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…
“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.