Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Doing What it Takes to Keep Covid Down

 I'd like to thank all the Beaker Folk for coming here today to hear about what we're doing to keep the rates of Covid down.

And to cut a long story short, we're doing whatever it takes to ensure we don't infect people. And also keep producing doilies, which is a major source of Community funds, through the Beaker (British Virgin Islands) trust. Which has just branched out into viral infection testing.

To that effect, while we think masks are a good idea, we won't be insisting that anyone wears them. Obviously they're shown to reduce the transmission of Covid. And co-incidentally they keep doily lint out of your lungs. But also, wearing them might imply there's a reason to wear them. Which of course there isn't as we're totally back to normal. So please wear a mask to keep yourself safe. While not wearing one, so as to make it quite clear there's nothing to keep yourself safe from.

And while working from home might seem like a good plan, those doilies won't bang the holes out of themselves. And sure, all that doily lint in the lungs might make it seem like you've got Covid. So not much point testing - it's probably lint.

Regarding ventilation - well, doilies are made of paper. Which is notoriously lightweight. So of course we need ventilation. Just not in the doily shed. Where everybody is working. And coughing because of the lint. With all that going on, the last thing we need is any additional draughts.

So I think the message is clear. Keep doing everything as if there's nothing going on. Which of course there must be as otherwise I wouldn't have called this meeting.

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Cross Keys Enterprises Announces the Jesus in The Holy LandTour 27-30AD

 St Peter is proud (but not too much, as that would be a sin) to announce the Jesus in the Holy Land Tour, 27-30AD. Although we're not sure what the AD means. Precise dates can be confirmed when he actually turns up.

  • Capernaum
  • Bethany-Across-Jordan
  • Judean Desert
  • Cana
  • Capernaum
  • Jerusalem
  • Judean Countryside
  • Samaria
  • Jerusalem
  • Some hill in Galilee
  • Capernaum
  • Nain
  • Gadarenes
  • Capernaum
  • Nazareth
  • Bethsaida
  • Gennesaret
  • Tyre
  • The Decapolis
  • Magadan
  • Bethsaida
  • Caesarea Philippi
  • Mt Tabor
  • Jerusalem
  • Bethany
  • Ephraim
  • Perea
  • Jericho
  • Jerusalem
  • Bethany
  • Mount of Olives
  • Calvary

Also available the Premium Jesus Experience

For the low price of everything, you can experience Jesus's difficult explanations of parables. Get called "Satan". Be told you will be persecuted and die. And then be persecuted and die. Benefits include:

  • Pre-show bread and wine before this is opened up to the general public
  • The chance to be rejected by your loved ones
  • Selling all you have and giving to the poor
  • Having to love people you don't like
  • Being dragged before your persecutors
  • A place in heaven
  • Souvenir lanyard

Merchandise available

  • One pair of sandals
  • No extra T-shirt
  • 5 loaves and 2 fish
  • Palm leaves


 

 


Sunday, 17 October 2021

Post-Covid Post-Conference

 We've loved having our pilgrims with us for this first conference post-Covid. According to the Government, at any rate.

Please to allow us time to sanitise everything, can pilgrims ensure they have left their rooms by 7 am. Please drop your bedding into the portable incinerator which we have provided in every room. Please pour all unused shower gel and shampoo into the sink, and then drop the recyclable plastic bottles into the incinerator with your bedding.

DO NOT return to your room. The antiviral fog will be pumped into every room at 7.30. Anybody oversleeping, the best bet is to put your pillow case over your head, run out screaming, and then please drop your pillow into the portable incinerator in the Rollright Lounge.

Please drop your room keys into the Vat of Dissolving in reception. Best to stand back. 

This morning's Pouring Out of Beakers will be held in the Lower Field. You're glad you helped drain it now, aren't you?

Please fill in the online Course Review forms. We don't want any nasty contaminated ones coming back to us for reading on paper.

If you contributed to the cairn in the Orchard, please take your stone home with you. We don't want to touch them, and if we left all the cairns ever built in the Community, we'd be knee deep in flint.

We hope you have enjoyed the training. Have a good journey home. We look forward to lighting tea lights with you again when it's safer. 

Saturday, 16 October 2021

"Realistic Church Training Course"

 Well done to everyone on their second day of Estates Ministry yesterday. Especially to Nordrick, who bagged a brace. As if that even means anything. The peasant beating was particularly enjoyed by all devotees of old jokes.

Today's "Realistic Church Training Course" has been seriously changed from our original plan. It was a realisation on our part. All this time the Church has been doing programme after programme about growth - and yet growth did not happen. Mission Action Plans - yet the actions and plans and mission did not produce as much fruit. Alpha upon Alpha upon Alpha - yet decline.

And we thought - should we continue to put on growth-focused strategy training? Or train ministers in what was actually useful? How many plants might be planted and flourish for each church closed?

And so we put our energy elsewhere. You might call it defeatist. Or maybe more efficient.


Starting timeOld courseNew course
8 amBreakfastComplaining about the hierarchy
9 amMorning Prayer
Mourning Prayer 
9.30 amAction plans for growthManaging decline 
11 amChurch planting Church closing 
12 noonLunchStaring into space over your soup
1 pmFree timeDealing with emails from home about the South Aisle falling down
2 pmFree time
Dealing with emails from home about the school's latest Covid stats
3 pmChildren's ministryDealing with dying trees
4 pmMinistry modelsMinster models
5.30 pmEvening Prayer (CW)Evening Prayer (pebbles)
6.30 pmDinnerDinner followed by calling parishioners or they'll want to know why you're not really working
8 pmNight Prayer
Bar
9 pmBarHowling at the moon

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Estates Ministry Day

It's really great to have our first group of pilgrims in 18 months back for a course. It's been so long.

Today in "Realistic Ministry in Modern Times" we'll be focusing on Estates Ministry.

The programme:

11.30 Arrivals and complaints about the traffic on the M1

12.00 "The Land and the Gentry" - understanding Rural England 

1 pm Lunch

2 pm "The trouble with camels" - how to build a really big needle 

3 pm The Enclosure Act - Still relevant today?

4 pm Blessing of Beagles - For Life or Just for Boxing Day?

5 pm Draining the Lower Field

6 pm Supper

7 pm Monetizing Heritage - a Guide to Inheritance Tax and Charitable Status

8 pm Night Prayer (in the Private Chapel)

9 pm - Midnight Port

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

A Celebration of Blitz Spirit

Beaker Folk Gather Under the Stairs

Archdruid: The Spirit of the Blitz be with you.

All: And also with you. 

Hodges: Put that light out!

Archdruid: We celebrate the Brexit deal which means we need to have the Blitz Spirit.

Hodges: Put that light out!

Doris: Dig for Victory!

Jacob Rees-Mogg: Build back, butler.

Butler: Very good, young Mr Rees-Mogg.

Archdruid: It was a brilliant, oven-ready deal.

Lord Frost: Which we were conned into signing by Anna Soubry, Marcel Proust, and Michel Barnier.

Archdruid: Lord Frost did such a great job.

Lord: And also a terrible job. Which wasn't my fault. It was a brilliant deal and an awful one.

Archdruid: So we gather together to celebrate the famous Blitz Spirit. Which carried us through the Second World War and will carry us through the self-inflicted woes of Brexit. Which is going completely to plan.

Norris: It's brilliant. Queues everywhere. I nearly passed out with joy in the Post Office yesterday.

Doris: Dig for Victory! 

Norris: If we start now we'll have beaten Adolf by Christmas.

Charlii: I light a candle to celebrate the Blitz Spirit.

Hodges: Put that light out!

Keith: I CAN'T TAKE IT IN HERE WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE.

Archdruid: Is that really the Blitz Spirit, Keith?

Keith: Turns out, yes. Along with outbreaks of looting, theft, and murder.

Charlii: I light a candle in this confined darkness.

Hodges: Put that light out!

Doris: Dig for Victory!

Archdruid: The Brits. Plucky, independent people. Not seduced by simple slogans and cheap propaganda.

Hodges: Put that light out!

Doris: Dig for Victory!

Norris: Takes me back to the good old days. 3-day weeks, power cuts. Bodies lying unburied in the streets. No bin collections. Angst and despair.

Archdruid: Aren't you conflating 1973 and 1979 there, Norris?

Norris: No. This was last week in Bedford.

Charlii: I light this candle to the plucky spirit of the Brits.

Archdruid: Who farted?

Burton: Oops.

All: PUT THAT LIGHT OUT!

Beaker Folk are blown out of the cupboard under the stairs

Norris: Now, that's more like the Blitz!

Doris: Dig for Victory!

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Nativity of Kirsty MacColl (1959)

An empty bench in Soho Square
 

Beaker Folk assemble on a mountain top Under the stars, on a big hard rock

Archdruid: In these shoes?

All: I don't think so.

Archdruid: I was 21 years when I wrote this song. I'm 56 now but I won't be for long...

All: Was it that long ago?

Archdruid: Give or take a bit of artistic licence.

All: Wow. What do pretty girls do?

Archdruid: Get older, just like everybody else. 

All: Shame that didn't happen to Kirsty like everybody else.

Archdruid: Would love her here today.

All: Truly these are Titanic Days.

Archdruid: And she'd see Boris for what he is.

All: A Big Boy on a Saturday night.

Archdruid: Spends hours in the mirror

All: Trying to look informally ruffled.

Archdruid: Did you know New England is a suburb of Peterborough?

All: Well, we're certainly not looking for it there then.

Archdruid: So let us console ourselves that Kirsty is an Autumngirl, flying over London

All: All the trees on fire. It looks like home.

Archdruid: You sure the trees aren't actually on fire, as opposed to metaphorically?

All: Ahh.... 

Archdruid: But the sun don’t shine 

All: And the snow don’t snow

Archdruid OK. We gonna cheer this up? We're celebrating  a Nativity, after all. Am I right?

All: Absolutely! And if we don't finish soon it will be Halloween.

They do the Mambo de la Luna off to the Chip Shop

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Liturgy of Misty Mellow Autumnal Unfruitfulness

Archdruid: The mellow mist flows fruitfully.

All: The Husborne Brook flows dutifully.

Archdruid: The summer is gone.

All: The plague is officially over.

Archdruid: And yet we are not safe.

Charlii: Little Celestine's brought it back from Little Pebbles.

Archdruid: Then why are you and Keith here?

Keith: We're on the Zoom.

Archdruid: Ah, yes. I forget sometimes what is on-site and what online.
 
But in the silence of the morning 
My mind becomes confused 
Between the online and the onsite
And the mode that I must choose.

Archdruid: Harken to the sound of falling apples in the Orchard.

All: We must turn them into chutney to feed us during the Great Shortage.

Archdruid: A reading from the Beaker Annals:

During that bloodiest of Blood Months, the Beaker Folk realised there were no pig-killers in the land. For Archdruid Haystax, in a spare moment between cavorting with his many wives, had banished all the butchers back to Scythia.
And the Beaker Folk did lament and built a great burnt offering of pigs to the high god Brexit, who eats his children and yet never gives them any blessing. And there was a famine of crackling in the land.
And the crops rotted in the field because the Beaker Folk knew not how to harvest them. And the true believers in Brexit said, "It is because the young are lazy. And go to Druid School and do degrees in Woad Studies and Nephromancy."
And the young said, it's because we're all too busy working in warehouses. Because you sent all the fork-lift chariot drivers back to Samothrace.
And so the Beaker Folk waxed wrath with one another. And Brexit was never satisfied but destroyed everything. And Haystax counted his children and looked for another wife.
And then the Celts took over.

Archdruid: What a terrifying tale. Thank goodness that sort of thing doesn't happen today.

All: Amen.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Lament in the Queue at a Motorway Services Petrol Station

The time has come when the Lord has sent a famine on the land.
Not a famine of food (apart from the food which rots in the land)
Nor a famine of water (apart from the bottled water in supermarkets)
but a famine of petrol.
The people wander from town to town
and drive very slowly from sea to sea
but there is no petrol to be found
not even a drop.
And we lament the greediness of those 
who fill up with no need
who put jerry cans in their boots
and tell granny to be careful not to spill
the petrol they have poured into the kettle she is holding on her lap
and they'll try not to go too fast over bumps.
For they fill up their cars with no need
panic buying even though there is no panic to be bought.
Like that bloke in front.
Bet he voted for Brexit.
And I bet he goes in to pay without a mask.
Not so us. 
For we need to get to Coventry next Tuesday
and it's best not to take any chances. 
So we thought we'd get out and get a tankful
before the panic-buyers get there.
Swines that they are.
You can't be too careful can you?
But lo the queue is 4 miles long
full of selfish beggars
who have no need for petrol at this time
nor diesel when Grant Shapps said there's plenty of it.
They should have stayed at home
and then there'd have been plenty for everyone.
Especially us.
And so we wait 
like unto Job scraping his sores, we listen to the Best of Wham
which is unaccountably the only CD in the car.
We suck on wine gums and hope 
that when our bodies are found
in six week's time
still in the queue at this services
they'll know we had a real reason to come out for petrol.
We need it.
You can't be too careful.
Can't go taking chances.
We really do need to go Coventry next week.