Thursday, 14 May 2015

Ascension Day

As is traditional, we all climbed up on the roof of St Bogwulf's Chapel to celebrate Ascension Day. It wasnt't the most successful of worship experiences, in my opinion. I'm afraid that, when my venerable ancestors built the chapel, their "New Testament faith" led them to neglect the Old Testament advice to put parapets around the roof. Still, the good news is that Burton's fall was cushioned by a conveniently placed bramble patch. The bad news is, we have no idea how we're gonna get him out.

Beating the Bounds, our other Ascension tradition, is of course the survival of the ancient Beaker Folk celebration of "Yewkip". We prowl the boundaries of the Community, armed with pointy sticks, and throw anyone we don't recognise into the brook. At the end of our circumperambulation, the leader has to say they're resigning, and then threatens the other Beaker Folk of the consequences if they are not immediately reappointed. In former days, the ceremony reflected the mystic role of the leader as the one whose connctedness to the World gave meaning to the Community itself - her existence in that role imputing meaning and vitality to the people under her charge. Hence the ancient declaration, "You're nothing without me!"

So now we settle down to that second hiatus in Jesus' presence - another liturgical space, less terrifying but just as profound as Easter Saturday. Jesus has gone - again - to reappear in another way - again - at Pentecost. The profound question of what the people of God do without God's presence, what the Church would be without the Spirit, can be answered by seeing the actions of the disciples in this waiting time. 

They realised they had a vacancy on their Church Committee, and elected Matthias. And so, in memory or this, we dedicate this time until White Sunday to Church admin, Moot elections and discussions about what wattage the bulb should be in the gents' toilets. At the Beaker Folk, we slot all this kind of stuff into this ten day period. After all, imagine what it would be like if this were the main focus of the Church all year round.


  1. If Burton had been a man of faith, he would have realised that I would have swung by on my broomstick and helped him descend. Still - it is his impetuousness that attracts me. Let me know if he needs help to remove any tricky thorns.

    As for disposing of leaders, I have no truck with the Yewkippers modernist enthusiasm for Arthurian style returns.

    In my day, when the tribal leader had come to the end of his term, or there had been a spell of distressingly bad weather, they would take him for a slap-up meal at the Legh Arms, then stick a ligature round his neck and stow him for posterity under Lindow Marsh. The Irish and Danish Beaker people were particularly traddie in this regard, and given the weather there - who can blame them?.

    Given the dreadful weather this week, I may pop over to Knutsford, and see if George Osborne is around....

  2. Burton's Fall - sounds like a biography.

  3. "Imagine what it would be like if this were the main focus of the Church all year round."

    I can't think what you mean....


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