The European Court of Human Rights today ruled that the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, is legally allowed to bless vehicles in his workplace. The ruling came after an action by the British Humanists’ Association on behalf of an un-named octogenarian, referred to in court only as Monarch L, whose car refused to start following a service at a Norfolk church at the weekend.
A spokesperson for the BHA explained that they had brought the action “to defend the elderly lady concerned against intrusive and aggressive religious interference in her workplace”. The court, however, found that, since the incident took place at a place of worship of which the monarch concerned was Supreme Governor, it was quite reasonable for the plaintiff to have blessed the vehicle.
“Clergy are serial offenders,” said Richard Bonkers of the BHA, “always blessing things which do not want to be blessed. Besides, it was probably not the blessing itself which made the difference, but more than 60 years of the general population singing ‘God save the Queen’ that actually started the car. That’s science, that is. Hold on, is that right…?”
Meanwhile, the AA have hired a headhunter company to secure the services of the Bishop of Chelmsford should he wish to retire.