Goodness! A copy of the proposed ‘New Revised-Revised Post-Synodical Common Purpose Bible’ was delivered by courier yesterday for my Lord the Bishop to peruse before it is presented to Parliament for formal approval. The first chapter, ‘Gendercis’, tells you all you need to know, though if doubt remains the following words, “In the beginning was the Person and the Person was without form, and therefore without Gender”, will confirm all fears. As for ‘Duoanatomy’… well what can one say? My Lord threw it onto the fire, which was entirely appropriate considering where the authors of such nonsense will end up.
However, at the small parish of St. Pederast-in-the-Shrubbery on the outskirts of Barchester, we learn that the incumbent, Rev’d Dr. Hardfast-Throbbing, has taken it upon himself to perform a blessing ceremony for those who go a-transgendering, which will no doubt see him before the Court of Arches ‘ere long. According to Mr. Slope (who went to spy) the ‘blessee’ enters the porch of the church dressed in the attire of the gender they wish to shed, whilst the choir sing the anthem, ‘O have I rendered my garments and donned those more appropriate to how I’m feeling at the moment’, (arr. Elton John, 2017). An acolyte then clothes the blessee as they so desire and leads them before the altar, pausing a moment to bow before the statue of Father Tiresias. The celebrant then says:
“That which thou once was, is no longer. That which thou sleekest is granted unto thee. Yea, the first cut is the deepest, but no pain no gain, innit” (Alternative Service Z, Book of Common Purpose).
The blessee then genuflects, wipes themselves with a tissue, and declares which gender they intend to be for the year ahead.
“Let those that hate be hated in turn. Yea verily I say unto you, mock not the Lord’s transgendered, spurn them not, lest a twitterstorm of dung fall upon thee. For the Self-Righteous hath seized the moral high ground, from whence they spit down upon unbelievers and denounce their hate-think. Let us bend over backwards to embrace diversity as the light shines forth out of us.”
The choir then sing, ‘O Jeremy, Jeremy Corbyn’ to the tune of Crimond.
The celebrant then declares, in the name of the Church, that the Mystery of Glorious Transgenderisation has occurred, and the congregation, having rended their own garments in an act of unity, all embrace whilst the churchwardens stand by with buckets of water in case passions become enflamed.
We live in strange times.
The Prime Minister is personally supportive of such goings-on but declares it is a matter for the Church as a whole to adopt them or not. My Lord the Bishop thinks (and I agree with him) this has no place in his diocese and has decided to defrock the errant incumbent forthwith. The Archdeacon has offered to do the unfrocking himself, provided he can wear a pair of marigold dipped in Swarfega.
Mr. Harding is currently dealing with rumblings at Hiram’s Hospital. The old gentlemen discovered how much the Bolshevik Broadcasting Company pay their electric magic lantern performers and so the disquiet about emoluments – chronicled so well by Mr. Trollope in his most excellent book – has resurfaced. I am not altogether surprised. The news that Mr. Vine is paid thousands of pounds to be a hand-waving gibbering idiot, or that Mr. Lineker has amassed a fortune for describing football games (aka the blindingly obvious), is frankly an obscenity. One admits that once upon a time, bishops were paid huge sums even when they never set foot in their dioceses, but since the publication of the ‘Extraordinary Black Book’ in 1831 such ecclesiastical excesses have been curtailed by Parliament. I am in favour of such economy and frugality: Anglican bishops are not Roman princes and should cut their cloth accordingly, with any surplus revenue spent to alleviate the poor. I believe Mr. Lineker is a socialist, which explains a lot. He alleviates nothing.
I read in The Jupiter that First Lady Melania Trumpetski caused shrieking and wailing amongst the Parisian demi-Globalmondaine by requesting a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral instead of the now customary mosque. Accusations of Islamophobia were quick off the starting blocks, but this is of course nonsense. The First Lady is a devout Roman Catholic, and Notre Dame is a jewel of medieval architecture as well as a symbol of France. Alas, the fabric is in a ruinous state as the French government have neglected to provide proper funding for restoration work. Perhaps it will be tarted up for the new emperor’s coronation. After all, he married one of the gargoyles.
Eh bien, mes amis, like Madame Defage I have my knitting to finish. I promised to provide Mr. Slope with a new pair of combinations: these will be sans flap, in an effort to curtail his nocturnal activities. After that there is Evensong, at which we get to hear Mr. Harding’s new setting for the Malleus Maleficarum, dedicated to Anna Soubry. I shall give a full report anon. Until then, as the Pandora’s Box of neo-liberalism spews forth the gremlins of diversity and the fly-swatter of common sense is prohibited as a far-right hate-weapon, I bid you adieu.