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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, 15 January 2019

A Harvard, Harvard Night

Bit of a bust up at our new Theology Discussion Group last night.

Twenty-five minutes of Burton Dasset  complaining about poor referencing in our source. To be honest I reckon he'd still be going if we hadn't taped him into that shopping trolley and pushed him in the brook.

All over the "sheer laziness of just saying 'there is a place where someone has testified'. No author? No page number? No edition? No date?"

And yes. I accept that the author totally failed to follow acceptable academic standards in referencing. But they still wrote the Letter to the Hebrews, so you've gotta cut some slack.

And now I think about it - isn't it astonishing the way that so many things- Isaiah's promise that Israel will be a light to the nations; Jesus being called to both the Children of Israel and to heal f he Syro-Phoenecian girl; Paul's understanding of the complimentary calling he and Peter have to Jews and Gentiles; the leaves of the Tree of Life being to heal all nations- these are canonically swept up in the titles of the books of the New Testament. The individual testimonies of the evangelists and of John the Elder; the letters to Hebrews and the people of the Greek world; the micro-levels of attention to the individuals Philemon, Titus and Timothy. Just the names of the books reflect the comprehensiveness and yet specificity of God's love. Truly we have all passed through the waters.

Speaking of which, can someone nip down to the brook? I've just realised we never let Burton out.

Friday, 11 January 2019

In Memoriam Thomas Hardy (1928)

First Yokel: That Thomas Hardy's still dead then.

Second Yokel: Aye, as we all shall be.

1Y: Shall us hie to the Quiet 'Ooman and het us a quart of Wildeve's Best into our insides?

2Y: Wi' all my heart.

1Y: And shall us then drag our carcasses to Mixen Lane, there to join the wold boys of the Peter's Finger?

2Y: Wi' all my heart.

1Y: And shall us then try the taste of the ale at the Dree Mariners?

2Y: Nay, Neddy Chalcombe. For the Dree Mariners is now an office suite.

1Y: Then shall us put on our clean smock-frocks and hie us to the Kings Arms?

2Y: Nay, for the Kings Arms has been closed these two years and in need of major development.

1Y: All right then. Nandos?

2Y Yeah, all right.



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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.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

The Mystery Religion of the Salad Bags

(From the Archaeological Times, year 2132 After Brexit)

The mystery of the "salad bags" of the times Before Brexit has puzzled researchers for centuries. But finally, through careful analysis of deposits occurring throughout what was formerly called the "United Kingdom"* we believe we have the answer.

The people of the last outpost of the British Empire attended no church as we would understand it. Instead they used their church buildings as the centre pieces of cemeteries, places to sell second-hand clothes and knick knacks and postcards. 

Instead their religious devotions appear to have been in summoning men from the East to cook them, on Fridays and Saturdays, strongly-spiced foods. It appears that they consumed these with large bottles of their beer, with names such as "Stella", "Cobra" or "Tiger" written on the side - possibly the names of their gods - respectively a  star deity, and two gods representing the strength of their animal spirits.

After eating the meals, the people of the United Kingdom then took the only vegetables in this ritual repast - a small quantity of salad, which was never consumed - sealed it in a plastic bag and had it collected the following week by a priestly caste called "bin men" in a large vehicle built to resemble the Juggernaut.  It was then cast, with other ritual offerings, into a large hole in the ground. Given that many of these items were of high value - batteries, toys, and vast amounts of other food - we believe we are right in thinking this was an offering to a deity.

But why would they seal these bags in air tight conditions, such that the salad could survive without decay for centuries? We have thought long and hard - compared it to the grain offerings of the Ancient Hebrews - and concluded there is only one possible solution.

It was a fertility rite.

* An area comprising parts of what are now Ireland, the Swedish Empire, France and Wales

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Archdruid's Awards

It is my pleasure to announce the following special Archdruid's Awards at this holy time of Twixtmas, as follows:

Kayleigh and Kylie join the First Rank of Bardic Singers of the Hills
Hnaef is awarded the Druidical Order of the Holly and the Ivy (Second Class)
Burton Dasset becomes Grand Master of the Solar-Powered Calculator
Stacey Bushes is appointed to the League of Boudicca
Esau Hamadryad is appointed Chief Singer in the Celtic Tongue.

In unrelated news we have a Special Meeting of the Moot this afternoon. I've been struggling to get the votes for my proposal to move the tea light stand 3 feet to the left. But I feel like I may be lucky this time.


Want to support this blog?
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, 22 December 2018

The World Turns Again

A correspondent sends me this photo of the solstice sun rising this morning over the Frome water-meadows between Dorchester and Stinsford. Or, if you are a true believer in the power of Wessex, between Casterbridge and Mellstock.

Sun rise over the Frome


Still comes up, every day. In a hundred years, it will rise again. And all the noise of the nations today will be just an echo - a raging of the nations. Trump's tantrums will be a nursery rhyme. The Brexit vote will be lumped together into that historical period "when everybody did stupid stuff". And though each individual life is so precious and so short, and each moment so fleeting, the sun will rise once again and the message will be the same - the laws of this universe are obeyed, momentum is conserved, the world is good and the logic that holds it together is reliable.

 One day, in the Great Reckoning, it's said the sun will be as ash and the moon - so bright when it peeps out from the clouds this evening - to blood. But still, today it rose again.

And we wait till that final day, till the One who puts all things in their places throws the mighty from their seats and raises up the lowly. And while we wait we will lift up our heads and see the sun rise and know that the One who put the earth in its place is true and dependable, and will do these things.

So the sun will rise, each day, till the Sun of Righteousness arises with healing in his wings. Then we will drink from the water of the river of life in the City that needs no sun.



Want to support this blog?
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.

Another Traditional "Fact" Debunked

It's not generally realised that in Dumas's original manuscript the number of musketeers is never given.

Also we don't know their true names - "Porthos and Athos" were assigned by tradition, while Aramis is a brand of aftershave.


Friday, 21 December 2018

The Archdruid's Solstice Sermon

So here we are. The shortest day of the Northern year. On this day in times past the Beaker Folk, sheltered in their coracles from the raging rain, would peer at the howling sky and figure that maybe they'd go Stonehenge next year instead.

The Angles and Danes would take the day off fighting each other, to kick a Saxon's head around in no man's land and sing the peaceful old hymn, "You're going home in a Valkyrie Ambulance".

And today, with the benefit of electric light and central heating, what do we see? An isolated, isolationist America President condemning the Middle East and his own country to chaos - condoning domestic gun ownership and slaughter while pointing the finger at Europe. Nazis harassing British politicians in the street. The British Government making the most ham-fisted imaginable attempt to put a bad decision decision into operation since Captain Smith thought he'd try his hand at iceberg slalom. And Liz Truss their own justice minister assuring the Commons that drones are scared of dogs.



While the seas are full of plastic, the rivers of pesticides, the bees are dying and the climate changes.

The year dies in screaming darkness as the world burns.

Happy Solstice everyone. 

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Kirsty MacColl (18 December 2000)

No more to be said here.



Want to support this blog?
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, 15 December 2018

The Church Words You Don't Want to Hear...

Ministers

"I know it's your day off so figured you'd be free if I phoned early enough."

"The Mothers Union are upset."

"Shame you forgot about the wedding. But the verger assured us it's still legal if a blacksmith does it..." 

"And for the ring-bearer.... I've genetically engineered this archaeopteryx."

"I'd like to thank the vicar for her thoughts, insufficient as they are. And in response, I'd just like to offer to you what God is saying."


Self-Supporting Ministers

"It's the vicar. I know it's your Sunday off and yesterday was "Gin Frenzy at the Hanged Man". But the arthritis has struck. Can you take the 8am?"  

"Given it's you, not the vicar - the choir have had a few ideas."

"While I'm on holiday, can you take the wedding? The bride's 8 months, her family wants revenge and you probably want to install a metal detector in the porch."


Wardens/Stewards

"The minister's lost her voice so we need a stand-in service leader."

"Drip. Drip. Drip." 


Congregations

"Then I realised this theme fits neatly into discrete points, each starting with the successive letters of the alphabet."

"I am the god of hell fire. And I bring you fire...." 

"The minister's lost her voice. But the good news is we have an emergency service leader."