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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.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Simon Jenkins Writes Drivel

Well, it wouldn't be Easter if the Guardian didn't have something running down Christianity, would it? And this year's volunteer for the warm lager-filled chalice is Simon Jenkins.

It's impressive really. Most Guardianistas would normally be arguing for disestablishment, and getting everyone up and fretty. But not Simon. Instead he argues that the Church should be "fully nationalised".

His claims for how this would work appear to be almost entirely drivel, but let's go with it shall we. It's Easter, after all.

Apparently, churches are currently "locked and inaccessible". Very true. Many rural churches are - often for fear of theft. The wild and lovely church of St Joliet in Cornwall, where Thomas Hardy wooed his Emma and then turned the whole experience into a book, has a rather plaintive sign:

"The Brass and other items have been stolen"
See, the vicar and PCC of St Joliet are prepared to leave the place open, for people's spiritual recreation. Even when they were at risk of damage or theft of the valuables. But would Simon Jenkins's putative committee subletting the running of the building be prepared - even be allowed to do that? Nope. The building would only be open if someone were prepared to guard it. And even in a Jeremy Corbyn / Guardian world of unlimited money trees, they wouldn't pay for 12,000-plus full-time guardians (and co-guardians, for safety, and holiday cover) to look after the Church of England's stock. No. They'd need unpaid people to do that. Unpaid people who could do it already, if they wanted to.

Simon Jenkins tells us that one reason why the Church of England should have its buildings nationalised (I assume he doesn't want to nationalise the actual church - firstly you could argue it already is, and secondly it's a heck of a mess), is because "it resolutely refuses to serve the nation". This is expressed, in Simon Jenkins' imaginary world, in the way that "most"of its parishes "refuse to marry or bury outsiders".

This is pure rubbish. There are rules for who parishes of the Church of England can marry and bury. First up, burying. The C of E will bury anybody who lived in their parishes. According to the FuneralZone website, "clergy will lead a funeral service for anyone living within their parish". But to be honest, it's probably better to wait until they're not living within the parish. Likewise on weddings: you can be married if you or your spouse-to-be live in the parish, or if you have a "qualifying connection". You don't have to believe anything, or you can be a tree-frog worshipper. As long as you've got some kind of reasonable connection (and as long as you aren't planning to marry someone within the same genital grouping), you should be fine. I believe quite a lot of people are working on the whole marrying people with the same - ahem - equipment as well. They'll get there.

Let's move onto how this is all going to work. First up, the Church buildings will be "taken into state ownership, and then transferred to local parish or town councils". So the public bodies that generally run park benches and bits of greenery will now be expected to be manage Grade 1 and 2* listed buildings on land worth, generally, millions of pounds. And remembering how much money it takes to keep the buildings in a reasonable state, how will Simon Jenkins pay for this? Oh yeah. I forgot. He writes in the Guardian. Tax.
"Parishes would be legally free to levy a local church tax to pay for the upkeep of their most prominent and historic building. There is nothing novel in this. There is a church tax in Germany, Italy and much of Scandinavia – sometimes with opt-outs if people object."
Thing about Germany is that the taxes don't just pay for the buildings. They pay for the ministers as well. Don't know if Simon Jenkins is so on-board with this. Don't know if anyone else would be, given it's an extra 8 or 9% on the income tax in Germany, for instance. I know I'd be ticking the opt-out.

No, what Simon Jenkins is probably thinking of is more like France. Where the State owns the buildings, but doesn't pay for the ministers. Which is why it has 40,000 plus buildings and only 7,000 priests. Let me share with you a lovely church:

A small, pretty Celtic-Style Church  with a neatly kept churchyard.
Pleherel-Plage Church
Pleherel-Plage Church near Cap Fréhel in Brittany. It's gorgeous, it's well-kept, it's barely ever used for community or Church events. Welcome to Simon Jenkins' world of churches. Immaculate, unused and empty.

But no - Simon Jenkins has some great ideas for how to use our nation's stock of ancient buildings. "Even if chancels remain in religious use, naves, aisles, towers and churchyards should be adapted for other purposes, with some regulatory latitude. This might embrace not just local shops, but creches, libraries, day centres for the elderly, places to collect a pension, pick up a parcel, connect to wifi, meet a friend or have a drink." So villages that have lost their pubs and post offices due to financial constraints will suddenly have the money not only to pay for licensees and post masters/mistresses. But they're also going to find the people to look after the elderly, run the library and keep an eye on your nippers for you.

And some people say it's religious people that believe in unbelievable things.

To quote Simon Jenkins, "We are saddled with these fine buildings."

"Blessed" might be a better word. But you know what, go ahead - take them into state ownership. Those buildings are worth millions. Some are in fantastic locations. Will keep the Church in stipends forever. While the Church can move into school halls and pubs and gyms, keep warm and worship God.

Simon Jenkins, go home. You're writing drivel.

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.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

A New Commandment

"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Not exactly a new commandment, really, that believers should love one another. "Love your neighbour" is all the way back in Leviticus. Jesus had already expanded that - told us that our neighbours include our enemies, with the story of the Good Samaritan. Told us to love our enemies, as well as our friends. Told us that even to call someone a fool was to put yourself in danger of hell.

And yet, he tells them it's a new commandment. "Love one another."

And maybe he's telling them it's a new commandment because it's so easy to forget. We slip back. We stop loving one another. We return to back-biting and complaining because we love it so much, really. And then.... Jesus tells us there's a new commandment. Love one another. As he has loved the disciples.

How does he love the disciples? By being a servant. By sharing his life with them. By being one among them. He's the Son of God, but he's not too important to give up his heavenly privileges and come to earth as a baby. He's the Word of God, but he breathes and sweats, suffers pain and dies like us. He knows all the wonders of heaven, and yet he will pick up a child to bless her. He's the First and Last, Beginning and End. And yet there he is among this band of Galileans, come to celebrate the Passover like all the others.

He bows to wash their feet. The work of a slave. But he'll be a servant, because that is why he is there. To set an example of what the work of any Christian should be - and of any Christian leader. To be a Christian leader is not to be a star - it's to be a servant.

When Church leadership forgets it's about servanthood. When it decides it's holy, unaccountable, that's when it fails. The stories of  abuse committed and covered up in the Church, now coming into daylight - that's what happens when leadership is protected, deferred to, put up on high. "Father knows best." At the Independent Enquiry into Child Sex Abuse, Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, said there was a "mindset in which the authority of ordained ministry was beyond criticism.” This is not the attitude of a Church whose Head, lover, and saviour was a servant. This is not the heart of Jesus Christ.

It's not just about abuse, of course, and it's not just about leaders. Jesus calls us all to be servants, of one another. A servant being one who serves, who has to put others first. Somebody whose rights are put aside. If we all did that, people really would believe that we were Christ's disciples.

And now Our Lord puts his rights to one side. The human God, the servant and saviour. The one who came from heaven will now be raised up to heaven. He will die the death of a slave; of a rebel; of a traitor.

And before he does that, he gives us a new commandment. We are to love one another.



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.

Mummy's Home

News from Australia of the mummy that was found in a coffin which was previously thought to be empty.

And that would be just a dull little story, but this line got me thinking:
"Experts will try to identify the mummy, which was "badly torn apart" and ransacked by tomb raiders at some point in history. Only about 10% of the body remains in the coffin."
If you had been Mer-Neith-it-es, picking the spot for your burial and appropriate inscriptions and hieroglyphics for what you hoped would be your final resting place - what would worry you more? The 90% of your bodily remains that the tomb raiders presumably scattered and left in the tomb - or the 10% that a bunch of Australians are currently carbon dating and CAT scanning?

So the spirit of Mer-Neith-it-es goes to follow the sun-god Ra around the skies. And wonders why he is flying in the wrong direction. And asks why these white-faced people with strange accents and tampered-with balls refer to "CATS". The only cats she knew were sacred. And she reflects that the only people that don't have human rights, are the long-dead.



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 Goddess Eostre Checks Her List

The goddess Eostre dances through the fields of Husborne Crawley. A deeply conflicted goddess, attested to only by a monk in an attempt to explain a month's name, she sometimes wonders whether she really exists at all.

And the trouble with being a goddess of uncertain existence is she doesn't know what she's goddess of. Maybe the Angles had a use for her, apart from just being Month-Namer, but what use was she? It was all so long ago. She can't recall.

Eostre draws a weary breath, and passes her lime-green hand across her forehead. Kicking Narcissus out the way,  she gazes at her reflection in the brook.

 "Not looking bad for 3,000, kid. I wonder if I was one of those Matronae Austriahenae I've been reading about. Still, the mother of Austrians? I'd have to wear lederhosen like Jamie Lee Curtis. Or was that Swedish? Oh, I don't remember. What point is a divinity that's lost her purpose?"

Washing her face in the dew of dawn - her dawn, for is she not cognate with Aurora* - she remembers her new purpose in life.  The New Religion that threw her from her throne - if she ever had a throne, if she ever existed - is growing weak.  Belief is no longer in an All-Father and a  death-conquering Son,  but  now resides in a hatred of all things that come from across the sea. The spiritual heart of England is now Englishness. But Englishness is tainted with Empire, the blood of the weak and oppression of the poor. Old England is dying. And in its death, in the failing of the old light, Eostre has found a new job.  Part time, to be sure. But when you're  an ageing immortal with no allotted purpose, what are you to do?

Eostre has become the goddess of Easter misinformation and Social Media strife.

She pulls out the checklist. Has it been said enough that she - an uncertain  goddess of the far West - was responsible for a  bunch of middle-eastern monotheists giving a date to a feast in her honour, that they didn't name after her  but instead named after their own Passover?

Tick.

Have two or more newspapers got over-eggcited about the false idea  that all Easter Eggs used to have the word "Easter" on them but now don't?

Oh yeah.

Has someone done the eggcited pun?

Well if they haven't, I just did. Tick.

Has someone said Judas wasn't bad, just misguided?

Yep

Has the fact that a product made with milk and cocoa butter is halal made members and friends of UKIP  all stressy?  Have people pointed out that  olive oil, water, baked beans and communion wafers are also halal? Has this made someone declare that unless a pig has actually died to make it, it's not a real Easter egg?

Mostly.  Maybe not the  last one, but then the goddess Eostre uninstalled Facebook because they held so much data about her. One of her "friends" on there probably did say as much. In some gif shared from a far-right group pretending to be about remembering how good England was in the 50s.

Has a major spiritual figure, like  Joan Bakewell or a bishop, said the Resurrection did not happen?

Mmm. No. Problem. The mainstream of British society doesn't care anymore, and the believers that are left - maybe they believe more. The goddess Eostre reminds herself that there's still Good Friday to go, so plenty of time.

Meanwhile the Easter Bunny is getting restless, and starts to nibble at her socks.

Socks, she thinks to herself. A goddess in socks! Well, she's getting on. The world itself is getting old. And it's a frosty morning. She'll have to have a word with the Frost Giants.  If they're not working over the weekend at B&Q.

  The Goddess Eostre resolves to have a look at Ian Paul's blog to see if he's debunked any folk religion lately. Then, seeing the shining in the east ( "named after me - or was it the other way round?" she mumbles) she sets off to cause trouble. She needs to draw the attention of an Anglo-Catholic pedant to the existence of "luxury" hot cross buns. It's a busy life, trying to find  purpose as a an deity of uncertain existence.


* Probably not, but worth a stab, surely?


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, 27 March 2018

The Royal Wedding : From Beyond the Veil

The prize for "Story that should really have been in the Star" for this week goes to the amazing news from the Daily Mirror - that Princess Diana will be at Harry and Meghan's wedding - as a ghost.

Don't know where to go with this in one sense. I mean, you like to think that, at the high spots of your life, your departed love ones will in some way be sharing. Maybe you believe in the Communion of Saints, maybe in some more disembodied kind of an afterlife. But you would hope they'd break off singing the Hallelujah Chorus long enough to give you a bit of a heavenly cheer on. Not so much if you're being sick after drinking three bottles on Sangria in Mallorca. They can get on with the singing in those circumstances, rather than leaning over your shoulder saying "you shouldn't be overdoing it at your age." But in the good times, yeah. Nice.

So if Lady Di is there - as a ghost - in what way are the sibling psychics that are predicting this ethereal visitation imagining it as being different? Will she be shimmering into view and pointing an accusatory finger at the Duke of Edinburgh, as if the service were ghost-written (sorry) by Mohammed Al Fayed? Or just bestowing a blessing in that vaguely saintly way of hers from a distance?

We're not told. Because after all the vague promises of presence, the psibling psychics are off,  presumably to ask for Ghandi's view on the Facebook data sharing scandal.

Instead, the Mirror goes off to tell us some more fairly bland things about royal weddings, as if they were part of the uncannily accurate prophecy we've already received.

For instance. Meghan will continue a Royal tradition of holding a sprig of myrtle in her bouquet. This is a tradition that goes back to Victoria, the Mirror tells us. So in what sense it is also paying respects to Diana, which the Mirror tells us they are doing, is not actually not too clear. The Mirror tells us that myrtle represents "good luck, love and fidelity in marriage". Now, I've been fairly tasteless once here, so I don't want to go too far. But. I can only assume the myrtle didn't work for Diana.

But then finally we are presented with a way we can test the original assertion, that Lady Di will be at the wedding. The Mirror tells us that it is traditional that the bride's bouquet is left on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

Well, if Diana's there, she can tell us who he is, can't she? Be nice to clear up the mystery.


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.

Recommended Ring Bearers at Weddings

Obviously I was really grumpy at the news that the best man at a wedding had been attacked by a ring-bearing owl. I'd never thought of it myself. What's real life doing being stupider than this blog? And let's face it, I've seen a lot of people attacked by animals in church services. I should have thought of it.


Still, to jump on the bandwagon, here's the Beaker guide to good and bad things to have carrying the ring at your wedding or handfasting.

Wise
  • Small children
  • Best man, best woman, best person, best non-binary person, best supporting part
  • Groom/Bride's Uncle or Aunt
  • A troupe of firefighters
  • Maid of Honour
  • The minister (temporarily - they tend to shake a lot and could drop them)
  • Collie dogs as long as they don't round up the bridesmaids and pen them, quivering, in the children's ghetto area at the back of the church under the impression it's a sheep pen.
  • Good hobbits
  • Bats (they are often conveniently to hand if the Best Man can't stand up)
  • Members of the Royal Family
Unwise
  • Killer owls
  • Killer whales
  • Boris Johnson
  • Bad hobbitses
  • Rosebud the dog from "Columbo"
  • Members of Northamptonshire County Council
  • Wraiths
  • Anybody in a Situation Comedy
  • Wolves
  • Mother of the Bride's first husband's step-sister
  • Kleptomaniacs





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.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

When the Gray Squirrels met the Pine Martens

Giggling about this, which I shouldn't, I'm sure.

Pine Martens differentially kill gray squirrels rather than red ones. The reason being, apparently, the weight difference between grays and reds. The grays, being heavier, spend more time on the ground whereas the more graceful red squirrels can hide away from pine martens on the ends of lighter-weight branches.

I have visions of a gray squirrel, like a furry cast member in Last of the Summer Wine, clinging desperately to a branch as it is lowered to the ground in front of a ravenous pine marten. While the red, secure in its little twiggy haven, wishes it luck and hopes it's not contracted squirrel pox.

Nature. Red in tooth and claw and bushy tail. It ain't Beatrix Potter.




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.

On the Annunciation and Palm Sunday Falling on the Same Day

Of course, it doesn't really. The Annunciation has been moved from its normal date to Monday 9 April, by definition of presumably the Pope, the Church of England and anybody else who marks such things not wanting it to fall on a Sunday. And yet you wouldn't move Christmas Day if it landed on a Sunday, and which is more important?

The Annunciation was up to the 17th Century regarded as one possible start of the new year. A fitting day - the date when God begins to reconcile humanity by becoming that most fragile, brand-new thing, a conceived child. The date when Redemption begins. And that wasn't lost on that devout Catholic and myth-wrangler, JRR Tolkien, when he set 25 March as the date the Ring was destroyed and Middle Earth was freed from the dark shadow. John Donne's wonderful poem reflects on a year when the Annunciation actually fell on its true day - when Good Friday was 25 March.

Because, in that curious circularity of things, the Annunciation got its date from the traditional date of the Crucifixion - the date when the Redemption was complete. The idea being that Jesus lived on earth a whole number of years - from conception to crucifixion. And then an age was over. And in the spring of every year, the cycle begins again. The promise of new life is mingled with a bitter death, and life rises fresh.

This year, the most important date in the Christian calendar falls on Palm Sunday. That's what you get with a calendar that depends partly on the sun and partly on the moon - a constant reshuffling of dates, new alignments, new connections, new understandings.

And so a young woman, eager for her marriage to the village carpenter? Or maybe not. Maybe he's the old widower, and the marriage is arranged for her - and he brings stability to the partnership while she brings youth and fertility. Either way. She's got a wedding coming up. And she discovers that, as well as being the carpenter's wife, she's going to be God's mother. And she is shocked and afraid, but resolves that she will go with it.

And 34 or so years later, her son is also overturning expectations. Surely he's going to be the Messiah? But how can he be? This man from a humble family, from the wrong town, whose only violence is against the pious hawkers of sheep and doves in the Temple, who loves women and foreigners and touches the lepers and lays his hands on the dead. He rides into town - but on a donkey, not a warhorse or an elephant. His rule, it seems, comes in peace. He overturns expectations - and underwhelms. When he should be raising an army, he's blessing children.

And over both always hangs a shadow - the Cross. The throne that Jesus is promised - the coronation to which he is riding - is no comfy place of peace and ease. Or, at least, not for now. The conception leads to the joy of a new baby only through the pain of birth. The arrival of the King leads to Resurrection only through the Cross, the nails, the blood, the pain, the crying out. The angel announces the King to Mary. The disciples announce the King to Jerusalem. And his face is ever turned, ever set, on Golgotha.



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.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

A Methodist Chapel Passes the Beryl Event Horizon

Sad news of the Rotherskirk Wesleyan Reform Chapel in Yorkshire.

The neighbouring Independent Wesleyans closed down the other week, the end of a 200-year-old schism over the spelling of the prophet Isaiah. And, in keeping with the Beryline Prophecy, the closing chapel tea set was passed on to its neighbour.

A Beryl tea set awaits the call. Note the instant coffee.

Opening the box, the Steward, Mrs Bathsheba Earnshaw, saw the note, handwritten by the last Independent local preacher. It just said "it's bloody spelt Esias, tha knows."

And then there was an almighty sound of a rushing wind. And everything went pale green.

The consolidation of that final box of Beryl crockery had pushed the quantities over critical. Mrs Earnshaw had been wondering where it was going to fit - the entire church hall was already full of the stuff from over 100 other closed chapels. But now it had reached the point at which the circuit's Beryline Consciousness was awake.
"Time to pass on the Beryl then"

Beaker Folk, be aware. Be a very ware. For if the Beryline Consciousness has awoken, the time may be short. To be sure, the local clog dancing club has sealed off the chapel with a heavy lead screen and a massive Yorkshire pudding with very thick batter. But it may only be a matter of time. If the Beryline Consciousness is awake in Yorkshire, it could be Lancashire next. And parts of Wales and Cornwall may already be taken over by green crockery. And just as soon as it stops raining, if it ever does, the last remaining Methodist in Wales is in for a nasty shock.

Think on. For the Days of Beryl are coming. Indestructible, eternal - the only thing that will survive a nuclear war apart from cockroaches. Beryl is coming in all her Dread. Take your cricket bats in hand. We're going to need them.



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.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Have You Discovered You've Made an Advert for Gladstone Brookes?


Did you think you were a proper actor, but ended up doing an impression of a plank of wood for a bunch of solicitors?

You might think you're entitled to compensation.

No. There's no compensation.



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, 21 March 2018

Inevitable "Brexit Boat" joke

Nigel Farage and other Brexiters took a boat along the Thames today to dump dead haddock in the Thames outside the Houses of Parliament. to protest about the Government's latest cave-in to the EU.

"They're cold blooded, useless, slimy,  smell of fish, and they're the symbol of all that is wrong with the Brexit process"

said the dead haddock.



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, 20 March 2018

The Vernal Equinox Massacre

Once again the Vernal Equinox celebrations didn't go so well.

I mean, on the bright side we'd lost nearly all the snow. So the celebrations weren't as cold as we'd be fearing. Not warm, though. The sun barely made a difference.

But a fight breaking out between our assorted folkloric characters and decayed divinities really put a damper on the matter. The sight of a Wodewose fighting with the Piper at the Gates of Dawn over whether it's "Vernal" or "Spring" equinox was just embarrassing.

Hnaef tried to lighten things up with his six-monthly tightrope walk across the Duck Pond, as a symbol of all things balanced. Walked straight into Duck Henge and plunged into the inky depths.

And Herne the Hunter didn't help. We've worked really hard on him. Tried to explain that in this day and age, catching wild animals isn't regarded as fun any more. Told him about the concepts of Drag Hunting. Of getting willing young idiots to run across the countryside, laying a trail for hunters to follow with dogs instead of the old methods.

And what does he do?

Only shoots the Easter Bunny.

The Daily Mail's gonna have a field day over this one.



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.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

All Greeks to Me

"Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”" (John 12:20-21)

I wish I knew more about these Greeks. They're the bittest of bit parts, most extra of extras, to the story of Jesus. They wander into view, tell Philip they want to see Jesus.... and then we never hear of them again.

We're not told if they're Greek Gentiles - or if they're Greek Jews. I assume the latter as they're there to worship. But proselytes? Or were they born Jews? We don't get to know. We don't find out if they see Jesus. We don't know whether they hear his speech about himself:

"Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

I've visions of them standing across the Temple courts. And Philip goes off and doesn't return for a while. And when he does it's like "Jesus, you know - went a bit prophetic. Oh, is  it the time of the  evening sacrifice already? Must dash."

Because Jesus has, as we have seen, gone off on one. I was remembering, as the snow fell, the good old days when I was at St Mytholmroyd's School for the Daughters of Tax Evaders. The school was at the bottom of the hill. And when it snowed, our geography teacher would ignore the subject at hand to rant about the uselessness of many people's driving.

She hated cars with a passion. And to see a driver failing to get up that hill - or sailing, out of control, down it, warmed her motorphobic heart. She would forget about  the creation of the Polders, the formation of U-shaped  valleys or terminal moraine, and instead tell us how foolish the drivers were.

And Jesus is like that here. Whether the Greeks have been ushered to his presence, or left clutching their novelty soaps in the shape of the High Priest and visitors's guides to the Old City, we're not told.

They wanted to see Jesus? Well in a while they won't. Because he'll be buried. But he uses an analogy so appropriate to this time of year in Judea - after the spring sowing but before the barley harvest. He will be buried like a seed. Because unless a seed is buried it can't be a plant. It can't produce a crop. It can't do the thing that, fundamentally, it is for.

Jesus says this but he knows what it means for him. That resurrection can only come after his burial. And burial.... Well, that's troubling even to Jesus. And so he turns it over to his father and says "glorify your name". And his father replies: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” It's our  job in life, too. When we wonder what we're here for - we're to glorify God's name. The purpose of humanity - is to  glorify God, and to enjoy God forever.  So Jesus is asking his father to confirm him in our common end. But Jesus, as the sole perfect specimen of our  imperfect race, is going to do it perfectly.

How's he going to do it? Well the Greeks - remember them, still over there, wondering if they are going to be ushered into the Messianic presence? They're probably wondering whether it was a good idea, talking to Philip. He smells of fish and he's just left them while he goes off to a theology seminar.

The Greeks wanted to see Jesus. And they will. Jesus said he wanted God's  name to be glorified. And it will  be. God says "I have glorified it" - through everything in creation God's name is glorified. In ever snowflake, star, flower or dung beetle God's name is glorified. Most of all, God's name is glorified in humans made in  God's image. And most supremely in that life lived by the Word of God, who lived only for the glory of his father's name. And now - if they want to see Jesus - all they will have to do is look up.

Because he won't be in the Temple courts where the  wise men and the rabbis  and priests  gather disciples and their own honour. He won't be drawing away to the Galilee countryside to speak secret words to a  select few. He'll be hanging from a cross, nailed up for the world to see. Taking the hate and murderous ambition, selfishness and brutality of men at their worst - and carrying it all to glorify God's name. They won't need to queue - won't need a friend who speaks Greek to put a word in - won't need to take a ticket with a number on it  like they're at a cheese counter. Everyone will see him.

And then - John tells us he went away and hid from them. And so after being lifted on a cross, he will buried like a seed, and then raised to life.

And now everyone can see him - Jew and Greek, women and men. All  can get near to him. All can be with him, because he comes  near to all of us. Everyone can receive his Spirit. You don't need to be introduced by a friend. You don't stand around at a distance. He is in heaven glorified. He walks our streets, asking for help. He is in bread and wine. He is in our friends and neighbours in him. He is the light that shines, and in which we will walk, through the darkness of  the cross, to the darkness of the grave, into God's light forever.




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, 16 March 2018

A Modern Morality Tale

"Michael Stipe told the BBC's Andrew Marr in 2016. "If there was one song that was sent into outer space to represent R.E.M. for the rest of time, I would not want it to be Shiny Happy People"."



If there were one REM song sent into space for the rest of time, what do you reckon it would be?




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, 14 March 2018

In Memorial: Jim Bowen, Ken Dodd and Stephen Hawking

Introit: The Bullseye theme

Archdruid: Super

Charlii: Smashing

All: Great.

Archdruid: In the midst of life we are in death. From the day of birth we need some mirth. And can I say how tickled I am that Ken Dodd gave us all such mirth.

Charlii: Who was he?

Archdruid: Never mind. My dad liked him.

March of the Diddy Men

Charlii: Shouldn't that be "Diddy People"?

Hamish McDiddy: No! We're a happy race but we reproduce asexually.

All: Moving swiftly on....

Archdruid: And we've got Mick and Rob from Dudley. Mick's a welder, but Rob hasn't worked since the steel works closed. But Jim would have respected them both the same.

 All: Bless him. Salt of the earth.

Archdruid: So keep out of the black, and in the red. You get nothing in this game for two in a bed.

All: Not in this game.

Hnaef: Wasn't that Brucie?

Archdruid: Never mind.

Sermon
Archdruid: And so we reflect that in fact we were wrong. We believed that, when the Universe died in a long-drawn-out whimper of heat death, and the last black hole expired as it gave off the last of its Hawking  radiation, the only thing left before the End would be Ken Dodd's last few jokes at a gig at the Grove, Dunstable on a rainy Tuesday.  But even a Ken Dodd gig can't last forever. 
And we reflect that, with "A Brief History of Time" once again topping the bestsellers list, if all the unread copies were gathered together into one place they probably would collapse into a black hole under their own gravity.  
And we wouldn't want to prejudge anyone's eternal destiny - that belonging to God alone. But can't help thinking that, if Jim Bowen rocks up at the Pearly Gates, where there is no sea. it would be quite nice if St Peter were to present him with a motor boat. 
And for God to be impressed that one of these three managed to give us a good impression of what eternity is like.

All: Not Hawking. You're talking about that gig in Dunstable again, aren't you?

Archdruid: Those that is born of woman have but a short time. And they leave this place without even the bus fair home. So we'll shed happy Tears for the difference they've made. The joy of kindness, the joy of laughter and the joy of discovery. And there are three more stars in heaven tonight

Stephen Hawking's Voice Simulator: Don't be stupid, Eileen.

Archdruid: OK. Roll the credits the Universe will end for your entertainment.

Hymn: Happiness

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.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Othering Sunday

I just gave up in the end. By the time the list of people who I was worried might find this day difficult reached 42 different categories, I gave up on its traditional form.

Not to mention the smug trolling of Bertrand on the Beaker Yammer, who repeatedly asked the question "All this fuss about Mothers' Day - when will we get a Fathers' Day?" despite being told it will be 17 June.

So we decided to ignore the whole thing, and go with "Othering Sunday". On this new interpretation of the 4th Sunday in Lent, we think especially of those who are different to us. And how they can't be trusted. I'm not saying it's a particularly Christian attitude. But do you know what, it's easier.



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.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

When Conspiracy Theories Collide

This is ridiculous.

I thought the big argument of the day would be between the Liverpool and Man Utd fans. There is in fact a conspiracy theory  abroad that they've made Mourinho manager of United so people get so bored they support Stockport County instead. Though that does seem quite plausible.

But no. The people who believe that Lord Lucan stole Shergar have just got into a massive fight with the ones who think he was secretly Pope John Paul I.

I mean, what a ridiculous idea.

Shergar couldn't be Pope. He was a gelding. Wouldn't be allowed.




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 Conspiracy Theorists Go Over the Edge

This whole Conspiracy Theorist Pilgrimage Weekend idea has gone horribly wrong. We thought it would be nice - get them all in one place at the same time Lots of cross-fertilisation of ideas in the bar. Maybe we'd get some new conspiracy theories, I thought. We only have the Moon Gibbon Folk here and I'd like to have a decent, convincing theory we  could call our own.

But we were very explicit about the dangers around our Community. We told them at the Orientation session that the far end of the Long Meadow was out of bounds. Made it quite clear that the sign saying "Dim Mynediad" was not a joke*.

So imagine my annoyance when the Flat Earthers went through the gate at the far end of the field. And fell straight off the edge of the world. You'd have thought they of all people would have known to keep an eye out. They'd have known it was around somewhere, surely?

Anyway, the good news is, we got payment up front.


*We use Welsh for all Beaker signage. We assume it's nearer to the original Beaker than anything else. Although we did have that slight problem when we mistranslated "Beware of the Giant Frog" as "Look at the Enormous Dress". Very messy, that.


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, 9 March 2018

On the Ineffectiveness of Tin Foil Hats

A typically disparaging piece on tin foil hats in Wikipedia shows the sort of prejudice the tin-foil-hat-wearing community has to face every day.

It's wrong and it's unfair to criticise those who quite reasonably think that wearing a couple of layers of metal around your brain stops the Government from reading, or indeed controlling, your thoughts.

But a thought struck me today, as the Beaker Tin Foil people were having one of their whispered meetings in the Lead-Lined Room. (I still think the window was a mistake).

We call it "tin foil". But it ain't made of tin any more. It's been made of aluminium (or "aluminum" if you spell like Donald Trump) for decades.

And you know what I reckon? I reckon it's a Government trick.

Who arranged things so that aluminium replaced tin as the foil raw material of choice? Well, who legally threatened Alcoa, the major manufacturer of aluminium - thus breaking its monopoly and reducing prices? That's right. The US government.

Why did they do that? It's obvious, isn't it? Because tin foil does indeed protect your brainwaves.

But aluminium foil doesn't. It's all so clear.

So anyway. I've set up an offshoot of Mrs Whimsey's Doily Company. It just sells hats made of tin foil. Proper tin foil. Tin foil made out of tin. Tin that will protect your brain.

It's selling like hot cakes round here, I can tell you. And everybody's thoughts are nice and safe again. Not that they were worth a penny in the first place.



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.

Chemtrail Control

Can whoever has built that Chemtrail Absorption Device up upn on the hill please remove it?

It's interfering with the satellite dish. Also, mysteriously, the Beaker Folk are getting more creative. And we don't need that.



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, 7 March 2018

Liturgy for Rik Mayall Day (born 7 Mar 1958)

A bunch of "the kids" wander sadly around the Moot House. They mourn the sad, untimely loss of....

......... The People's Poet: OK! Everyone shut up and look at me!

Vyvyan: Oh look Rik! Is that a large koala falling on your head?


Rik: Don't be stupid Vyvyan. Do you think...

A large koala falls on Rik's head.

Neil: I knew something like that was bound to happen.

Rik: Vyvyan! You utter utter....

Vyvyan: Language, Rik. It's a religious service, after all.

A group of nuns gather round their fallen hero.

Mike the Cool Person: Hello, babes. I know it's Lent so are there any habits I can get you out of?

Rik climbs out from under the koala.

Rik: You're just so 1980s Mike. The sleazebag jokes of yesteryear no longer work. The kids of today are like me. Sensitive. Artistic. Creative.

Vyvyan: And not having any sex. Your creator would have been 60 if he were still with us. And you're still a virgin

Rik: I am not a virgin.

Vyvyan: Virgin

Rik and Vyvyan hit each other with assorted household implements and wildlife.

Neil: Anybody want to listen to some Genesis?

Rik [with a hedgehog now stapled to his head]: Now listen here, Neil. Genesis were out of date when we were first created. And now it's 35 years later. Me and Mike are about sick of your hippy equal rights love and peace nonsense. Things will have changed by 2018.

Archdruid: How do you mean?

Vyvyan: Well, we're just characters frozen in time.

Rik: We're  trapped eternally in the early 1980s.

Mike: We've got a media star nobody trusts as US President.

Neil: Labour's led by an old scruffy useless lefty.

Rik:  The Prime Minister's a right wing woman who hates Europe.

Jerzei Balowski: People think Eastern Europeans are scary and just over here to take their money.

Vyvyan: Russia is a threat to world peace.

Rik: But thanks to Punk, and Ska, and "the kids", everything must be better by now?

Archdruid: Oh gosh. I don't know how to break this...

Kevin Turvey: Has the future not turned out how you planned? Do you need someone to find out why? Well don't forget. Kevin's ear.

Archdruid:  Look, how about doing your poem?

Rik:  OK. I am, after all, the People's Poet

So happy birthday, Rik.
You would have been 60 today, Rik.
But you aren't. And we're sad.
Your anarchic comic capers made us glad
And now we're short one comic genius, Rik.

Lord Flashheart: Out of my way, spotty boy! Archdruid! Have I got a candle in my breeches or am I just pleased to see you? Woof!

Eileen: You sure that's not a tea light?

Lord Flashheart: She's got a hat like a cone and a heart of stone. Hurrah!

All: Hurrah!

Lord Flashheart: So let's hear it for old Rikky Mayall. Creator of a string of comic  losers because he had to save all his charisma up for Me! Hurrah!

All: Hurrah!

Alan B'Stard: Loser? I've got the biggest majority in the Commons and I own half of Yorkshire. And through some careful placing of options I'm going to make an absolute killing on Brexit.

All: Hurrah! No, wait...

Archdruid: We will now sing "The Young Ones" while I attempt to separate Mike and Lord Flashheart from the nuns.

All: Happy birthday Rik Mayall. And thanks.

Monday, 5 March 2018

When Vicars See an Inaccurate Wedding on Telly

Warning - contains spoilers.

Last night I was sitting on the couch with Keith and Charlii. The sun had set, and the rain poured down as the "Beast from the East" had passed over. I had just poured myself a gin and tonic after the exertions of all the filling-up of beakers. And I felt an infinite scream pass through all nature.

Turned out it was a hundred thousand vicars, all watching Cormoran Strike on telly. And simultaneously tweeting, shouting, swearing and seething "you don't say 'I do' at a Church of England wedding!"

We've checked the astral plane. And Cormoran Strike has had much the same effect that a Cormorant Strike would have on a sea plane coming in to land in the Outer Hebrides. Just loads of vicar-shaped holes torn through the fabric of spiritual space-time as every Anglican minister in the country found themselves struck - well, not dumb - they're rarely speechless - more in a state of incoherence at the thought of the wrong form of words at a wedding.

Thing is, it's a matter of risk with the words in Occasional Offices. Get a few words in the funeral wrong and they're still dead. But get a wedding wrong and you might end up as an ad-libbed joke in a JB Priestley production.

So there's not so many thin places around today. But quite a few ripped ones. If you see a vicar this week, be nice to them. What with Cormoran Strike and Call the Midwife, they've had an emotional time.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Not Genuine Quotes? The Real-Life Reverend Joannas

I'd like you to direct you to a book review of "Writes of the Church"But more importantly, to this link to "Eva's Call". .

I'd like to apologise for directing you to the Amazon web page for "Writes" again. Though not too much, as goodness knows it needs selling. The author's garage is full of them. In fact, he's had to get a job in reverse logistics to try and get a few pence to rub together, instead of the retirement villa with a swimming pool he was planning on the back of what he was sure was going to be a huge best-seller. If you don't know what reverse logistics is, don't worry.

Please don't write rude things about Robert Cuin, or his spelling. We all make typos on the Web. Yesterday, for instance, I wrote "Quaertur" meaning "Quaeritur".  If you check the URL you will see that I have since corrected the title but the URL is there until the sun goes cold or Blogger ceases to exist. I could blame the author of the blog from which I copied the word, but I have a responsibility to check. Not just cut and paste. But then I never had the Latin.

But I digress. What Mr Cuin wrote is as follows:
"A little bit “childish” and I can’t believe that these are genuine qoutes"
Well, yes. The book's a bit childish. But then so's the author. And how will we get into the Kingdom of Heaven if we aren't like a child? But are the quotes "genuine"?

In a sense, no. It's a work of fiction. But in another sense, a very real sense, let's consider what the good people of Tremlett have said to Revd Joanna, the curate, over the years - either on the blog or in the book.

There's the member of the congregation that can't understand that she's a woman, and endlessly refers to her as "Father Joanna". The one who worries that, when Joanna's an incumbent, she won't have time to do the baking.  The one who says "it was almost like she was a real priest". The one who complains that they attended a service and "there was a woman pretending to be a priest". The time Norbert had hysterics because Joanna was buying sanitary products at the shop.   The one complaining that the shape of a visiting female priest's vestments makes her attractive to men.

And I wonder - do the blog and the book go too far? Is this ridiculous?

And I then read the things - real things said to real people - real women, real priests, real deacons, real ordinands - real friends of mine, in some cases. Thanks to Alice Watson for putting them together.

No, the quotes in "Writes of the Church" are not genuine quotes. They're not brutal enough, not childish enough. The real quotes are far worse.


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.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Quaeritur : Are Baptisms in Frozen Water Valid?

QUAERITUR:

Dear Archdruid
We have a baptism due on Sunday and every time we pour water in the font it freezes solid. Is a baptism legitimate if it takes place with ice?

Worried priests are writing to me. All asking the same question: is a baptism effective if the water freezes?

And it's a common concern out here in more rural parts. The heating in Husborne Crawley church is always on the blink. Normally they just close down till spring when this happens, and redirect everyone to Aspley Guise.

The important thing is that the candidate's head comes into contact with the water. And ice is, when all's said and done, water. Obviously there is great symbolism here - the flowing of water represents, among other things, the movement of the Holy Spirit. So I assume an ice-baptism is more suitable in the Church of England, where they have rules to slow the Spirit down.

Gently laying the head of little Chardonnay or Jack Daniel on the surface of the ice would seem to be the best compromise. Too fast a contact would result in their heads being banged on the ice. And too slow might cause them to stick. You might argue that all the godparents round the font, blowing on the candidate's head, would be another symbol of the Spirit. I suggest it would be better not to end up in that situation in the first place.

Adult Baptism with full immersion is another matter. Yes, the ice on the baptistry will never be so thick that they can't fall through it eventually. But the normal pattern of the newly-baptised nipping off to the vestry / lavs afterwards to get changed is disrupted in cold weather. Firstly their drips will freeze on the floor as they walk off - so you may need to grit the church. Secondly, on very cold days they may just freeze completely as they get changed. And finding a naked ice statue, solidified as they put their pants on, is not a sight any verger wants on Monday morning.

The best solution, I would suggest, is a little salt in the water to suppress the freezing point. However be aware that in that case you are making the water much colder. Get them in and out before they go blue. And that includes whoever is conducting the ceremony. No good having shiny adult converts if the minister's in hospital next Sunday.

Finally, people ask me what to do if someone, trapped in such a way that only their leg is sticking out, requests baptism im freezing cold weather.  Well, in these circumstances I'd roll ice cubes up their trouser legs. The ice should melt. OK, if it doesnt land on their heads they'll need a conditional baptism if they're ever rescued. But at least it will take their mind off things while you await rescue.



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.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

When Goldilocks Got into E-Commerce

Baby Bear's Chair - Too Small; Mummy Bear's Chair; Daddy Bear's Chair -Too Big; Baby Bear's Porridge: Too Cold; Daddy Bear's Porridge: Too Hot; Mummy Bear's Porridge ; Baby Bear's Bed: Broken in Transit; Daddy Bear's Bed: Too Hard; Mummy Bears Bed





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.