You know Simon, I’m inclined to agree with you for once. I read in the Church Times about this new Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda and couldn’t make heads or tails of it. Can’t imagine what the point of it all is. They’ve already got a group called Forward in Faith. What did you say? Rev Lav calls it Backward in Bigotry? Now now. We mustn’t be unkind. What’s that? A packet of beef curry crisps? What fun! I don’t mind if I do. Yes please, and Ian, be a good chap will you and get me the other half of my lager shandy? There’s a good fellow.
Yes, Daphne explained the whole thing. Seems the Bishop of Chichester’s a fellow called John Hind. Fr. Giles over at St Barnabas told me that the clergy in Chichester refer to the Bishop’s Palace as “Hind Quarters” Har har har. Fellow before him was called Kemp. Nicknamed ‘Damp’ by his clergy. Story goes that when he was a fellow at Exeter College he was dripping about–rather an Eeyore sort of chap if you know what I mean. Anyway, the Dean said to the provost, “Who’s that new fellow? Kemp did you say? How did he get in here?”
“My dear Dean”, said the provost, “Damp gets in everywhere.”
Anyway, this fellow Hind and his chums have always been rather high. We used to call them the gin and lace brigade at college. They were across town at St Richard’s House. Bishop always made us get together with the blighters for supper once a term. It wasn’t a happy affair believe you me. Chichester’s always been high like that. Some call it South Coast religion–all bells and smells and I’m afraid some rather rum goings on down in Brighton, but never mind. We must think the best!
Anyway, this Hind fellow and his chums have got together a new club. They’re none too happy about having women bishops, but it seems they’re even more unhappy about having a pope. Seems they’re going to stay in the Church of England and fight for the Catholic tradition. Daphne says they should either become Catholics or stop complaining and just realize they’re Protestants and get on with the job. Daff and I are having our disagreements of late. She’s reading too much of that fellow Newman if you ask me, and she does insist on calling him Blessed John Henry Newman much to my annoyance, but on this one we see eye to eye.
I asked Fr Giles about it, and he said he had no time for Hind and his new club. Of course Giles is awfully high himself, and when I asked him what he planned to do he went rather serious and changed the subject. Lavinia told me that Giles is getting up steam to announce that he and a good number of the people at St Barnabas are going to join this new Ordinariate thingamabob which the Pope has set up to steal sheep from the Church of England. Seems some of the Forward in Faith folks are taking it all rather seriously. I say, if that happens there will be a right kerfuffle.
I must admit, I’m rather befuddled by it all. I can’t see why these fellows can’t get on with the job at hand. Why bother with all those extra candles and incense and statues of Mary and rosary beads and so forth? Never could understand it. Not manly really. Good old fashioned matins on a Sunday morning at ten, Holy Communion once a month for those who like it, tea in the afternoon with a nice Victoria sponge and then toddle off to Evensong at six. Not much harm in a life like that I say, and what’s all the bother about women priests and bishops? I reckon they’re doing a good job in their way. Haven’t heard a good sermon out of one of them so far, but they’re awfully good at parish visiting and jolly decent at organizing the Sunday School and the Church fete and that sort of thing.
A nightcap? Thank you very much Simon, but I think I’d better not. Better toddle off home and let out the cat. Cheerio!
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