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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

An Ambitious Programme

I'd like to thank Chetwynd for his interesting proposals for the new evangelisation of England.

Broadly, his proposal is that we campaign for an independent Scotland. That, he believes, will provide the Tories with the edge in England (and Wales, which apparently we get to keep.)

Then, we offer our spiritual services to David Cameron. We do this on the basis of the following:

a) We have women in leadership already. Unlike the C of E or the Tories, we don't have to struggle to get any women in place

b) We offer full equality in marriage services. Again, no embarrassing power struggles and no forty-year fights through Synod.

c) We offer vaguely spiritual feelings, occasionally singing a few bars of "Jerusalem" before forgetting the words.

d) Aren't old buildings lovely?

e) Hardworking, responsible discipleship.

On this strong commercial proposition, we intend to run the Church of England as a franchise, thus bypassing all that dreary stuff they'll need to do to modernise. We will appoint Olivia Colman as our chief spokesperson, and that bloke who plays her husband in "Rev" as our stunt comedy vicar.

Then when David Cameron wins the next election, the really serious piece of evangelisation comes in.  We franchise all Social Security and state pensions services to your friendly local church - let's face it, that's already happened for emergency food provision. Anyone wanting money, food or a roof over their heads will have to see the local vicar, who will judge their case based on whether she has seen them in church lately, and whether they're a notorious evil-liver or no better than they should be.

In this way, we will restore both power and moral initiative to the Church. And England will be Christendom again.

I'm not sure about all of it. Chetwynd's assumption that every church will have its own full-time vicar, regardless of its size, seems to owe more to watching "Postman Pat" than any kind of economic or demographic reality. And his proposal that the vicar should be allowed, in cases of severe moral turpitude or idleness, to unleash the Skimmington on households, seems a bit much. Merely making them repent in sackcloth seems enough to me.

3 comments :

  1. You forgot the bit in the proposal where everyone has to pay you additional income tax at 10%.

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  2. Wow, will you be putting all this in the next election manifesto? That should liven things up a bit.

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  3. I actually think that this is a sensible proposition. You could demand that the Church be funded by the state, which after all if you're cancelling the welfare state is affordable. This would allow a Vicar in every church and is there's a manpower/womanpower shortage at the outset you could put emergency arrangements in place for internet ordination and have one or more Rev's in every parish and even chaplains in every school, hospital and hospice. You could take the evangelisation further by insisting that to obtain treatment on the NHS you will need a voucher from your Vicar certifying that you're baptised and confirmed, a regular attender and that your children have their name down for Eton or Harrow. This would really perpetuate the Church of England's role as The Tory Party at Prayer. What's not to like about it? :)

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