Monday, August 31, 2009

From the Dean's Mailbag

Bickerstaff has brought me a whole stack of correspondence, somehow overlooked while we were moving. If you wish to contact the Dean, or to ask him a question of great doctrinal or moral import, you may do so at the following address: kiwiexaminer at

Q: Your Reverence,

My parish is going through a period of Liturgical Change. Our Vicar has abandoned the liturgy in favour of impromptu tamborine solos, and ex-tempore prayers to "The Big Guy." He has replaced "Thy Hand O Lord Hast Guided" with "Shine Jesus, Shine" and instructs us to call him Ken!

Whatever shall I do?


A___ B____
Parish of the Holy Cross

A: Ah, yes, call-me-Ken. Well, you could try remonstrating, but if the Vicar is a convert to the Nave Rave, you will not get very far. You could try writing to the Lord Bishop, but I doubt he will be of any use to you--as that dreadful Papist John Henry Newman pointed out, it's every parish priest a Pope these days. I suggest that you invest in one of these, and supply yourself with suitable musick, and/or preaching during Divine Service. If "Ken" (or his wife Barbie) attempts to hug you, say a dignified "Good morning Father," and sweep him a curtsey on the way out. I defy even the happiest of clap-ridden Vicars to hug the top of someone's head, even on the way back up. Remember: Priests will come and go, but the Altar Guild remaineth forever.


Jno Swift

Q: The Glorious Revolution has begun! In the Next Leap Forward, El Presidente has released a New Handbook! The Proleteriat Rejoices! The Workers Break Into Song!

A: What is the Proleteriat?


Jno Swift

PS: Good luck!

Q: Reverend Sir

I am a cleric of some note, but lately have been experiencing Religious Doubts. What shall I do?


+R___ W____


A: Reverend Sir,

Have you considered joining a closed Monastick Order? It might be some relief to you after the stresses of your Clerical Post--and monks do not have to make Hard Decisions.



Q: I am tempted to vote for the Green Party. How may I resist such a temptation best?




A: That's easy. Register for the Green Party Conference. If a few days of concentrated eccentricity does not dissuade you, go for a long Nature Walk, making sure to Leave your Tent, Lilo &c. at Home. After a day or so of cockroaches, mosquitoes, charging bulls, mud puddles, roaring torrents etc. your enthusiasm for Untamed Nature should have abated, and you will have a whole new appreciation for Capitalism; VIZ: Indoor Plumbing, Woolen Mittens, Fire, Cooked Food, Animal Skins, etc.

Fight the Good Fight,

Jno Swift.


We could not handle the noise and general blathery of Our Last Home; the installation of a Female Bishop was the last straw.

My faithful Secretary, Mr. Bickerstaff, has been working on accommodation ever since The Woman took possession (and I use the word advisedly) of our cathedral.

We attempted to emigrate, but alas, it appears England is in the grip of the Scots killjoys and puritans, and besides, although I offered to sell Bickerstaff into white slavery and/or indebtured servitude to pay my, that is our, passage, the market is a little depressed at the moment--I blame the recession.

So, tricorn hat and cane in hand, we have come to rest in Another Place--still on the fair shores of Our Dominion, and, alas, still saddled with a useless secretary.

We do, however, have a specially blessed new laptop, which we are Hopeful will not succumb to attacks of The Vapours. We are still here, and there are many words to be written, much folly to be exposed, so many sermons to be preached--and correspondence by the bucket-load.

Whatever have you done without my Spiritual Guidance and Comfort?

Never fear--Dr. Swift is still here.

More's the pity--Ed.