Archbishop Abandons the Stairway to Heaven

The Church of England as been rocked by news that the Ledzeppelin Commission has published a new experimental wording for Stairway to Heaven. The new rite came under scrutiny from the press last week when it was backed by Archbishop Justin Hawkins. Many clerics have been critical of Stairway as it doesn’t speak to the common man. The Bishop of Liverpool, Rt Revd Paul McCartney requested the new wording saying that they now want to use the language of Rhianna rather than The Rolling Stones. “Bands like The Rolling Stones are so out of touch and unpopular in 2014, struggling to fill small pubs and clubs and connect with new audiences” says +Paul.


“You need a serious amount of drugs for the lyrics to make any sense in our urban context” said one cleric. “What does it even me ‘to be a rock and not to roll’ in the twenty first century? 90% of the people who are hearing it for the first time will have no idea what the Ledzeppelin Commission is going on about with this outdated nonsense”.

Traditionalists have been highly critical of the new wording as it removes all mention of Beelzebub and his minion hoards. “In the seventies you knew where you stood” insists Mrs Beamish, a staunch member of the ASB Society. “You stood on a Highway to Hell having Sympathy for the Devil. Now we’re being told that we’re Shining bright like a diamond, bright like a diamond, bright like a diamond, bright like a diamond, bright like a diamond, bright like a diamond, like diamonds in the sky. Where is the poetic beauty that comes from centuries of tradition? Diamonds don’t even shine, they reflect light so it is totally meaningless. In my day we were left winding on down the road with shadows taller than our soul! How can this new baptism rite lead the people of England to the time when all are one and one is all? It is a disgrace and ++Justin should be ashamed of himself. This new fangled rite just leaves us longing for the day we went down to Georgia”.

Lord Carey to feature in Cameron’s Thatcher Museum

ImageIt emerged today that former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, is to be placed as an exhibit in David Cameron’s 15 million pound, tax-payer funded Museum of Thatcher.

“Basically, the Church of England had a whip round and raised a suitably eye-watering sum to grab the attention of the government.”, explained a Church House spokesperson, “It wasn’t hard to persuade lots of our members to contribute significant sums of money, even in these austere times. We simply pointed out to members of the C of E that if Carey was sounding off among the kinds of Daily Mail reader types who will actually go to the Thatcher Museum, he wouldn’t be shooting his mouth off at inopportune moments in the Britain which the rest of us have to inhabit. So we can get on with trying to be a Christian presence in every community, proclaiming the Gospel in a variety of ways, being Church as authentically as God has equipped us to be without Carey distracting the media – or us – from the tasks in hand.”

Fresh Expressions help ECB relaunch cricket

The English Cricket Board (ECB) today released details of its new, relevant, accessible version of cricket, to be known as Café Hit-a-Ball. The game is essentially the same as that which has been played over several centuries, but with technical terms made more easily comprehensible to the un-cricketed.

ImageNew, relevant, accessible terms include the hitty-stick (bat), ball-wanger (bowler), target-sticks (wicket),  hitter (batsman), team-turn (innings), grassy rectangle (crease), ball-wanging-turn (over), point (run) and woot-woot-off-the-field (boundary).

Instead of incomprehensible genuflections from an umpire, details of scoring and other decisions will be displayed via Powerpoint on a big screen. In Comic Sans.

The ECB was advised by the Church of England’s Fresh Expressions team after their success in using everyday language in what used to be called church services in order to make them accessible. “Cricket seems so irrelevant to most people, with its talk of silly-mid-off, twelfth man, maiden overs, centurions, leg slips and so on, and its off-putting use of negative terms such as boundary, crease and out.” explained Miss E Church, ” I mean, Twenty20 was all well and good as a Fresh Expression of cricket, but it still used cricketing terms which put were not comprehensible to people who knew nothing about the game. With our help, we are sure that the ECB can promote cricket as nothing special at all, and an easily-digested part of mainstream culture, accessible to everyone.”

Fresh Expressions are also in talks with the FA about developing Kick-a-ball, the Lawn Tennis Association about Over-the-net-ball, and Downton Abbey’s producers about a new series called Upstairs, Downstairs.

Editor’s note: Church of England clergy at their ordination promise to find ways to ‘proclaim the gospel afresh in each generation’ (and have done so for centuries) 

Church calls for calm as national media predict Apocalyptic conditions in southern Britain

ImageThe Church of England called for calm as commentators in the national media whipped up fears that the Apocalypse was imminent for parts of Britain today.

As BBC Breakfast News warned of the moon turning to blood and the sun turning black and the Daily Mail warned of vials of the wrath of God and Lakes of Fire affecting house prices, the Church of England defiantly continued to say daily prayers, serve people lovingly and attempt to be good news in every community in the country.

“We have seen portents of the end times pretty much for ever,” explained one country vicar, Reverend John Elation, “and we’ve found the best approach generally is to trust in the Lord and get on with the job. I’m not going to abandon Matins to hold a special Service of Annihilation just because Lorraine Kelly said we ought to.”

Prime Minister, David Cameron, criticised the Church’s response, saying “There is clearly a reason to panic and the media are quite correct to run saturation coverage of “less-than-bland” weather if it keeps the start of the Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson trial or the shambolic DWP making disabled people’s lives harder out of the headlines. People who are worried that their homes and loved ones may be put in peril by the forthcoming apocalyptic conditions should pop overseas to whichever tax haven they keep their money in for the duration.”

Rev. Elation remained unconvinced, however, pointing out that “in the Bible, the messengers of the apocalypse are generally angels.”

New Atheists launch basics course to rival C of E’s Pilgrim


In response to the launch of the Church of England’s new Pilgrim course – intended to help people explore the Christian faith – a group of self-styled New Atheists have set up a rival basics course.

The Grim Pillock course is designed to help people who have vague feelings that, as reasonably liberal people, they really ought to be atheists, just like the mainstream media tell them they should be, but are not sure how to become a frothing caricature of one (aka a grim pillock) online.

Course author, Rick Radishwand, says the aim of the course is to help people who might fill in “none” in the religion box in a census to really commit to being a recognisable New Atheist online. Modules include:

  • how to sound like someone’s bitter Great Great Great Aunt on Twitter
  • how to aggressively attack, belittle and abuse followers of particular religions whilst deluding yourself that this is consistent with being a liberal, loving member of the brotherhood of all people
  • how to insist on holding all arguments comfortably within your own assumptions and terms of reference when you find yourself out of your depth with a philosophical or theological thinker
  • how to blame all belief of all kinds when someone of faith says something daft or does something bad
  • straw man argument construction
  • how to pick on a Twitter opponent who is not your intellectual peer in order to appear bright

A spokesperson for the Church of England said, “We’re pleased that the New Atheists are putting this information out there. It certainly helps explain their approach online and the behaviour of some of their high-profile members. We hope it will therefore encourage atheists, don’t knows and vaguely interesteds who don’t want to look like a Grim Pillock online to come along to a Pilgrim course where they can find out what Christians actually believe.”

The best of #awkwardanglican – sorry, I’m C of E

I posted this article yesterday and I was overwhelmed by the response! A huge number seemed to centre on administering/receiving communion, climbing up the inside of cassocks and problems in reading and intercessions. After a while it did tend towards a confessional feel!

Here is a collection of some of the best awkward anglican situations shared online.

Shared in the comments:

From David Hartley:

Turning the page and realising the reading you’ve just been given isn’t the one you’d practiced.

From Faith, Hope, Chocolate:

Keeping a straight face when the elderly, deaf lady next to you is singing loudly.
Turning up in habit/clerical gear when everyone else is in mufti.
Realising during the collect that you’re reading the lesson and the book is still in the Sacristy, and having to go and get it.
Not being sure where to go during the procession – and you’re thurifer.
The thurifer accidentally hitting the priest on the head when censing him/her.
The thurible tangling itself in its chains mid-swing and spilling its contents on the carpet.

Comments on Twitter:

After the Royal Mail, Church of England is next to be privatised

Following the rousing success of selling the Royal Mail at a loss (whilst keeping the liability of employee pensions in the public sector), the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the Church of England is also to be put into the private sector.

ImageGeorge Osborne’s close friends have been urging him for some time to make the more profitable parts of the Anglican Church available to investors, and so, to sate their need for taking things of value and converting them into mere money, the Chancellor will be flogging off parts of the Church of England in several tranches over the coming months:

  • All silver and gold goblets, plates, candlesticks and other items to be privatised at half their scrap metal value
  • Cathedrals will be sold off as heritage centres, museums of generalised spirituality, or private homes to the more gothically-minded of Gideon’s chums
  • Village churches will be available for purchase as private residences, allowing those who hate churches but insist on buying rectories which are disturbingly close to noise nuisance belltowers, organs and Sunday morning congregations to go one better and neutralise the whole annoying village church malarkey altogether
  • General Synod will be sold off as a reality TV format
  • Clergy pensions will stay in the public sector, but individual deacons and priests will be sold off to the private sector. They will still be bookable by members of the public to officiate at church services, assemblies, blessings and to offer private prayer but this will have to be done via call centres run by whichever merchant bank successfully buys the national stock of Anglican clergy
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury will be privatised as an after-dinner speaker

A spokesperson for the God, St Peter, said, “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money”