Friday, 14 September 2018

Brexit Survivalism

It's weird times. The Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership comments that Brexit has hit the Partnership's profitability. And the Government's Secretary of State for Sticking Pens in Your Own Eyes steps up to tell us that eroded profit margins in a company that imports most of its wares has nothing to do with the pound dropping because the Government is determined to turn us into a low-grade, draughty, Singapore. The party that used to be for business has turned into the party that cares more about defending the delusions of the racists and idiots who lied to a nation.

Having seen the Government's latest attempt to scare the European Union, through telling them how much a No-Deal Brexit would hurt the UK, we thought it was about time we dealt with the subject of Beaker Survivalism. After all, the original Beaker Folk managed to survive -  often into their thirties - without insulin and a ban on roaming charges, so why shouldn't we today?

Now living back to nature is something people have varying abilities at, so we're banding people. Please join the appropriate group according to your own limitations:

 "Good old boys (and girls)" will be studying how to do an appendectomy in the John Lewis Room.

 "Nature Lovers" will be learning how to gut a chicken, in the Farage Garage (the one with the dodgy door)

 "Veggie Experts" please gather in the Rainbow Room for "How to tell a Mushroom from a Toadstool". I'm glad to say Hnaef is back from hospital now after his dry-run the other day. I think "dry-run" is actually his euphemism for the symptoms after eating that Death Cap.

"Dominic Raab" level - please gather in the Daily Express Room for your guide on how to find  your bottoms  with two hands.

The special course on running a whelk stall  has been cancelled. David Davis was to have run this course, but he over-slept.



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Want a good laugh? Want to laugh at the church? Want to be secretly suspicious that the author has been sitting in your church committee meetings taking notes? Then Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews is probably the book for you.

From Amazon, Sarum Bookshop, The Bible Readers Fellowship and other good Christian bookshops. An excellent book for your churchgoing friends, relatives or vicar. By the creator of the Beaker Folk.

Friday, 7 September 2018

The Latter-Day Freemanites

Made a mistake mentioning Glen Freeman, the #smilesontheline man, didn't I.

Next thing I know a bunch of Beaker Folk have set up the Latter-Day Freemanites, a society dedicated to spreading happiness by standing around grinning gormlessly at people. Even as I write I can see one, scaring the traffic in School Lane. They're planning to send missionaries to the darkest, most spiritually-empty places on earth. Flitwick, Dunstable, Nottingham. You know the kind of place.

As their worship centre, they've adopted a little lean-to shed next to the Quivering Brethren chapel. Which is going to be interesting on Sunday, as the Brethren walk quiveringly to church, being grinned at by the Grinning Brethren.

It's gonna be a long weekend.



Want to support this blog?
Want a good laugh? Want to laugh at the church? Want to be secretly suspicious that the author has been sitting in your church committee meetings taking notes? Then Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews is probably the book for you.

From Amazon, Sarum Bookshop, The Bible Readers Fellowship and other good Christian bookshops. An excellent book for your churchgoing friends, relatives or vicar. By the creator of the Beaker Folk.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Ban this man from the Tube

Picture the scene. A summer's morning in Harrogate, in God's own county. My companion and  I were off to York to visit the many wand shops for which the Shambles is now so famous. So, it being a nice day and planning to visit one or more of the fine drinking establishments with which that fair city is blessed, we took the train.

It was one of those trains which has some seats arranged around tables, while others, coach-like, face all in one direction. So naturally we, being inveterate southerners, sat where we could look happily at the seat back in front of us. We were safe from unwanted eye contact. In a happy place.

At the nearest table seats, a man was regaling two women with stories about the history of the line, the peculiarities of the signalling, and the fine details of the loop from Leeds to York via Selby. (I may have made some errors here - I do not claim to be an expert.) After a while we -  and everyone else in the carriage - became quiet as we realised an awful truth.

This man did not know these women.

It turns out that even in Yorkshire, where it is expected that complete strangers should say "hello" if they meet on long-distance footpaths, this was a bit much.  Immediately a Snapchat group was formed by the other people in the carriage, as we discussed the practicability and legality of tying him to the line at Knaresborough.

Which brings me to data consultant, Glen Freeman. Who should be banned from the London Underground.

Mr Freeman sees it as his role to get people to smile at each other on the Tube. Now firstly this is clearly against God's law. The Tube is not a place to smile. Not a place for making eye contact. It is a place to gaze hopelessly at the smiling face of Sadiq Khan as, resplendent in his yellow bikini, he advertises his total failure to improve the cycle network. A place never to be caught out without a convenient device to hold your attention away from other people. These days, normally a phone. But the lack of signal or wi-fi means that paper editions of the Metro and Standard still cling on. And some people still keep themselves really safe from unwanted attention by reading the Bible, Koran or other holy book of choice.

It is not a place to smile or be happy. You don't want to look up from Boris Johnson's latest piece explaining why the whole world is to blame for Brexit and not him, to see another gormless, self-entitled twerp grinning in your direction. This is your miserable time and you're allowed to own it. God didn't make Londoners to be happy.

I'd like us, if you will, to conduct a thought experiment. A man who has adopted Mr Freeman's philosophy of smiling at strangers is stood on the platform at Oxford Circus. It's around 10pm on a Thursday evening. And the first carriage as a train pulls up contains two South London gangs, earnestly comparing post codes. The second carriage holds a bunch of Hoxton Hipsters and another of Bermondsey Barristas, all wondering who's gonna start something and say something rude about the other group's favourite Bolivian Ocelot Coffee.

The third carriage contains a young woman. She has a bag of shopping, and the look of someone who has just broken up with her partner.

Which carriage is our man on the platform going to get in? Whom will he choose to smile at, and encourage to smile back?

And that is why Glen Freeman, and his dangerous ideas, must be banned from the Tube.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Where 2 or 3 Are Gathered

An unlikely trinity was invoked during the intercessions this morning as Norvik prayed for "Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees Mogg and Donald Trump", that they might continue "their good work."

Charlii butted in to suggest that people should offer their own prayers, immediately then commending to the Lord the work of Vince Cable and Chuka Umunna. While a seemingly delirious Chaznay prayed for Sadiq Khan to be forgiven for hovering over London in a bikini.

Before we knew it, the whole Beaker Folk were chipping in with prayers for their own particular political party or agenda, including the Palestinians, "all Zionists", the Revolutionary Communist Party and the cast of Eastenders. The intercessions fell apart into a giant fight.

From now on, prayers for the Government are strictly to be that both the Government and the Opposition be granted godly wisdom.  No more, no less, without written permission from me or Hnaef. I hope that's clear.

On the subject of the notices, Norvik's other unexpected contribution of the day, at 8pm we are having a beetle drive.  Not a rally.



Want to support this blog?
Want a good laugh? Want to laugh at the church? Want to be secretly suspicious that the author has been sitting in your church committee meetings taking notes? Then Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews is probably the book for you.

From Amazon, Sarum Bookshop, The Bible Readers Fellowship and other good Christian bookshops. An excellent book for your churchgoing friends, relatives or vicar. By the creator of the Beaker Folk.

Friday, 24 August 2018

#notgb18

Once again the Beaker Folk have packed up the Moot House for the August bank holiday and headed to Not Greenbelt, the virtual arts festival run by Graham Hartland every year in aid of the Big Issue Foundation. You can support them here, and follow the fun on Twitter here.

This year we've got the excitement of "Post-modern Church Finance" by Norbert Dranesqueezer. In which he tells us the importance of making savings regardless of what they cost. The Spaniel Quartet will once again be performing their award-winning "Howling at the Moon" set. And Amos Starkadder will be speaking on "What Mark Driscoll lacks in manliness, charisma and Quivering."

 Gonna be a great weekend.



Want to support this blog?
Want a good laugh? Want to laugh at the church? Want to be secretly suspicious that the author has been sitting in your church committee meetings taking notes? Then Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews is probably the book for you.

From Amazon, Sarum Bookshop, The Bible Readers Fellowship and other good Christian bookshops. An excellent book for your churchgoing friends, relatives or vicar. By the creator of the Beaker Folk.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The Pebble Martyrs

Much mention in the papers of the holidaymaker who removed pebbles from a beach and had to drive back to avoid a £1,000 fine.

Well, that's obviously an inconvenience for them. And I'm glad they didn't get fined. But we have to pause at this point, and remember those martyrs of the Beaker People who have been shamefully persecuted through the years for gathering the symbols of our faith.

There was Shapmir, who was gored by a bull while looking for four-leafed clovers. Never smiled again when he sat down. And Grewitt, the famous 19th Century Semi-Druid, who was frightened by a duck while gathering feverfew. Not to mention Grolbor. He was collecting teasels for an inspirational meditation on the cruelty, and yet beauty, of nature when he got one in his beard.

But the most relevant to the news item  is the sad case of Archdruid Aelfwine, In need of inspiration for a "Pre-Modern Evensong" she took her followers down to Bude Beach one afternoon and collected 16 bushels of the finest pebbles.

The Lord of the Manor in those days, Sir Trelawney Poldark, apprehended the worshippers as the dragged the stones up the beach, had them arrested by the Yokel Militia, and imprisoned them in a small cell near Morwenstow. In cramped, damp conditions, drinking water that dripped from the walls and eating only the stale bread that the local ducks had refused, the Beaker People realised conditions were actually better than living in Aelfwine's Moot House. It was years till they agreed to come out.



Want to support this blog?
Want a good laugh? Want to laugh at the church? Want to be secretly suspicious that the author has been sitting in your church committee meetings taking notes? Then Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews is probably the book for you.

From Amazon, Sarum Bookshop, The Bible Readers Fellowship and other good Christian bookshops. An excellent book for your churchgoing friends, relatives or vicar. By the creator of the Beaker Folk.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Tears of St Lawrence

Knew this was a mistake. The "Wonders of the natural world" bunch wanted to sit up and watch the shooting stars last night.

Lots of quoting of Psalm 8. Lots of "when that lonely speck of dust, having flown around the cos-moze for millennia, dies in beauty, we want to be there for it."

 Lots of running around the kitchen garden at 3 am under the influence of Pimms, shouting "Wheee! I'm a meteor!"

 They're all out on the front lawn now, , faces still eagerly pointed upwards, fast asleep in their deck chairs.

It's pretty unlucky for them really. Despite the rain we've had the last few days, the automated sprinkler system is still about to come on.

I should really switch it off.

I really should.



Want to support this blog?
Want a good laugh? Want to laugh at the church? Want to be secretly suspicious that the author has been sitting in your church committee meetings taking notes? Then Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews is probably the book for you.

From Amazon, Sarum Bookshop, The Bible Readers Fellowship and other good Christian bookshops. An excellent book for your churchgoing friends, relatives or vicar. By the creator of the Beaker Folk.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Boris Johnson is a Dangerous Idiot

I'll be honest. I was worried.

The thing about Boris Johnson is, he plays that likeable toff so well. So when he does a really good act of being simultaneously a racist, and yet that lovable racist who isn't really a racist, he's standing up for women's rights, I worry. And I think - have we been nice to him in the past because he's dead good about being the thinking person's Roderick Spode?

Nope. All good. Boris Johnson is a dangerous idiot. And an idiot's idea of what an intelligent idiot looks like. We're OK.

Boris Johnson  is a dangerous idiot. Carry on.


Want to support this blog?
Want a good laugh? Want to laugh at the church? Want to be secretly suspicious that the author has been sitting in your church committee meetings taking notes? Then Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews is probably the book for you.

From Amazon, Sarum Bookshop, The Bible Readers Fellowship and other good Christian bookshops. An excellent book for your churchgoing friends, relatives or vicar. By the creator of the Beaker Folk.

The New Services Board

Bad news re the new services board.

We'd thought it would be good to have a services board. You know, like proper churches. All the regular acts of worship painted up. Weekday services on the left, Sundays on the right.

Got contentious though, didn't it. Because the people who work during the day, and mostly attend on Sundays, they wanted the weekdays on the right and the Sundays on the left.

Then some people said isn't it a bit occidocentric to assume all people read from left to right. So we got the mirror-writing suggestion.

And then someone said they thought the Sundays should be at the top and weekdays beneath. And somebody of a more fundamentalist nature asked whether we had begun marking special days and new moon festivals again.

And then someone said good point- where were the monthly services going?

And after a nine-hour Moot Meeting we finally reached a compromise.

So I'm pleased to say that the eight service boards have finally all been painted and screwed into place.

And I'm less pleased to announce that this has taken so long that we've actually already changed our pattern of services.

Still, as we take them back down, at least that means we can repaint them in different colours. When they went up, a lot of people complained about them all being blue. And I can't face another meeting.