Sunday, 21 October 2012

Enforcing the Gospel in a Modern Age

Like St Paul, I have suffered with vociferous women.

I confess - it was my own fault. A few weeks ago I asked a not-quite rhetorical question - "Do we think God is like a pedantic judge, constantly looking for the smallest faults?

The answer, of course, is "yes". The benefits of freedom will never be outweighed by the need to keep on the straight path - narrow, overgrown, and covered in brambles as it may be. But it turned out my little flock of Funambulist Baptists are not yet onto solid food - they still crave after milk. And so some shouted "Yes", some murmured "no" and one commented, "if he's like the Bedford Magistrates we're all in trouble.

Obviously it is right that we should debate these important things. After all, each comes with a word, a song or the ability to make instant coffee. It gave me the chance to put them right. But - and this is the key point - some of those shouting were women. And even more importantly - I have not been able to stop them joining in since.

And so when I asked, "What can separate us from the love of God?" a fortnight ago, most of the congregation responded, "Nothing!" But one shouted out "bondage". It turned out she meant the spiritual variety, but it still distracted attention from the rest of the sermon. It was only afterwards we discovered what she meant.

I have repeatedly stressed to the womenfolk that they should keep quiet, asking questions of the their husbands afterwards. But the shouting-out continues. And my heart grew downcast at the thought of simply expelling them from the congregation. For they are merely being enthusiastic - and some of these pushy women who think they know important things are big earners in the City. And the rent on the Bogwulf Chapel is like unto the mustard tree which groweth every day.

And so I have come up with a godly, disciplined, and yet effective solution. From now on the women are to sit on the left of the church, with the girls and younger children. Down the right, are the men and the older boys. Around the women's pews I have had constructed a sound-proof glass wall. And the sound from the rest of the chapel is broadcast in to them through speakers. It is true, the hymn-singing is only half as loud as it used to be. But godly order has been restored.


  1. It will be intersting to find out what the Archdruid will be signing about this from behind the glass walls.

  2. I wondered if you meant 'singing' Erika but decided that 'signing' would be more effective.

  3. If she carries lipstick with her, she could even write on the walls, which has a very Biblical precedent. The writing on the walls bit, not the lipstick bit. I suspect the women who attend Bogwulf Chapel have found some bit of the Bible that forbids painting faces, but I don't know if the Archdruid agrees with them, or sells holy lipstick made from leftover tea lights.

    1. Cheryl, this was Drayton's view on such things at his last place.

      If you ever catch me in Drayton's glass-walled woman-trap I'll be the one with a sledge-hammer. But I am hoping to rent it out as a squash court during the week.

  4. Pidge, I did mean signing. Also signing and singing at the same time would work too. Provided she sings very loudly. Sledghammer percussions would work too.

  5. Does Drayton suffer with vociferous women or from them? Suffering with them implies a degree of empathy not demonstrated by what follows!


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