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‘Away with Common Prayer and hello Common Purpose’

Where did it all go wrong, my dears? It is a pertinent question, now the church’s one foundation is a frilly garment from Ann Summers and the view from the pulpit is increasingly Rosie. One wonders what God thinks? Of course, being outside all time and space He would have known all this nonsense was coming, so perhaps it amuses Him. Yet if God created both male and female, why is the modern Church of England determined to embrace gender neutrality? Does this not fly in the face of the Almighty? If God’s name is Jehovah, why set about turning it into Jemima?

One could have predicted this the moment the Great West Door of Anglicanism swung open just a little to allow women to shimmy into the priesthood. It didn’t take long before push came to shove and the venerable oak timbers splintered and gave way. Revolutionaries are never satisfied, are they? Away with Common Prayer and hello Common Purpose; anathema is the Old Testament with all that patriarchy and begetting, not to mention the much slaughter, for the New Testament is where the unicorns are, or soon will be if the Rev’d Rosie gets her way. Shall we even be allowed to sing hymns? Surely that word must be replaced with something else – ‘songs’, for example; yes, that is nicely neutral. What about dog collars? ‘Dog’ is masculine, is it not? (Though of course like ‘man’, it applies to the entire species, but hey ho).

Blessed is the hermaphrodite, for there is God Incarnate…

O, when did the rot set in?

I happened to call at Mr. Suet’s Cake Shop yesterday, where Mustafa Fatwah, our mayor, was just ahead of me. One could not help overhearing. Mr. Fatwah wanted a cake decorated with the words, ‘Death to All Unbelievers’ in green icing, and Mr. Suet was remonstrating.

“Iz you anti-Muslim?” demanded our mayor angrily.

“My dear sir, I am not refusing to serve you per se,” said Mr. Suet, holding his ground, “for you are at liberty to buy any cake in this shop. However, I do not agree with the sentiments you express, and, as an elder in Barchester Strict and Peculiar Baptist Church, I will not ice those words.”

“Quite right, Mr. Suet,” I declared, interrupting the debate, “And I do believe you will be supported by the highest court in the land, if not by the bench of bishops.”

At this point, flashing a scowl that would curdle milk, the mayor turned on his heel and stormed out, whereupon I ordered half a dozen macaroons and a lemon drizzle cake for afternoon tea. I don’t buy hobnobs here as I cannot do with Mr. Suet’s soggy bottoms.

(Mr. Fatwah has never been the same since the council voted down his plan for an inflatable ‘Prince Albert’ to be floated above Barchester in protest at the royal visit).

Sometime later I came across a most disturbing scene: there was Mustafa Fatwah again, standing in the middle of the Market Square waving his big chopper about and calling for jihad. Evidently, the cake incident had clicked a switch inside his head. I looked around for signs of our local constabulary, but the boys in blue were nowhere to be seen. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Inspector Cuffem hiding behind the statue of the 4th Earl of Mountwarlock, so I marched over to see what was what.

“Up boys and at ‘im,” I said encouragingly, expecting the inspector to leap forward like a greyhound sprung out of the trap.

“Please don’t interfere, Mrs. Proudie,” cautioned the inspector. “This is a very delicate situation and calls for modern policing methods, as trialled by Sir Craig Mackey in Westminster.”

“I thought Sir Craig did nothing but hide when that poor policeman was attacked,” I replied in astonishment.

“That’s right. It’s a new terrorist-response strategy, code named OSTRICH. It stands for Observe Strategically Terrorist Ranting in Confined Henvironments.”

“But there is no ‘H’ in ‘environments’,” I replied.

“This is no time for pedantry,” said the inspector. “We have enough trouble finding suitable acronyms as it is.”

Well, there’s no doubt about it, OSTRICH fits the Bill perfectly…

Oh, how did the incident end? Ah, luckily Mayor Fatwah realised it was time for prayer and so pulled out a mat from under his gabardine and prostrated himself on the cobbles, at which point Constable Knapweed and Doctor Thorne appeared carrying a straight-jacket. Order was thus restored, and the weekly market took on its usual desultory air. In case you are wondering why we put up with a mentally-disturbed and deluded local politician, let me point out we have no option – they are all like that.

The Labour Party used to stand up for the oppressed, the downtrodden and the forgotten, so you would think they would be outraged by the wicked ‘grooming gangs’ exploiting vulnerable children in Bradford and other cities across the United Kingdom. A new report by the local council reveals that 51 criminal organisations operate in the city and the majority of perpetrators are not white-British, which means they are of another ethnicity. The silence – from across the political spectrum, in fact – is deafening. One wonders why?

At Signora Neroni’s midweek tea party the talk was all about the Equality Institute’s latest wheeze – the announcement that ‘People of all genders can fall pregnant’. We ladies were in fits of the giggles.

“Can you imagine Mr. Slope getting pregnant?” said the Signora, fluttering her fan.

“Well, actually…” I began, but was cut off by the Countess de Courcy.

“Or Lord Mandelson?” said the Countess.

“Well, actually…” I muttered, but could say no more as Lady Arabella Gresham piped up.

“Or the ghastly Blair creature?”

“Well there are rumours…” I said, but then thought better of it.

I see Mrs. Hilldabeast Clinton is refusing to be civil whilst President Trumpelstiltskin sits in the White House. Was she ever civil? She was beastly to the staff and security men during the time of her husband’s incumbency, and I don’t think the parents of the under-aged rape victim she trashed in court whilst defending a client found her very civil. What is so vexing is that the press still give this woman oxygen. She failed in her attempt at pant-suited world-domination and Armageddon, and should have the good grace and civility to shut up shop. Meanwhile, President T. enjoys growing support from America’s black community, which must infuriate all those Democrat ex-plantation owners who prefer to keep them in their place.

Disturbing, is it not, to hear the phrase ‘Uncle Tom’ being bandied about by rabid Corbynistas, angry that the CON-servatives are fielding a black candidate for the mayoralty of London when the Saracen comes up for re-election. One would think they would approve of such a man, raised by his mother on a council estate, as the very model of social mobility, diversity and lack of prejudice; a marker of how society has moved on. But no, far from it. One tires of the Left, one really does, but then one tires of Mrs. Dismay too, who bends over backwards to ‘get down with the kids’.

Ah, look at the time! I must fly. I have promised to read one of my tracts to the ‘Barchester Society for the Protection of Diane Abbott’, based on Proverbs 15:17. One helps in any way one can. After lunch, the Bishop and I are heading down to the Cotswolds to visit a cousin and to see the glories of Tewkesbury Abbey.

So, as the taxidermist of insanity stuffs the body politic with the kapok of genderbendery and the doormat of tolerance is sullied by the filth of liberal-jackbootism, I bid you all adieu for this week.