SEPTEMBER 22, 1981                     CERTAINLY NOT  THE CHURCH TIMES                     Man alive — No. 5




Old days at St. John's
LET us begin with some lines of verse:
Whitechapel bells the Sanctus peal
"Et incarnatus: " the people kneel.
From Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire
Basilica incense wafts o'er the quire.
Psalters in plainsong, missal from Knotts,
A lbs from Whippels and vestments from Watts.
Thurible from Hayes and Finch,
Tabernacle from Vanpoulles,
We've chasuble and tunicle
And Fortescue for rules.

These delightful and yet anonymous lines exactly capture the old days at St John's. They come from a history of the parish compiled in honour of the Rev. Quincey de Vere Alderney, B.D. (Rawalpindi).
Father Jock, as he was always known to that faithful band who mmet every, Tuesday evening for devotions, will be remembered for his dignity in worship, his forthright Celtic phraseology and his hospitality in the Clergy House.
Perfect strangers were liable to have a glass of Drambuie and Grenadine thrust into their hands as they left church after Mass. How many of those present knew of his lonely vigil as night after night he struggled to translate Bede's History into Gujarati? Sadly, nothing of this remains. Anyone having one of the four existing copies - he had finished Chapter One and was well into Chapter Two when he died - should contact the curate-incharge of St. John's.

Whitebait's pancakes
I AM sorry that I was too old to join in the fun of the parish of St. Charles-James-Fox, Milton Keynes, for their second anniversary when the Team Rector, the Rev. Timothy Whitebait, ably supported by church folk, many of them lecturers in the Open University or otherwise unemployed, took part in the now traditional hang-gliding and pancake- tossing marathon. 
All rather too energetic for a nonagenarian! I was glad to note that the honours were shared evenly between the Baptist Women's Fellowship , and the Milton Keynes G.C.M.

Hats, hats, hats
HATS, hats and more hats, as the people of Attercliffe, Sheffield, clearly got down to enjoying themselves at the Patronal Festival of the Parish Church of St. Michael's.
"I'm sure the angels could demonstrate their various personalities by different adornments on their wings," says the Rector, the Rev. B. F. Lazybrook. "Well,even here we can't grow wings, so we decorated our hats instead."
Among the competitions which were organised was a contest for the most meaningful hat. Mrs. Gladys Raison won with a terrific show on a straw boater depicting Third World enterprises, including tin-mining in Bolivia.

Strine Lord's Prayer
INTERCOM, the journal of the Intercontinental Church, tells a story gleaned from The Real Australiap about a child who was puzzled by the 12ft tall, boss-eyed, rheumatic kangaroo who used to turn up at the end of every Sunday School class. She could picture the huge, limping, hairy beast, but she dick-wonder what connection it could have with the Lord's Prayer.

Fanny by gaslight
FATHER Delorian, of All-Hollows-by- the-Mint, has sent out a most attractive prospectus for his forthcoming (October 1) exhibition of handwoven gas-mantles.
The modern spotlight, whilst contributing much to the previous undisclosed dark corners of our churches, can scarcely be compared with the gasolier:

Father Delorian is hoping to have his church lit entirely by gas for the duration of the exhibition and is looking for an experienced lamp-lighter.

Scarecrow commission
THE Council for Rural Ministry has an active mission on behalf of many farmers who find themselves too busy to get on their knees of a Sunday. On a visit last week to the head office of C.R.M. in the potting-sheds of Fulham Palace, I was given a complete run-down of their activities.
Apparently there are over 40 district C.R.M. representatives who are available to say the collects for rain (or, rather, less rain this summer) on a weekly basis. Next Spring, in reponse to a "Back to Basics" call, the Council hope to hold an enormous two-day event for the commissioning of scarecrows.
Together with rogational thanksgiv-
ings, plough blessings and other agricultural services of fertilization, all this makes for a, pretty exciting time.

Liberated septuplet
ELSEWHERE you will read of the adoption service by COW (the Campaign for the Ordination of Women) of their new patron, Saint Wilgefortis. This young lady was the septuplet daughter of a King of Portugal. Forced into marriage with the King of Sicily, she prayed to become unattractive: her prayers were answered with a luxuriant growth of moustache and beard. These were an effective deterrent to her suitor.
During her painful execution she prayed that women should be freed of encumbrances. She is also known as St Uncumber. The mediaeval practice of women making offerings of cats to be "uncumbered" of their husbands was condemned by Thomas More. Those who come to scoff may remain to pray when they discover that this saint is also known as Liberata.

TO tell the truth, I sit on the only bench in the House of Lords which has arms — because one of my predecessors was so consistently drunk that he was in the habit of rolling off."— The Archbishop of Canterbury at the National Press Club of America in Washington.

Hear, hear, St. Anthony!
ST. ANTHONY, who retrieves lost objects, must have enjoyed a small task he undertook at Wells Cathedral recently. An elderly retired cleric pulled out his hearing aid as he took off his surplice after a special service — and nobody could find it anywhere.
Bath and Wells Diocesan News reports: "Later on, during Evensong, a strange noise was heard coming from one of the collecting boxes. After the service the box was opened to investigate and the hearing aid was there, whistling merrily. The owner was truly thankful when he received it back by post from the Dean."

First-day cover?
HERE is a new form of first-day cover.
On Monday, September 7, Mr Robert Norwood of Chigwell School, Essex, hurried to Mowbray's to buy his copy of the Alternative Service Book, choosing a beautiful calfskin edition. His next task was to write to his insurance company removing his portable radio from items specifically covered, and adding instead his ASB.
He wonders if he is the first to express his trust in the ASB and its future in this practical and expedient way?


NOT The Church Times

September 22, 1881

LAST week the Vicar of Woolwich, the Rev. Nick Stacey, admitted that his mission to give every person in South London a first-class honours degree in Divinity had failed.
In spite of what has been described as "one of the largest and ablest teams of people in the history of the known world," which consisted of six double firsts from Oxford, three from Cambridge, a golfing Blue, the younger son of an earl and a former Captain of Pop, and regular visits from the sister of Her Majesty, the vicar said he finally had to admit defeat.
"We did everything in our power," he said. "We bulldozed our churches to give the population the idea that Christianity had little to do with structures and turned our church hall into a coffee bar where young people could come and talk openly about FD Maurice, but they seem to have an extraordinary lack of curiosity, which seems to be a feature of this area.
  "We used our profits from Bingo and personal appearances for detergent commercials to provide bound copies of Schleiermacher's works for distribution to every house in the parish, but very few of 


my parishioners have read it right through and even of them only a handful have really come to grips with his ontological argument.
  "Nevertheless," he added, "I suspect that we, and perhaps the Church too, have more to learn from our failure than we would have done had we in fact been successful."


THE controversy over the fees pay- 
able to choristers and servers at St 
Paul's Cathedral for the enthronement of the Lord Bishop of London (watched by an estimated 750 million people throughout the world) deepened yesterday night, when, after several hours of prayer and negotiations, Equity officials demanded that ACAS be brought in to arbitrate in the dispute between their members and the Church Commissioners.
Dean Webster warmly welcomed the arrival at St Paul's of the members of ACAS, three tourists and the Luton Girls' Choir, but added that he would never be happy until a black one-armed six-toed single parent multi-faith dyslexic lesbian Sri-Lankan celebrated at the High Altar of the Cathedral.

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Edited by Jane Hunter-Dunn


'Moab is my wash-pot

WASHING is very important if we are to be nice children. Most of us have sinks, washbasins, showers or baths in which we wash. When we have finished we send the dirty water away by pulling out the plug. In King David's time people did not have any plumbing at all. Instead they filled up a bowl with water to wash in and then threw it all away when they had finished.


NOWADAYS, kiddiwinks, we think of the Church, don't we, as a caring, sharing Co-op for everyone to come into if they want. But it wasn't always like that. Goodness me, no! Long, long ago, in the Olden Days, when even David Kossoff was a little boy in a sailor-suit, just like you, people used to call each other nasty names like "Heretic". There were lots of different sorts of Heretic and they usually got burned at the stake. In these ecumenical times we all go and have a steak at the Berni instead.
    Well, here we go, weenies. All you have to do is follow the letters in the square below, going frontwards, backwards, or upwards or downwards and sometimes even diagonally, and see if you can find the 14 hidden heresies. Answers are below. 1 have done one for you to start you off.

(Can't turn your computer upside down?
The correct answers will appear on the last page.)


Sophie writes:
"I am 12 years old and would like a pen-pal who is heavily into the feminist movement. My hobbies include usurping parental authority, tearing up sexist journals and tapestry."
The Vicarage,
Dingle Deft, Essex.

Brian writes:
"I would like to correspond with someone who can bring meaning to my life. My interests are few, though some say they will lead to blindness. I am 14 years old and 1 can hardly believe it."
Write to: BRIAN SLUDGE, Church House, London SW1.




In last week's edition of Not the Church Times we referred to the Rev. Malcolm Stonestreet as the Rt. Rev. Malcolm Stonestreet. We apologise for this anticipation.