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“a sexuality-obsessed ecclesia… busy transforming itself into the clerical wing of ‘Hope not Hate’”

Goodness! Having read the correspondence generated by my last missive, I am minded to write a column about rugby. On the other hand, as I know absolutely nothing about it, I shall ramble on as usual, highlighting the doings of Barchester folk.

But first I fear we must sound the alarm! Thanks to the current Archbishop’s timely warnings in the General Synod, the scales have dropped from my eyes and I see the streets of Barchester – and indeed every town in the kingdom – are crawling with fascists! Ordinary men and women who feel abandoned by self-serving political parties and who are desperate for change are nothing more than – and one shudders to use the word – populists, and therefore beyond the pale! The butcher, baker and candlestick maker have no minds of their own but have been swayed by the forces of darkness, taking orders from the Arch-demagogue in the White House, President Trumplegrüber.

Of course I jest…

Or do I?

And yet the Left continue to get a free pass. They are the ones who identify with movements that have caused the deaths of millions across the globe; they are the ones who turn out to disrupt meetings and cause violence, and they are the ones who have linked themselves with the religion-that-must-not-be-named, which has an underlying agenda for world domination that seems to be right on track. It will all end in tears.

Perhaps His Grace could use a copy of the ‘I-Spy Book of Fascism’ to help make a more informed identification.

My Lord the Bishop thinks, and I agree with him, that His present Grace is in error. So, it seems, does the Archdeacon.

“Have you heard the latest flapdoodle from Lambeth, dear lady?” spluttered Archdeacon Grantly. “It appears the church’s new credo is to insult the honest, working people of this land and alienate them completely, as if we didn’t have enough trouble filling the pews. ‘We know what’s good for you so suck it up’ is the long and the short of it, soon to become the 40th Article, and it really won’t do.”

We were heading towards St. Viagra Undershaft’s Church Hall for their annual ‘Donate a Backbone for Jesus’ fund-raiser, organised by those wily birds, the Anglican Sisters of the Holy Parakeet. As usual, attendance was meagre; not a backbone in sight.

“Depressing, isn’t it?” he snorted, surveying the little gathering of flat-bosomed curatesses and sparsely-bearded, tank-topped lentil-weavers singing,

“Jesus loves me, this I know,

LGBT tells me so…”

The Archdeacon scowled.

“We need a Church Militant, and yet we have a sexuality-obsessed ecclesia purveying milk-sop platitudes and virtue-signalling, busy transforming itself into the clerical wing of ‘Hope not Hate’.”

At that moment Mr. Slope appeared, puffing and panting, having run all the way from the Palace.

“I bring news,” he gasped, “The House of Clergy have voted ‘not to take note’ of the Bishops’ report on marriage. Both the bishops and the laity voted in favour, but the clergy made a stand and the bishops have apologised for any hurt or distress the report may have caused. Isn’t it wonderful!”

I shall not record the Archdeacon’s response. Suffice it to say it was robust.

All that once was, is lost.

And there I am going to leave it for now, a shorter offering than usual, ‘tis true. Please feel free to talk amongst yourselves. I am sure there are aspects of ‘the beautiful game’ that haven’t been covered. So, as the carpet-fitter of time covers the floorboards of biblical tradition with the shag-pile of zeitgeist perversity, I shall retire to my boudoir with a strong cup of cocoa and a life of Charles Simeon. Sober stuff for sobering times.