After much consideration, and a promise from our apostate Bishop that there’ll be no awkward questions asked should yet another of our Curates meet with an unfortunate accident, I announced to the St. Onuphrius’ Ministry Team my decision to appoint Evangelical Eric.
Surprisingly they were less than enthusiastic. Consuella kept saying something in her native tongue, which sounded like “El dumbass más grande en el mundo” (whatever that means), while our Parish book-keeper/accountant (who happens to be a deaf and blind mute) began making a strange gurgling noise, which is usually an indication he’s unhappy about something, although in this instance might just have been because we ate all the morning-tea biscuits before he was able to find the plate.
It was Brother Richthofen who came out with a suggestion that put everyone’s mind at rest: he proposed that as a probationary trial we invite Evangelical Eric to preside at the Sunday Evening Service that he’s been running with a few of his young friends from Seminary.
The Sunday Evening Service is a recent development for us, and Brother Richthofen says it’s influenced by “the Emergency Church” (or something like that) - I must confess I haven’t worried too much what goes on there, since it’s obviously very popular with the young people (Consuella’s Latina Pole Dancing Fellowship often deliver a liturgical presentation) and the offertory is always most impressive, so as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing which requires my attention. Consequently I was a bit surprised by Brother Richthofen, I hadn’t imagined he’d be that eager to have an ordained man become involved in what has very much been his project.
Still, Consuella seemed to find the idea funny, so I thought I’d better get a few more details. As I questioned them sweat stains began appearing on Brother Richthofen’s lederhosen; always a sure sign he’s trying to hide something from me. Firmly I demanded to know what he had planned for Evangelical Eric’s first service, and Consuella was suddenly quiet.
It was then that he explained they were planning to use an experimental liturgy developed by one of little John-David Schofield’s close ‘friends’. Obviously the poor boy thought I’d be jealous that they were using material from a faction the united forces saving the Communion from liberalism other than my own. Laughing, I told him that I am far too wise a Christian to care whose liturgy is used for anything at St. Onuphrius’ just as long as the offertory remains high. Still shaking, he explained that the service would be very “alternative”, so I repeated myself: all that matters is that we receive the kind of blessings that need to be stored in the vestry safe – for the GAFCON bible-believer anything not material is immaterial.
At that point Consuella whispered in my ear that it was time for our daily study of the Song of Solomon, which after 4 years has almost reached Chapter Three, so I declared the matter decided. As we were leaving I did, however, notice Brother Richthofen guiding our accountant’s hand (our normal method of ensuring all our parish expenses are signed off in accordance with diocesan requirements for financial probity) to authorise payment for supplies the new liturgy requires: among other things a I could see the invoice included a vat of depilatory wax, a large jar of lemon butter and several nipple clamps. I was about to stop and question this, but Consuella said aloud a very interesting passage of Scripture in her quaint and heavily-accented voice, and I realised how much more urgent it was that we hurry to my room to engage in further exegesis.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.