The ABC meets Russell Crowe – @stokeminster wins our caption competition

The Archbishop of Canterbury met with Russell Crowe this week, we tweeted a photo and asked for some captions, this one is our favourite so far – feel free to add your own caption in the comments below!

Justin Portal Welby


Here are some more captions from our Facebook page:

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ABC to follow Pontiff’s lead and offer Twitter indulgences

ImageThe Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has followed the lead of Pope Francis in offering indulgences for those who follow him on Twitter. There was widespread head-scratching earlier in the week at the announcement by the Vatican that the Papal court handling pardons for sins had ruled that contrite Catholics could gain ‘indulgences’ by following World Youth Day on Twitter.

The Anglican model is slightly different, as the doctrine of Purgatory and Indulgences are among those doctrines which the Church of England has discarded since its break from Rome. However, Archbishop Welby, sensing an opportunity for an easy win to please his home crowd, has ruled that PCC members who follow @ABCJustin or @LambethPalace on Twitter will be able to download a voucher allowing them to leave PCC meetings after the first 90 minutes, even if they are the vicar.

A spokesperson for the Church of England said, “Like the Orthodox Church, we do not have a doctrine of Purgatory in the Church of England. Our official line is that this Roman idea ‘is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God’. However, the Pope’s concept of Twitter-bribes to get his follower count up looked good to us. Who among the Anglican flock has not been trapped in an epic PCC meeting where having what amounts to a ‘Go home or to the pub’ card from the Archbishop of Canterbury would not have been a blessed relief from torment?.”

New Archbishop upsets High Priest

Justin Welby’s inaugural sermon provoked a hostile reaction from John Humphries of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, as Anglicanmemes reporter Unshaun Sheep discovered  when he caught up with Humphries in a coffee shop close to the BBC…

Image“Who does this Welby bloke think he is?” said a clearly grumpy Humphries, crumbs of Danish pastry flying as he spoke. “Clearly, the duty of senior clergy in this country is to say controversial things about homosexuality, women bishops and gay marriage which we in the media can then take them to task about.”

“Well, I wonder…” interjected Sheep

“The whole point,” continued Humphries, “is that someone of his standing in the Church should be saying things which secular humanists and agnostic liberals can get uppity about and give the nation’s moral guardians, such as myself, a chance to tell him what he ought to be saying.”

“Yes, but…” interjected Sheep

“If he keeps going on with this shtick he started in his sermon,” continued Humphries, “about challenging the Church of England into reaching out for Christ, taking risks in mission, seeking justice rooted in Christ, Christians stepping out of their comfort zone and braving the waves for the sake of the Gospel, then there is a serious danger that people will forget what they’re supposed to be thinking!”

“I see,” said Sheep, “so his image of the Church braving waves of…”

“Well if there are any waves to be braved,” interrupted Humphries, his voice building through a crescendo,  “it is for me, Paul Dacre, David Cameron, Polly Toynbee and other High Priests of What People Ought To Think Nowadays to decide what those waves are to be and to tell the Archbishop of Canterbury what his agenda ought to be. The last chap, Williams, he never got that one right either. Anyway, can’t stop, I’m due in the studio…”

Humphries finished his latte, rose and rushed outside.

“Oh, and it’s spelled Humphrys, you Anglican clot!” he yelled through the door as it slammed behind him.

Rowan Williams emerges as shock front-runner to be new Pope

ImageSources close to the Vatican have hinted at the surprise anointing of former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams as the new Pope when Benedict XVI steps down at the end of the month. Following the shock announcement of Pope Benedict’s retirement, the first occasion a Pope has resigned in over 600 years, it was clear to outsiders that something of great significance was afoot in the See of Rome.

The key issue turns out to be one of ecumenism and practical interdenominational politics rather than theology. The appointment of Williams as Pope is seen by the Vatican as a way to build bridges towards greater Church unity, but not only with the Anglican Communion as might be assumed. As one Cardinal put it, “There is a great drive towards greater unity with the Orthodox Church, but the greatest stumbling block to progress has been that of facial hair. Basically, all the Orthodox and Coptic Metropolitans and Popes have lush beards and have teased our Popes for centuries that our Roman balls haven’t dropped yet and we can’t grow a decent beard between the lot of us. We’re sick of it, frankly, and since none of our Cardinals have decent beards, appointing known beardy Rowan Williams to exercise the Petrine ministry will get ecumenical dialogue on a more grown-up footing. And it will confuse the Ordinariate no end which amuses many of us here, too.”

Another known Anglican beardy, the blogger Archbishop Cranmer was unavailable for comment as he was turning too fast in his grave to type.

Lip-synch furore at Archbishop’s Inauguration

St Pauls Cathedral

Minutes after images of the live inauguration of Justin Welby as 105th Archbishop of Canterbury were beamed around the world from St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, Twitter was a-buzz with rumours that the choir had lip-synched the anthem.

As part of the Confirmation of Election service, the choir sang the motet “The Star-mangled Spanner”, a setting of an early 20th-century metaphysical poem which incorporates themes of creation, love, astrophysics and oil exploration. The Director of Music later admitted that the choir’s successful commercial recording of the piece had been used in the service, explaining that “most of the boys were up till four this morning watching the Superbowl and, for some reason, came up with the idea that, since they were all too tired to sing in any case, ‘we might as well just press play and flap our lips’ as they put it.”