St Pythag’s @ The Primates’ Tea Party

St Pythag’s shows its disapproval of the Church of England General Synod with some targeted humour.

Having spent 4 blessed years at the University of St Andrews, and with Wee Frees as in-laws, I feel I know a little of the complexities of the Scottish churches, so I am saddened but not surprised that the C of E has chosen to snub and upset our Scottish Episcopal Church fellows by making a bipartite agreement, The Columba Declaration, with the presbyterian Church of Scotland, where I have friends also. (Richard Barnes, personal comments)

Dr Forster came from Chester with a cool disdain,
He stepped on the Piscies because they were frisky,
But @Synod now shares in the shame.

John Knox and Samuel Seabury look down from Heaven on the General Synod and agree, “Flippin’ Sassenachs! Where’s Jenny Geddes when you need her?”

And to paraphrase the Prime Minister in “Love Actually” – I love that word “Declaration”. Covers all manner of sins, doesn’t it? I fear that this has become a ColumBADeclaration. Based on the English Bishop & Synod taking exactly what they want and casually ignoring all those things that really matter to the Scottish Episcopal Church. We may be a small church but we’re a great one. The church of St Andrew and St Ninian, Ss Mary, Mungo & Midge, the Epiclesis, Qualifiers and Non-jurors, Samuel Seabury, Old St Paul’s, and Richard Holloway.

It seems the CofE’s “Centre of Mass” is now closer to the CofS than the SEC.

Why do Evangelicals only have 129 characters for their tweets?
Because every tweet has to start “So excited!”

A little Lenten levity to lighten the lentils, with some affectionately satirical comments on last month’s Anglican Primates’ Gathering.

Archbishop Jo King of Stonehenge, Primate of the Orthogonal Church of St Pythagoras tweets, “So excited to have been invited to the Primates’ Tea Party in Canterbury this time last month!”
Hogwarts selfie
Although our phantasy Church is only tangentially in communion with the Anglican Communion owing to our position on Some-Sex Marriage and the doctrine of the right-angled Trinity, it was definitely a God-moment to share firm handshakes, limp cucumber sandwiches and competitive table-top Croquet with my fellow Primates.

While the other Primates were polishing their Communiqué, I found a jotter in me briefcase and penned a wee poem to Inclusivity.

An Ode to Inclusivity
Here I am Lord, is it I, Lord?
Love one another with a pure heart fervently.
God is Love, and where true love is, God is there.
Be still and know that I am God.
Tell out my soul, the glory of the Lord.
I, the Lord of sea and sky,
Quaintly creating gender, sexuality, intimacy, love.
Companionship for all; sharing bread and wine.
So don’t give up for Lent,
Walk on with pride, loving God,
And loving your neighbour AND yourself.
Joy of the whole Earth
Then there was the interesting revelation that Archbishop Justin was converted, not on the playing fields of Eton but by African Bishops on a mission to darkest England in the 1970s. I well remember the Partners In Mission Project which was going to revive the Church of England by getting us all dancing and drumming in the aisles. But it went much the same way as the 1960s Decade of Decadence, the 1990s Decade of Evangelism and the 2000s Decade of Dostoevsky. Only the 1980s Faith in the City seems to have left much impression on our saecula society.

No doubt the current CofE scheme of Reform & Renewal will create Consultants & Advisors a-plenty to halt and reverse the sad decline in belief and church attendance, and will appear more successful because it is downplaying the pastoral needs of the ordinary person in the pew and concentrating on ‘developing leadership’. In particular a “talent pool” will be used to ensure all new Bishops and Deans have passed their Leadership Proficiency Badge.

We all know that leaders are more enthusiastic, active and successful than ordinary people, so it is logical that by getting more and more people to be leaders, our churches will become more exciting and successful. But all can join in the Blessings of the Talent Pool; for conservatives they will trickle down, for radicals they will be widely redistributed with aspergilla, and for liberals it would be nice if we were all just a bit more wet.

I got told off for expressing doubt, but St John only wrote in his Epistle that perfect Love casteth out fear, not that perfect Faith is without doubt or questions, nor that perfect Hope is without disappointment and occasional failure.
St Michael's Transponteferro
After Tea we shared in a time of a Service of Choral Evensong with Evening Prayer Ministry.

Lambeth Place tweeted – So excited; Good news as the Church of England firms up its mission position on Traditional Marriage.

The Alpha male of the troop sang:-
Lord, now lettest Thou Thy Primates depart in peace, according to my wish.
For mine eyes have seen our Communiqué, which we have prepared before the face of straight people; to be a light to lighten the liberals, and to be the glory of Thy people evangelical.
And the Primates responded:-
True men shall rise up like David and Solomon, except these days they will have to be satisfied with one wife and no concubines.

Hallow Magazine reported that Treasurers and Organists throughout the country were hugely disappointed that they would be missing out on the sudden windfall of Fees that could have resulted from the Church of England offering Same-Sex Marriage Services.

On a Serious Note:- For a Proper Reflection on the Aftermath of the Anglican Primates’ Gathering, please come to the St Michael’s Lecture by Revd Dr Barry Norris at 7.30pm on Wed 16 March.

On another Serious Note:- In a St Michael’s Lecture at 7.30pm on Wed 24 February, Br Michael Jerome will ask whether the Church is any better or worse than Society at large in its support for, or prejudice against, people with mental illness.

And finally, the Pythgoras Institute of Indisciplinary Studies has discovered in the Codex Dinhamensis two additional verses to the well-known 1970s children’s worship song “If I were a Butterfly” for use by Servers and Choristers.
Tenebrae Candles
If I were a Thurible, I’d thank you Lord for my sweet smoke,
If I were an Aspegillum, I’d spread your Holy Water over folk,
And if I were a Candlestick, I’d thank you Lord for my fine wick,
But I just thank you Father for making me me.
‘Cos you gave me a cassock and you gave me a cotta,
You gave me Jesus and you made me your Server,
And I just thank you Father for making me me.

If I were a Soprano, I’d thank you Lord for my high notes,
If I were a Tenor or a Bass, I’d thank you Lord for my poise and grace,
And if I were a fine Alto, I’d thank you Lord when I got a different note,
But I just thank you Father for making me me.
‘Cos you gave me a cassock and you gave me a surplice,
You gave me Plainsong Propers, and the prayer that Jesus tortoise,
And I just thank you Father for making me doh ray me.

Happy Lent.