Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Biggest Threat to the Church not what The Reverend Doctor Patrick Richmond said (him being the Winner of the Daftest Silly Thing to be Said in Public, Ever Contest and slightly ahead of Oinky The Pork Cutlet Pig and her comments on Bovine Eternity). Nor is it the Alpha Course, a front for the black-market trade in poor translations of the Bible and antimacassars  to the unsuspecting. It is ...

... spiders. I am scared to death of them. I can't bear to look at them alive, dead, moving, still, little, large, hairy or pie-bald. I hate spiders almost as much as I hate .... (not telling). The only time in my little life (did I ever mention that I am quite young?) when I fainted was when a spider the size of a Collection Plate emerged, with its boots on and its tattoos and everything, and walked across a ceiling between me and the door. I couldn't escape; it was horrid. I fell down in a dead faint, naked as a the day I was begotten as it happened to be in a small shower room.

Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with the church. Not a lot in truth, but the title got your attention, and it is always good to see you, but there is a small overlap. As a priest, I have a certain amount of my working life that is, shall we say, church-facing. I do 'church' quite a lot. And so do spiders. English churches are, often, quite old. Spiders like old places, and the carcasses of dessicated arachnids that fall to the floor are so old that they are bleached white. One was even carrying a Tyndale translation, he was that old.  So, the thing is this - if I become Archbishop of Canterbury, not only will I have to take on half the bloody bloggers of the world, but I will have to close the medieval spyder-hyders in which we worship. Fainting Graces are not pretty.

Need to grow a beard first, which is something I just cannot do (I speak of the physical, not the moral). 


  1. Sorry to be the first to stick my nose so to speak into your blog but I have to tell you that if you think you hate spiders, you ain't seen nuthin yet.
    Many centuries ago, i was in the WRAC, based in Yeovil for six weeks. There was very tight security at the time, so we women were housed in 'safe' nissan huts, with big gaps under the doors to the open air. (Nearer the guard-house0
    Our beds were mattresses on the floor - yes - that's right. As I climbed into bed one night a monster (about 4 inches in diameter) walked across my pillow. MY screams woke the whole camp and armed MP's rushed in.
    I was soaked with sweat, shaking from head to foot and totally incoherent. When they discovered, from the others not from me, I could,t speak, that the terrorist was eight-legged my name was mud.
    I never lived it down, but maintain i was quite within my rights to react as i did.
    Perhaps there will be no spiders in the next life!

  2. I like the idea of you, dear Father David, as Archbishop of Canterbury. But you're right, your fellow bloggers would never allow you to forget your humble origins...though we might collectively agree to rise above any teasing if you would promise us to wake up to the threat of the Anglican Covenant and DO something about it.

    From your point of view, apart from being able to swish around in cloth of gold whenever you wanted to keep the humbly attired pope in his place, you would have the advantage of a team of ninja nuns, don't forget. I'm sure they could be trained to go before you into every church and bathroom and eliminate every spider - nuns know no fear.

  3. on the subject of "the end is nigh for the church" i've fallen across a couple of predictions - more here - one of which was due to come true this last wednesday

  4. I just have to say how much I appreciate the way you word-smith. I rarely leave without a grin (even when the subject matter is serious - DEAD serious, like about 8-legged church-goers).

    We lived in Arizona for ten years, and I thought I hated spiders until I encountered scorpians. No contest.

    Blessings for an arachnid-free life,

  5. I had to brush three off the pulpit on Sunday as they walked across my sermon. The third time I stopped and annonced to the congregation the reason for the unplanned pause in my delivery. They were unceremoniously flicked off into mid-air .. to fall ... who knows where? I've also had one wander across the hosts just as I was saying the Consecration prayer ..... I declined to consume it!



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