator through Confirmation, DDO and the entire series of assessors that lead to BAP attendance. And by scratching the questions onto the soles of his feet with a pair of compasses (used for drawing circles in the notoriously difficult "Describe the Geometry of the Trinity" exercise, he has managed to evade the detailed body-search procedures that might have led to his being discovered.

  1. Can you explain the doctrine of predestination, using matchsticks and boiled sweets?
  2. How much of a Fleetwood Mac fan are you?
  3. Which parts of postmodernism are you just blagging?
  4. Which soap star has been the biggest influence on your life? 
  5. Canterbury or Hippo?
  6. How's your head for heights? And your ability at tiling?
  7. Do you think that biretta's premature?
  8. African swallow, or European?
  9. Are you scared of nuns in particular, or just women in particular? [Optional for female candidates]
  10. Out of 150, what percentage of your time do you think you'll be able to give to administration?
  11. Can you give an example of where you've removed some furniture against the preferences of the person whose house it actually is?
  12. Which denomination would you prefer to let down in Ecumenical dialogue?
  13. Did you think nobody noticed you have that third pint last night?
  14. You know the 48-hour rule doesn't apply, don't you?
  15. Which Genesis albums do you own both on vinyl and CD?
  16. Do you prefer your sherry oloroso or fino?
  17. How many chickens do you think?
  18. If you had two successive meetings, 14 miles apart, how fast do you think you could drive to get between them?
  19. Do you have any idea how silly you'll look in a rose chasuble?
  20. Meetings will form a fair part of your day. Can you show me what you look like when fast asleep with your eyes open?
  21. You know Dibley is imaginary, don't you?
  22. Christendom may be dead - but don't you think it would be better if it wasn't?
  23. How do you handle conflict? This is not a hypothetical question.
  24. Do you have any concept of what exhaustion means?
  25. What kind of a scruffy, lovable old dog are you thinking of getting?
  26. How's your juggling? No - with eggs, not calendars.
  27. Can you use this calendar of lunar phases, and this map of the East Anglian coast, to work out the tide times for next week in Great Yarmouth?
  28. If not, how are you going to manage the Lectionary?
  29. How do think it will feel, being the one not crying at your friends' funerals?
  30. You know the peasants won't just do what you say these days?
  31. You know how it's nice to be able to relax in the evening? How do you think it would be, not to?
  32. Did you just get into this for the quiche?
  33.  Not using decimals, how many meetings do your reckon you can fit into a typical 16-hour day?
  34. Does your spouse have any idea what he/she is in for?
  35. Do you want people to like you?
  36. In that case, do you think you should be doing something else?
  37. How far, do you reckon, could you throw a choirmaster?
  38. What level of oil boiler maintenance have you reached?
  39. How much Moltmann have you read?
  40. Are you exaggerating?
  41. You have read the Bible, haven't you? All of it, not just the bits at Christmas?
  42. You know all the "vicars" on Twitter are impostors, don't you?
  43. How's your memory for names?
  44. Can you make a bridge from toilet rolls and paper clips? How might you apply this to your ministry?
  45. You may learn a lot of Greek words over the next three years. How quickly do you reckon you can forget them again?
  46. Have you ever considered what it's like trying to manage amateurs?
  47. Some people will think you're closer to God than they are. You won't let that go to your head, will you?
  48. You may spend your curacy in a squirrel costume, doing the church children's work. In what way will you be following the footsteps of St Francis?
  49. Can you explain the Parable of the Talents through interpretive dance?
  50. When you see yourself in a dog collar in the mirror - how likely is it you'll swear? And after 10 years?

(Should you want to know, yes our agent got through.  And there's talk of him one day being an Archdeacon.)

Bryony has a much more fanciful idea of the whole thing, if you want a look.

Other Things You Never Knew About Top Gear

So the middle-aged boy-racers of Top Gear staged a Traffic Jam for comic effect. I was so shocked I nearly decided to vote UKIP.

In other news:

Jeremy Clarkson's testosterone levels aren't actually that high.

They're rude about cyclists because the outrage gets them publicity.

When they do those coast-to-coast challenges, they have a camera crew and backup team with them.

They gave those bikes and the stupid clothes back after they filmed that thing in London. And the cycling experts they spoke to knew they were going to be stupid. And they probably pulled Clarkson's chain off deliberately. And that's not necessarily a euphemism.

Some of the stars in reasonably priced cars are more like celebrities than stars, if truth be told.

Some of their fans are spotty teenagers who can't even drive, but like to bask in the glow of their machismo.

The Stig is just a professional driver in a racing outfit. Not a superhero. Although some say his kneecaps are made of germanium.

James May makes to like out he's the most laid-back of the three.

Richard Hammond isn't all that tall.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

At A Moment's Notice

See, this is what happens when you let Burton Dasset help out.

I remarked in passing that I'm absent-minded about charging my phone. Commented that, should Charlii suddenly go into labour when I've let the battery die, I won't know about it for ages.

Came in just now to discover that he's purchased a dozen cheap phones, downloaded their numbers into Young Keith's, and has wired each phone up to forward answer phone messages to all the others. That way, he says, he makes sure I won't miss the announcement that the youngest member of the Fitzroy Russell clan is on the way.

Yeah, I said. But Young Keith only has one phone. And he's as bad at charging his, as I am. And there's no guarantee, in the circumstances of a rapid exit from Waitrose, let us say (apparently they give you the shopping free if your waters break, so Charlii's spending a lot of time in there at the moment), that Charlii will remember to let me know so then what?

He went a bit white for a while. But now Young Keith has half a dozen phones. One of which is wind-up. I'm gonna be the best-informed Granny in Central England at this rate.

St George's Day - The Mail Exposes the Church of "England's" Shame

The Mail has today filled its pages with references to St George's Day. Around the country, patriotic organisations have flown the red cross. And yet, while we have campaigned to kick Alex Salmond out until it's a less English day, one former national institution has not been celebrating with us.

In a shocking attempt to comply with European regulation (the Catholic Church), the Church of England is today instead marking something called "Easter". The Church of England - note that word, England - is  ignoring St George in favour of a religious festival imported from the Middle East.

While Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and St Giles Fraser's Church all ignored our national day, the Rev Bill Bumptious of St Stroppy's, Southwark, used a St George's Day Flag altar cloth, and threw red roses at his bumper midweek congregation of 3. Rev Bill said, "I've always ignored anything the Church tells me, and today is no different. The Church of England is oppressive, restrictive of personal freedom and dreadfully illiberal. But thankfully its rules make it very hard for it to sack people that ignore the rules."

A spokesbook for the Archbishop of Canterbury said, "When St George's Day or St Mark's Day falls between Palm Sunday and the Second Sunday of Easter inclusive, it is transferred to the Monday after the Second Sunday of Easter. If both fall in this period, St George's Day is transferred to the Monday and St Mark's Day to the Tuesday. When the Festivals of George and Mark both occur in the week following Easter and are transferred in accordance with these Rules in a place where the calendar of The Book of Common Prayer is followed, the Festival of Mark shall be observed on the second available day so that it will be observed on the same day as in places following alternative authorized Calendars, where George will have been transferred to the first available free day."

We don't know what that means, except that the unpatriotic Church of England - supporter of an asylum-seeking single mother, her tax-dodging son and the hard-working carpenter who had to support them both - has ignored St George, our national saint. Instead it is remembering that the man behind the infamous "Temple Disturbances" of 33AD had his sentence of death cut short to 2 days for good behaviour.

They will be celebrating in the West Bank tonight.

BBC's Jamaica Inn - What you Missed

Aunt Patience:Arrrrh!
Mysterious Albino Vicar:Arrrrh!
Person who's wandered in from the Archers:Arrrrh!
Spare Smuggler:Arrrrh!
Person who killed somebody in Midsomer:Arrrrh!
Stray character from Lark Rise:Arrrrh!
Aunt Ada Doom:Arrrrh!
Eddie Shoestring:Arrrrh!
Adge Cutler:Arrrrh!
Worzel Gummidge:Arrrrh!

Continues Inaudibly