Monday, 28 May 2018

The Festival of Faculty Reversal

A modest proposal.

The good people of the Trim Valley are celebrating their Faculty Reversal Day this week. A day when they can quietly undo everything their last vicar encouraged them to do to improve things.

Now the Trim Valley has a very relaxed attitude to clerical censure. Not for them panicking that a Diocesan Registrar might write a sarcastic letter.  The Mothers ' Union may declare  that they are cancelling Pagan rites. But, without making it to the church Magazine,  even now a pin-pierced wax effigy of the Archdeacon is being cast into a barbecue.

But what about other more law-abiding churches, struggling under the yoke of an over-enthusiastic incumbent with plans to change the world? Because you know how it is. There will have been a number of well-meaning changes from the go-ahead vicar. All of which will have been approved by the PCC but grumbled about behind his back. With three people leaving to go to a different church with every change.

I would like to suggest that every parish, in every vacancy, gets one special day. The Festival of Faculty Reversal. It would start at a nominal "sunset" - 6pm. And for 24 hours the parish would have the chance to do everything it could to put absolutely everything back to where it came from. No faculties, no snotty letters from the Registrar, no annoyed Archdeacons.

The timetable might be like this:

17:50 -  A reflection on Ecc 3: There is a time for bold new innovations, and a time for reversing them. A time to move with the times, and a time to defy them. A time to make a more accessible, flexible worship space, and a time to put the pews back.

18:00 - The Shifting of the Nave Altar down into the Crypt (where people will claim in 12 months' time that "it's always been there.")

19:00 - The Invention of the old Pricket Stand. Accompanying replacement of battery-operated tea lights with proper candles.

20:00 - Midnight: The Return of the Pews from sheds, pubs, and back rooms in the surrounding area.

Midnight: A meditation on Psalm 134: "Ye who work by night in the House of the Lord."

01:00 - 03:00 - Combustion of the Common Worship Books (a more recent liturgy, replacing the traditional Combustion of the ASB)

03:00 - 06:00 - Introduction of a load of random moth-eaten vestments, later to be claimed "that was given by my aunty. She'd turn in her grave if priests stopped wearing that beige fiddleback."

06:00 - 08:00 - Removal of the Drum Kit. Carefully timed because what's the chances of the drummer being up?

08:00 - 08:15 Morning Prayer (BCP, missing out the first bit)

08:15 - 11:00 -  Re-installation of the Rood Screen

11:00 - 13:00 - Jumble Sale

13:00 - 16:00 - Removal of the Modern Stained Glass

16:00 - 17:00 - Addition of the photo of the departed incumbent to the others in the vestry. Everyone may say "we thought he was great."

17:00 - 18:00 - re-laying of the battered old carpet that was pulled up as a trip, fire and hygiene hazard.

18:00 - Evening Prayer. Meditation on Job: "The Lord Giveth, and the Lord Taketh Away".

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  1. That's a chancellor, not a registrar.
    Longer wig.

  2. I hope that they bhave a collection of before and after photographs (Before the previous incumbent and after his tenure) as it were to be able to claim that it was always so, even during the previous incumbents ministry, in fact, in 1662.


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