Suppliers of traditional Christmas presents for clergy had a lucky escape when the Church of England’s new Onesie Vestments were launched a critical few weeks too late, missing out on Christmas sales completely.
“We were very afraid that sales of our traditional ‘tat for clergy’ presents would be hit by the clerical Onesies,” explained Mervin Stoat of Tat for Clergy, supplier of dubious clergy-gift classics such as World’s Coolest Vicar lapel buttons, Jesus Saves piggy banks, My other shirt has a dog collar on it T-shirts, Quick – look busy! It’s the Archdeacon! hoodies and the Pope on a Rope Soap, “but thankfully there was a production delay while the House of Clergy argued about the designs.”
The Onesies have indeed proved controversial, with accusations that it would be unfair for rural priests in particular to snuggle within thermally-lined, all-in-one garments during the winter months while their congregations watched their breath condense and then freeze into particles of light hail. Some dissent was also expressed regarding the appearance of the chasuble in the Onesie arrangement which some claim would make a priest look as though they were wearing a wing-suit. “Personally, I don’t see what all the fuss is about,” said Rev’d Rock Northerner, who was already developing plans to incorporate a swooping entrance from a flaming bell tower by wing-suit onto a waiting Harley Davidson as a processional for his alternative extreme-sport liturgy.
Rural priests are especially keen on the new designs due not only to their thermal properties but also to their integrated catheter and urine storage system. “Nipping round the back of church to bob down among the holly bushes will be a thing of the past.” commented Rev. Penny Walnut-Bladder, “It was no joke: coffee after each of five morning services in the Benefice and no internal plumbing in any of the churches.”
The new vestments will be available in a variety of liturgical hues, but designers have taken great pains to avoid using the exact Pantone colour of any of the Teletubbies.