So, last week the new Bishop of Sheffield was announced. What this actually precipitated was the most creative burst of episcopally related shenanigans on Twitter that we’ve ever seen from @fictionfox (who happens to be married to the bishop-designate of Sheffield).
Here are some of her best tweets.
It started with this very niche joke (if you don’t get it, look up the name of the last bishop of Sheffield):
Ripon Cathedral met William Shatner on Twitter. Being British, the Cathedral naturally discussed the weather rather than the Final Frontier. Oh, and mentioned its track record in cutting edge communications technology…
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:
Not knowing whether it is 'Glory to you O Lord' or 'Praise to you O Christ' at the gospel so saying 'Glory to you O Claude' #awkwardanglican
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.
“these operations highlight the routine work we are carrying out every day to stamp out illegal meetings in houses where dubious cannibalistic meals take place in the name of captured and executed brigand Jesus of Nazareth. We are sending a clear message to people who choose to harbour these illegal so-called Christians: we will find you and you will pay a heavy penalty.”
The penalties will range from flogging to being thrown to the lions – dependent on the severity of the crime. More lenient sentences will be given to those willing to burn incense in the name of Caesar and deny this dangerous foreign god Jesus.
The Praetorian Guard insisted that plebeians would be pleased to hear that this justice is daily being done in the name of Caesar given the well-founded fears of the dangers of this Christian cult (which attracts women and slaves in huge numbers). Some plebeians argued that their taxes should not be spent on such activities – their twitter accounts will now be monitored for anti-Caesar comments.
The first tweet on the new @praetorian account shared an image of one of those arrested (pictured here below) and stated:
“A suspected Christian arrested at Appian Way Baths – LXII suspected #illegalchristians arrested across Rome today”
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?.”
On Friday our very own Robb started a hashtag game encouraging people to think of #churchofenglandfilms. The contributions came in thick and fast and continued until late Saturday and at lunch time on Friday it trended in the UK on twitter (this is very exciting if you are a twitter geek like us!) We were delighted that lots of people said the game had made their night and had been the most entertaining thing they’d seen on twitter for a long while.
This is really part of what we’re trying to do with this website – raise a smile for the institution we love: