Beloved Sinners the world over are grief-stricken as a result of hearing the news that I will not be appointed the next Bishop of Durham. Naturally both Myself and God understand your tears, but I must confess the official announcement came as no surprise, since I have been aware for some time of the coming heartbreak for those dwelling in the fiefdom previously ruled in absentia by little Tom Wright. Consequently I must apologize for not having spared you all this shock: I did indeed considered spilling the beans in advance, but on account of my lacking the Archbishop of Canterbury’s nimble morality when it comes to leaking confidential information this was never really an option.
Still, hard as it is to comprehend in the midst of your tears and sorrow, I must ask you to all try and understand that as as a Christian it would have been impossible for me to accept the position. Not only am I manifestly over-qualified, but very early on in the process it became obvious they were looking for an Evangelical, which is, of course, just a polite label for Baptists who lack the courage of their convictions.
In addition I very much doubt the Diocese would have been able to keep me in the manner to which I am entitled. Just look how the previous incumbent was forced to subsidize his stipend by travelling the world and peddling books. 1 Timothy 5:18 is clear that employees are entitled to appropriate remuneration in return for their services. (Please don’t worry your fallen hearts about my figurative interpretation of the first part of that verse, which is actually a prohibition against muzzling one’s oxen. Unlike the rest of Scripture it’s not about sex, and thus there’s no need for it to be understood literally.) Consequently, as a faithful Bible-believer I have always refused to be soiled by any Church structure not prepared to meet their god-given obligations. And since Auckland Castle doesn’t even have a Jacuzzi, it defies me to see how any Orthodox Leader could ever be expected to base himself there. Although it does explain why Tommy Wright can be so grumpy.
In fact I have no doubt the man finally selected, the Very Revd Justin Welby, will prove an excellent choice. Thanks to Dean Slee the world has now been blessed with a window into the inspiring processes by which Church of England Clergy with ostensibly heterosexual penises are deemed worthy to receive the all-important tap on the shoulder that says it’s time to buy new-colored shirts. So we can all have no doubt his appointment was based purely upon ability. Having attended Eton wouldn’t have hurt either, since even Rowan Williams would know with that on his CV it’s certain Fr. Welby has never been tainted by homosexualists and their manner of lifestyle. After all, Guy Burgess went to Eton. As did Lord Sebastian Flyte.
What’s more, prior to following his vocation Fr. Welby worked in the petroleum industry – anyone familiar with the activities of BP in the Gulf of Mexico, or of Shell in Nigeria will know there couldn’t be a better arena in which to develop the ethical framework required of a successful British Bishop. Furthermore, he was a lay leader at Holy Trinity Brompton during St. Margaret Thatcher’s administration, where he ministered to the young Sloanes who flourished under her rule (largely because they weren’t born in places like the one which is now going to be paying him). It was these same fine people who went on to manage the European arms of the institutions which blessed our world with the global financial crisis.
However I must also agree with those who see reason to qualify their enthusiasm – I too was concerned upon learning “his recreations include most things French” – I’m too busy to recall just where in the Bible god uses the expression “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”, but it’s sure to be in there somewhere. Nor am I for one moment suggesting anyone be anything other than suspicious of those who ignore the fact that this particular species of foreigners were foundation members of the Axis of Weasels. Yet as a balanced man (as even my witless apostate critics will testify) I have to remind you all that not everything French is without merit: do I really need to say the words “kissing” and “letters”? And there can be no doubt an interest in matters Française will help the new Bishop relate to the young people of his See, particularly those rendered unemployed by the closure of regional industries – they might not be able to speak French, but with welfare payments what they are these days you’d better believe that for the most modest of fees they'll do it.
Nor let us ever forget Justin’s father Marcus was a brilliant doctor.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.