Guest blogger, The Rev’d Humphrey Blytherington is Vicar of St Hilda’s, Little Snoring with All Saints, Great Snoring. He is a graduate of Plymouth University. He completed his studies for the ministry at Latimer Hall, Durham. He is married to Daphne and enjoys home brewing, model railroading and is an avid member of the Great Snoring Morris Dancers.
I’m not really sure what you chaps are talking about, in fact, you seem to know a good bit more about all this than I do. It’s only just come up you know and no one told me about it and I didn’t know anything before Daphne shouted ‘Praise Be’ from the other side of the Daily Telegraph at breakfast on Tuesday.
I do know that Giles over at St Barnabas seems rather excited. He’s always been rather Catholic in his tastes and he’s been talking of nothing else all week. He seems to think that before too long he and his people will be able to transfer over to the Pope in Rome and that they will have their own bishop called an ordinariness or some such. I personally don’t know what all the hoo-ha is about. Giles and his people have had their own ‘flying bishop’ for years now. Why, the Bishop of Jeeves and Wooster hasn’t set foot in St Barnabas ever since he started ordaining the ladies.
From what I can make out the Pope in Rome has launched an attack on the Church of England, saying that all the fellows like Giles can become Catholics if they want. They can be ordained as papists even if they have wives and kiddies, and they can bring all their folks along with them. I can tell you, that if this is true, I, for one am not especially pleased. I mean really, what cheek! It’s all well and good to let the Roman Catholics have their own churches, I mean someone has to minister to the Irish navies and Italian waiters, and now the Polish plumbers and Phillippino nurses, but to think that good solid English people like Giles and the folks over at St Barnabas should want to ‘Pope’! It’s a scandal. That’s what it is!
I’m not surprised it’s come to this. It’s been building up for weeks now. First the Roman Catholics announce that they’re brining the Pope to Britain, then the Duke of Edinburgh goes to a Mary-worshipping Roman shrine, then they cart the bones of that poor French gal across the country and we have to watch fat Italian ladies kissing the bones and so forth, now the Pope in Rome makes a claim on our churches, our clergy and our good English people. I’m not one for so called conspiracy theories, but I’m beginning to think all the old stories of the Pope’s wanting to control the world are about right!
Listen lads, there’s no reason for it either! All of us know that the Church of England is Catholic already. We’re Catholic but reformed. King Henry VIII and his friend Cromwell saw that the monasteries were corrupt and the fat old monks needed to get their act together so they cleaned things up a bit, that’s all, why I’m just as much a Catholic priest as Fr. Corrigan down at Sacred Heart. Why should he think that he’s better than me? That’s a fair question isn’t it?
No, Nigel I will not answer that question. I’m feeling rather het up tonight as you can see, and I don’t really want to discuss matters further, and I am certainly not going to take the bait with your questions about Mrs Vicar. Daphne has her own choices to make and I will not interfere, but I will say that it is none of your business, and if you don’t mind I’d like to change the subject.
I’ll just finish my half pint of lager shandy now and be heading home. I’m not in the mood to be teased, and it is not true that Daphne has changed her name to ‘Therese.’