Evangelical Eric, my miserable excuse for a Curate, has been heartbroken since news broke of Bishop Wright’s startling resignation from the See of Durham. Nor is he alone in his grief: I have been literally inundated with tear-stained emails from devastated Sinners pleading for me to in some way intervene and persuade young + Dunelm (it’s not “Durham” when used as a name, my illiterate Sinners) to reconsider his hasty decision.
By some remarkable co-incidence, however, almost every one of these requests has come from people employed within the travel industry; the only exception being a funds manager that the previous week taken a strong position in British Airways – the poor lad is now terrified the inevitable loss will leave him so irrevocably branded as incompetent that the only future position he’ll ever be able to obtain will be that of porfolio management in the Diocese of Mordor.
While of, course, nobody can help that poor fellow, I’ve been reassuring my other grieving correspondents that +Nicholas Thomas' interesting move into academia, whereby rather than actually teach anyone he intends “to head up various broadcasting projects to bring the results of good biblical (i.e. “his”) scholarship to a wider audience”, should actually lead to an increase in His Grace’s frequent flyer miles. The Royal Burgh of St. Andrews may indeed have given the world golf shoes, but anywhere that cavalier about their possessive apostrophe is hardly going to be capable of sustaining enough bookshops to keep our man in purple permanently occupied giving out autographs. Besides, given that this next stage of his career is undoubtedly going to include writing his own book on Dostoevsky in preparation for his next occupational ambition, and it’s going to take a real lot of marketing to convince anyone to buy another work involving foreigners who probably didn’t even hate homosexualists, you’d better believe the boy’s got some serious promotional globe-trotting ahead of him.
Naturally I’ve already been approached about accepting an invitation to become his replacement. It appears the Wardens of Durham have been inundated by applications from a certain Deacon Dobby Ould, who as the world’s most experienced clergyman (a title he recently took from little Matt Kennedy on account of the Boy Wonder from Binghamton having been officially rescheduled as “sub-Christian” on account of repeatedly refusing to forbid his wife preaching – those unfortunate enough to be caught up in the Cult of the Self-Righteous Shepherd need to have something to brighten their Sundays), is convinced the position should be his, and so those responsible for ensuring Her Majesty is not in some future meeting with her most senior clergy subjected to a tirade concerning substitionary atonement and his brother's prostate are desperate to fill the big bed in Bishop Auckland as quickly as possible.
While yet to formally decline their very sensible offer (you’ve got admit the title “The Right Reverend Father in God, Christian Troll, by Divine Providence Lord Bishop of Durham” would undoubtedly go a long way in overcoming my current difficulties in obtaining membership at our local Blockbuster Video outlet), I did express concern regarding my unavailability on the grounds that I’m not prepared to live in the Diocese. Although the clergy of Durham have informed me this wouldn’t make me in any way different to the previous incumbent.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.