Sunday, 14 October 2012

Ecclesiastical SI Units

I sometimes find, Dear Reader, that people have terrible trouble understanding the SI system of measurements. And is it so surprising? When metric measures are defined in terms of wavelengths of light, how can anyone understand them?

And so I decided to translate the traditional scientific units into these more approachable ones for people of church-going habit. I hope this may prove helpful.

One centimetre The distance "up the candle" the average ordinand travels each month during training.
One  millimetre The distance "down the candle" the same person travels after ordination, unless the stewards / churchwardens are watching very carefully.
One hertz  What the people in the Chesham area say if they trap their fingers in the church door.
One Henry Half the Churchwardens.
One nanosecond The time between the minister saying the final blessing at a wedding, and the first cigarette being lit in the churchyard.
One tonne The weight of any piece of church furniture that needs moving.
100 decibels  The noise of a choir warming up. 
120 decibels The noise of a choir in full blast, when consisting of two old ladies and someone's nephew.
50 decibels The noise made by a non-Methodist congregation.
100 decibels That same congregation, after an ex-Methodist has just joined.
One Ohm  A measure of resistance equivalent to one ten-thousandth of that put up by the average PCC.
1 kilocandlepower Christmas Carol Service in a High Anglican church.
1 Newton The number of protected amphibians required to completely stop the building project.
1Kilolitre Quantity of tears shed at the average wedding.


  1. One amp: 10% of the current worship group.

    Then, by application of Ohm's Law:
    One kilovolt: The threshold to be overcome for the PCC to agree to the worship group leading a service.

  2. One kilovolt is quite some potential. Sparks could fly.


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