The Vicar on Gay Bishops


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 was happily ensconced in the armchair in my study meditating for a few moments, when Daphne marched in clutching the Daily Telegraph. “Wake up Humphrey. Listen to this!”

The article she read indicates that the dear old C of E has decided that it’s quite all right after all for a pansy to be a bishop. When she finished her harangue I mentioned that it did seem a bit queer. At that point she who must be obeyed, gave me her famous withering look. “It’s more than a bit queer Humph” she said, “It’s queer through and through. Did you know one of the bishops in America left his wife to go with a young man? I believe he even calls himself ‘Vicky’. And a Bishop! It’s outrageous! We’re having none of it in the Catholic Church I can tell you.”

I was a bit displeased with her I must say. Saying there is none of that sort of thing in the Catholic Church is a bit rum. I know most of their priests are hearty Irish farm boys, but I expect the Romans have their fair share of the “love that dare not speak its name.” I must confess, I have never really understood why everyone is in such a kerfuffle about the whole business. When I was a lad at boarding school everyone knew that there were some fellows who were that way inclined. Most of them grew out of it or went into the theater or became Anglo Catholics…much the same thing I suppose.

It’s a funny old business, and I’m not one to condemn another person. Why, I remember when I was at University a rather weedy lad with pimples named Nigel Proudie fell for me. He wanted to go for long walks and read poetry, but I had the cure for him. We went out on the lawn and worked up a good sweat playing croquet. He soon got over his infatuation and married the archdeacon’s daughter. Sadly it didn’t last, but today Mrs. Proudie runs a Bed and Breakfast establishment in Bath, and Nigel is precentor of Crumpington Cathedral and lives in a nice little house in the close with his good friend Kevin.

You might be tempted to condemn Nigel, but I’ve learned not to. You remember what Our Lord said? “Let him who never made a mistake cast the first stone?” and “Live and Let Live”. Life’s too short to go stomping about condemning other people, I mean to say, as it says somewhere in Scripture,  if we went along with “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” business the whole world would be blind and toothless, so I can’t be condemning these fellows just because they have more of an eye for the laddies than the ladies.

As I say, they’ve always been there. What they never did, if they were well brought up, was to trumpet it about. It was nobody’s business really, and you never imagined that they actually did anything about it. I mean to say, that’s not really very nice is it? People were much more discreet in those days. Certain things were not mentioned in polite society. Now everything has to be out in the open. Very disagreeable to my mind. To that end, I suppose Daff does have a point. Better to keep it undercover….as it were.

In fact, I was never really sure what they did with one another. Didn’t like to let my mind go along those paths… but at the clergy luncheon not too long ago Lavinia went into some detail. I must say I was rather shocked. Made me choke on my cheese and pickle sandwich.

Now the bishops say fellows who are in a civil partnership thingy can be bishops after all. Funny thing is,  the article said they’ve got to have separate bedrooms. I’m afraid they haven’t pleased anyone really. When Lavinia heard the news she and her friend Georgie Samsonite were outraged. Said it was blatant hypocrisy and homophobia. Daff said poor Lavinia was “fueled by rage.” I like that. “Fueled by rage.” Still, I can’t think that they’ll be able to enforce such a rule. What next? Archdeacons doing midnight raids on the Bishop’s Palace to make sure everyone is safely in their own bed?

Never mind. I expect it will all blow over. Most things do. If the bishops have made the decision we’ll have to go along with it. It’s not really my cup of tea, but as long as they don’t make it mandatory,  I can’t see it does much harm.


Go here or check out the right sidebar to purchase the first full length short story featuring Humph and his pals. Read the adventure of how he and Daphne ended up in Great Snoring. It’s available as an e-book for Kindle or as a download. Price: $2.99 ($1.99 for direct download) You can also read the archived posts by the Vicar by using the ‘categories’ facility located in the right sidebar of the blog.

Anglicans Wonder Why No One Comes to Church on Sunday
Duane Mandible on Welcoming Grays
Gimme That Ole Time Religion
Mantilla the Hon on the Cappa Magna
  • Neil

    Good morning, Father.
    I’m a bit confused by this entry, are you saying that you agree with the stance of the author?

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    The Vicar is one of my “alter egos” he is a comical, satirical creation of my own imagination. He writes as a “guest blogger” to poke gentle fun at the mainstream Anglican opinion–with which I disagree. Regular readers of the blog are familiar with him and his oddities.

  • Neil

    Thanks for the clarification. I am a new follower of your blog, as I’ve heard you on the son rise morning show, and definitely liked what you had to say – hence my confusion. Have a wonderful day!

  • Charles E. Mac Kay

    When this happened, when we were very young, matron told us chaps to take plenty of cold baths, seek the company of females and do lots of horse riding and not to wear too tight clothing. I suppose in the church of england they forgot the advice of matron!
    In all seriousness its pretty bad and its only getting worse. They certainly have abandoned sound teaching. It actually show the power of Original Sin and the casual acceptance of Mortal Sin. Where I come from the situation would be called a spiritual malady

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    “lots of horse riding…” Lol. Don’t forget to “Sleep with your hands above the covers!”

  • Mike

    I suspect that the Rev’d Humphrey Blytherington may be an imposter. He claims to be a graduate of Plymouth University. Well, he may be but certain facts may cast some doubt on his claim. Firstly, the institution only gained University status in 1992. The style of clothes of Mr Blytherington and his cronies suggest that he was at University about seventy years ago, at least. Secondly, Wikipedia informs us that “Whilst the University has been known as Plymouth University since June 2011 as a result of a rebrand, the formal name and legal title of the University remains University of Plymouth.” This makes it even more unlikely that the vicar is a graduate of Plymouth University. I suggest that the fellow is nothing other than a bounder and a fraud and should be defrocked immediately.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Alas, you have nailed him. He’s no more real than Mr Bean…

  • Glenn Juday

    Wouldn’t the simultaneous logic of (1) equal treatment for both sexes, and (2) the requirement for continence in sexual relations between same sex clergy in registered partnerships now also require that married Anglican bishops refrain from relations with their wives?

    I am sure that this derivative issue and other odds and ends were carefully considered in arriving at the new policy. The depth of insight displayed in the new announcement make me eager to encounter the wisdom that can resolve my confusion.

  • Becky Barnes

    I wish Humph really existed and lived in a place called Great Snoring — I would have high tea with him every day. Anybody who could say things like “Most of them grew out of it or went into the theater or became Anglo Catholics…much the same thing I suppose” is a fellow to hang out with! (Or I suppose I should say: “with whom to hang out” … it may be proper grammar, but it just doesn’t sound right that way, does it? As a side point, I just did a piece on Oscar Wilde for my Catholic Blog. Sort of ties right in with the good Reverend!

  • Victor

    (((Alas, you have nailed him. He’s no more real than Mr Bean…)))

    It’s a funny old business and I’m not one to condemn another person although some might be tempted to do so but I’ve learned not to. Our Lord “Jesus Christ” I’ve heard has been recorded as having said? “Let him who never made a mistake cast the first stone?” and “Live and Let Live”.

    Sadly, I still don’t read The Good Book but as a regular at church, not once did I hear in The Gospel that Jesus approved of a man even thinking of resting with another man. While as a child altar boy serving high Mass, I still remember “Jesus” having told someone in so many words that if a man even thought of sleeping with another man’s wife, he had already sinned.

    Long story short, I agree with ya that “IT” is better to keep it undercover….as it were back then until “The Judgement Day” which I believe happens every day for some of U>S (usual sinners) which is known as “Death”.

    “Happy New Year of Faith”


  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    You do realize, don’t you, that this is satire, and I’m poking fun at the overly liberal approach of this Anglican vicar?

  • Victor

    I do but even if me, myself and i didn’t believe ya, GOD (Good Old Dad) can look into all HIS Children’s heart and know the truth and that’s all that matters right? :)

    GOD Bless


  • flyingvic

    Of course, what he really would have said was, “. . . or went into the theatre . . .” I’m sure that even those poor benighted alumni of Latimer Hall were able to spell their own language!

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    my mistake…

  • Becky Barnes

    Well, Fr. Longenecker, it’s definitely hard to find people who see, understand and appreciate satire these days, isn’t it? Good heavens — that used to be a hallmark of American/British/Irish writing, such as Mark Twain’s essays, and one of my Jonathan Swift favorites, “A Modest Proposal.” I bet if that short essay were to be published in a magazine today, the public and media would be outraged, not amused and made thoughtful as was intended, but taking it literally and starting some stupid campaign or other about saving children from being eaten. Sad state of affairs in literary education here in America.

  • Keith

    It is wonderful to find someone treating this issue – this ludicrous issue – with humor. Only a fool would believe the idiocy of our society that “celebrates” this way of life.

  • Magdalen

    “As long as they don’t make it mandatory.” Lol!