Mrs Proudie
Meditation and Reflection

Anglican schism: "First we had Brexit – now we have Evangexit!"

 

Goodness! Schism breaks out in Tunbridge Wells! In my day it was Dr. Pusey who rattled ecclesiastical cages, not to mention Bishop Colenso of Natal, but now it seems my own party within the Anglican family, the Evangelicals, are in the vanguard of radicalism. I mentioned these developments to Archdeacon Grantly after Eucharist the other day and his response was one of triumphalism.

“About time too, dear lady,” he snorted, waving his rolled-up copy of the Church Times in the air like Aaron’s Rod. “For too long the limp-wristed lettuce-wilting liberal fol-de-rols of St. Marx have had their own way, moving the Church towards cultural relativism, Common Worship and kumbaya codswallop. As for the bishopess who refused the Queen’s mandate until the loathsome phrase ‘Father in God’ was removed from the liturgy, I am sure there’s a special place in Dante’s third ring reserved for the likes of her, buried up to her neck in bulls**t next to Polly Toynbee and that Alibaba-Brown creature. We should rejoice, Mrs. Proudie, for these establishment wallahs don’t like it up ‘em! First we had Brexit – now we have Evangexit! Rejoice, rejoice I say!”

(Note to self: check alcohol content of last batch of communion wine and relieve the Archdeacon of the key to the cupboard).

I left him revolving on the spot in his gaiters and quietly slipped away to the Reginald Bosenquet Temperance Tea House on the High Street for a spot of tiffin. This estimable establishment stands opposite to Mustafa Fatwah’s new business venture, The Fragrant Goat (Halal) Laundry and Burkini Boutique, which I noticed was attracting a large number of swarthy, furtive types carrying large parcels. My first thought, quite naturally, was these were merely bundles of dirty washing, until one fell upon the cobbles with an almighty ‘CLANG’ only to be picked up and removed in great haste. That Mr. Fatwah has his fingers in many pies (amongst other things) so who knows what is being planned in the fetid souk of his devious mind? I ordered Earl Grey and thought of pleasanter things, such as Hillary Clinton’s arrest on charges of corruption. If only… if only…

It is heartwarming, is it not, to learn that the boat-loads of refugees flooding into Europe are all doctors, dentists, university professors or qualified plumbers? How enriched we are all going to be, and what a boon to our overstretched public services this new workforce will make. This is what The Jupiter tells us each and every morning, so it must be true. If any of these young fellows are qualified bricklayers they could perhaps find employment with Mr. Trump, whom I believe has a plan for extensive construction work along the Mexican border.

More trouble at Barchester Infirmary with those pesky junior doctors. Signora Neroni went along this morning for her usual physiotherapy session only to find the way blocked by screaming medicals waving placards and protesting about working conditions. If they think they’re being hard-done to they should have a word with our chimney sweep’s lad – we call him Sooty – and that would set them right. Of course these days medics – like politicians – take the Hypocritical Oath, which means they can spout nonsense about defending the health service whilst damaging it. The Bishop and I ‘go private’ of course. I for one prefer the soothing hands of Dr. Thorne, who has an excellent bedside manner, to the brutish ministrations of a Yahoo.

What with the hullabaloo at Thorneythwaite Farm in the Lake District I was somewhat surprised to learn the Duke of Omnium is thinking of handing over Gatherum Castle to the National Trust. This once noble organisation is now the home of eco-warriors and lentil weavers, latter-day Diggers who care nothing for old buildings and everything for newt-infested habitats. If the duke goes ahead he may find the castle turned into holiday flats at best, or sold off to architectural salvagers at worst. I shall invite him for tea and an ear-bashing in due course, along with that nice Lord Bragg – the Bouffant Bookman – for there isn’t a man in Barset I cannot manipulate. Make of that what you will.

Well, ‘tis time to put down my electric quill and go down to Barchester Meadows where, in the shadow of the Cathedral, we are holding the annual Great Barset Fair. I am supervising a team of ladies making Earl Grey and dispensing hobnobs in the Refreshment Marquee. Mr. Slope offered his services as a palmist but I soon put a stop to that notion: now he is doing something with coconuts. My Lord the Bishop will perform the official opening and preach on the text:

They went out into the field and gathered the grapes of their vineyards and trod them, and held a festival…‘ (Judges 9:27).

They did indeed – and I will be there to make sure they clean up afterwards. Adieu, dear friends.

  • David

    Christian greetings gentle lady !
    “Evangexit” – that word has a compelling ring to it !
    But by my word Mrs Proudie, your Archdeacon Grantly has a winning way with words, and most of them are much needed too, in these parts. If you can spare him for a few days we would make him most welcome, whilst inviting him to make good use of his forthright tongue to dispense proper encouragement to our local recalcitrants. He’d soon tongue-lash them into shape !
    Adieu, dear lady. The day presses !

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Christian greetings to you too, dear David! I shall pass on your invitation to the Archdeacon. I sure he can provide an appropriate counterblast to the recalcitrant…

  • bluedog

    It all sounds very highbrow at your end of the Fair, Mrs P. One imagines Beethoven’s 6th is wafting through the PA system, muting the tinkle of silver spoons on bone china. Members’ enclosure stuff.

    Meanwhile in the ‘silver ring’, down by the Jumping Castle, as opposed to Gatherum Castle, one hopes the ladies are serving Builders tea in disposable cups to the strains of the Wurzels. Perhaps the local Morris men will storm through another much loved routine as well. Then as darkness falls and the coloured lights come on, the ever-popular Dicky Heart and the Pacemakers will offer the boys and girls some bump and grind on the dance floor, before they head off into the water-meadows or the car-park for the real thing. Your Lord the Bishop had better ensure that the clergy are well versed in politely Christening the resulting little bastards.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      The ‘Silver Ring’ – one has curates for that….

  • Phil R

    The Evangelicals hopefully, have slowly woken up to the fact that to cave in to Bible relativisim on women’s ordination will enevitably mean agreeing to other departures from scripture such as homosexual marriage.

    You couldn’t have the second without the first, but the first was bound to lead to the second because they had already compromised Biblical authority.

    This needed to happen 30 years ago. BTW, Homosexual marriage in the Church is not an end game is is just one on a list. I am sure we can all think of what might come after we “marry” homosexuals in the Church.

    • sarky

      A really good reception?

      • Inspector General

        An orgy in the church hall probably…

        • carl jacobs

          “Orgy” has such a pejorative connotation. Perhaps we should say something like a “shared sensual experience”.

          • Inspector General

            One is quite sure there are progressives in the CoE who would be prepared to bless the foul affair, whatever it’s called…

          • The Explorer

            And to participate.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            A lot of the services one finds nowadays are very ‘Touchy-feely’…one should attend with caution and wearing gloves…

          • Inspector General

            A sore point with the Inspector, madam. ‘Modern’ RC rite includes the exchange of a ‘token of peace’ between the assembled. Absolutely ghastly stuff. Invariably the congregated wretches try to touch the Inspector like mad people at a full moon, would you believe! He has had to threaten his silver topped cane at them on many an occasion. To expect such intimacy with yours truly whilst worshipping God is just not on! Never had this bother with the Tridentine mass, you know!

            Besides, highly unhygienic. The Inspector puts an irritating skin complaint affecting ‘the auld fella’ entirely down to this horrendous intrusion of the person…

          • Goodness. What part of your anatomy did you offer?

          • DanJ0

            Have you tried wearing boxing gloves at night?

          • Cressida de Nova

            LOL

          • That’s bad. Funny, but very bad.

          • IanCad

            Mutual gratification groups? Every third service.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Orgy is very Roman…can’t see the present Pontiff indulging though…

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          Didn’t the Anabaptists hold Love Feasts?

          • The Explorer

            Strictly in a biblical sense. See ‘Jude’ v. 12.

      • Phil R

        Quite possibly. I would not know and I am unlikey to ever find out. That is the nub of it also. Cof E speak is “to love the sinner but hate the sin”. However, this is not found anywhere in the Bible. God hates the sin and condemns the sinner. It is true that Jesus associated with many who were considered sinners. However, we are never told that he condoned or celebrated sinfulness. Many in the Cof E if invited, would go to the reception even if they did not attend the marriage and see that as making some sort of stand. It isn’t.

      • Inspector General

        “Be on good terms with all persons.
        Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others –
        Even the dull and ignorant, they too have their story.”

        From Desiderata

        Perhaps, sarky, over the years, the Inspector has been too hard on you…

    • Matthew

      Whilst I think homosexual practice is unbiblical, I do not share your view that all female leadership is too. An excellent book on this is “Women and the Kingdom” by Faith and Roger Forster.

      I should stress that I am not a feminist, just a fellow sojourner seeking to follow the Lord.

      • Inspector General

        Unfortunately, women are natural compromisers. That is not say all are as undoubtedly some will possess the necessary qualities of leadership, but they are few and far between, we find. Do YOU want God’s truth compromised for the sake of this so called equality, whatever it is? Because in the absence of a female with leadership qualities, you will invariably have as a leader (on the ‘it’s her turn at it’ school of philosophy) thrust on you who doesn’t.

        It might be an idea to corner Roger Forster and have a candid discussion with him on his TRUE thoughts, with confidentiality assured, of course…the emasculated fellow takes second place to his wife, it seems…

        • IanCad

          They may pretend compromise, but as they seemingly cooperate, their heads are scheming as to how to get their ways. Which they will.
          Women are like Injuns – good at playing dead.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          I am not a natural compromiser…goodness me no!

          • Inspector General

            The exception proves the rule, dear lady.

      • Old Nick

        But this is not about “leadership” (whatever that might be). It is about women being Bishops and Priests (for which there is not a shred of patristic evidence) and Deaconesses (for which, by contrast, there is oceans of patristic evidence – though whether they performed the liturgical as opposed to pastoral functions of a Deacon is at best doubtful).

      • IanCad

        I have to admit that I’m somewhat on the fence over the issue, despite my conservative inclinations.

      • chefofsinners

        Not ‘Women in the Queendom’?

    • Dominic Stockford

      The first step into the abyss was when they allowed ‘wimmin’ to be lay readers.

    • Royinsouthwest

      When Christ commanded his disciples “to go into all the world …” just before the ascension was he only referring to men?

      • Phil R

        Two questions

        How many of the desciples were women?

        I do not have any objections to women’s ministry. But I as a man I will not allow a woman to have spiritual authority over me. My wife describes the men that do as weak men. She laughs at them and describes weak men as being a real problem for Christian women.

        You last point is irrelevant. That is not what is being discussed.

      • Stephen Leacock

        The question is what you mean by ‘hear the Gospel’ if you take it to mean ignoring explicit statements in the Gospel regarding female ministry, then no, it is not better to have a woman who ‘believes’ (in what) than a man who does not.

        Consult the 39 Articles! Donatism is firmly rejected therein, along with sundry other heresies.

  • Orwell Ian

    St Marx. That made me chuckle.
    But what are you going to do about beefing up security to protect the cathedral and the important personage of your Lord the Bishop? You may have but a split second for someone to slam the doors on the noses of scimitar swinging Salafists and bounce the bounders into backward somersaults.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      I have deployed the stout honest yeomen of Hiram’s Hospital to guard all doors…these are the sort of fellows who were at Agincourt on St Crispin’s Day…admittedly they are not as quick…

      • Orwell Ian

        Ah yes of course, the old gentlemen of Hiram’s Hospital. Barchester’s Special Forces. When the balloon goes up they’ll surely be a lot more animated than our doorkeepers, the carehome commando’s.

  • Inspector General

    Good day to you, Mrs Proudie. Evangexit is an excellent portmanteau, but these pure types need a figurehead. The Inspector suggests ‘The Real Bishop of Gloucester’. Now, having chosen the fellow, we need some sympathetic Anglican episcopal to lay hands upon him. Any ideas on whom that might be…

    • Inspector General

      Bishop Peter Sanlon…

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        I think that’s a jolly good idea…

  • carl jacobs

    now we have Evangexit!

    You should copyright that phrase, Mrs P.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      I shall head for the Patent Office immediately!

  • Uncle Brian

    Greetings, Mrs Proudie, on this bright, sunny Friday morning, and all the brighter for our regular update on the news and views from Barchester Cathedral.

    Nor recognising the name Colenso, I turned to the relevant volume (Vol. 3, Chasuble – Curate) of a well-known encyclopaedia, and this is what I found:

    “Colenso first courted controversy with the publication in 1855 of his Remarks on the Proper Treatment of Polygamy, one of the most cogent Christian-based arguments for tolerance of polygamy.”

    Dear, dear Mrs Proudie, are you quite sure that this is the right kind of reading matter you should be providing for the impressionable youth of Barsetshire, and in such close proximity to the Mustafa Fatwah establishment?

    Yours sincerely,
    Dispirited, Bath & Wells

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Well now, Bishop Colenso caused quite a stir, but not one that was welcomed or even desired…I mention him as a warning, a brilliant but deluded soul who alas ‘went native’…

  • IanCad

    I sincerely hope “Sooty” is not of West Indian extraction less you are hauled before the magistrates.

    • Inspector General

      Indeed. The correct nickname for a Caribbean type in the UK is, of course, chalky..

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Even naughtier…

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Naughty…

  • chefofsinners

    It is now clear that Brexit is going to be a triumphal procession to ever-increasing glory. Share prices up, employment up, exports booming, the union still supported by 54% of Scots, Christian prime minister, Olympic medals galore…
    Little wonder that some are feeling evangexital, but no! Let them put on the collar of dogma, take their stand and see the salvation of the Lord! For God has much people in this city. As well as dogs, who apparently also go to heaven.
    Donald Dump has the right idea: Let’s make Anglica great again! And build a wall to stop people leaving. Good man. They say his wife Melanoma used to drive a racy Escort and her Volvo was available for hire, although she denies this.

  • sarky

    Breaking news… the bishop of Grantham has come out!!! His long term relationship is of course celibate.
    Bit sad that it’s actually news.

    • chefofsinners

      Let us sing number 56, ‘Come on and celibate’.

    • DanJ0

      Sounds like he was about to be outed by a newspaper.

      • sarky

        If that’s the case then it’s very sad.

        • Demon Teddy Bear

          Sad in what way?

  • Inspector General

    There’s more…

    “You are a child of the universe.No less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

    Not so sure about you being of the same import as the stars and trees. Bit of a choker that. Still, let us not detract from those really dreadful lyrics….