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.
New, 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)
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.”
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.”
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:
We have been fans for a long time of the Twitter account Very British Problems which charts the everyday embarrassment of being a socially awkward Brit. Delightfully, a book is now published with the full collection of situations – read more about it in this article.
Inspired by this, I have begun thinking of some specifically Church of England-related awkwardness. Here are a few starters which I shall tweet over a few days. Please start sending in your own either by Twitter, Facebook or by commenting below.
Not being sure if you can leave after Evensong whilst the organ voluntary is still playing. #awkwardanglican
Being unexpectedly hugged by someone during the peace.
Putting a twenty pound note into the collection plate and wondering how you can hide it so as not to look ostentatious.
Hastily switching from trespasses to sins in saying the Lord’s Prayer.
Knocking someone’s teeth with the chalice whilst administering communion.
Asking for coffee but when the old lady makes you a tea thanking them profusely and drinking it, even though you hate tea.
Eating the free Smarties but then forgetting to collect money in the tube for the Children’s Society during lent.
Trying to interpret a child’s picture from Sunday School in front of a full congregation.
Kneeling and then realising you’re standing on your cassock as you try to stand up gracefully.