Following the recent House of Bishops statement on civil partnerships, a shortage of long grass has been identified in which to kick controversial issues.
“It’s all very well making these statements,” said Harry the head gardener, “ but you have to have the long grass there in the first place – otherwise it is meaningless!”Following mounting criticism and press leaks, the statement from the House of Bishops announced two new reviews on same-sex relationships which will take years to complete.
The first will consider whether clergy in Civil Partnerships can be put forward as Bishops. In the meantime, a blanket ban will be imposed on all such clergy. Observers have noted that the temporary ban does seem to be directed at one member of the clergy in particular who keeps cropping up on lists of potential bishops because of the quality of his ministry. One commentator noted that “It would probably have been easier to put a temporary ban on clergy with the initials JJ and who run a cathedral.” But the Church of England wants to be seen to be fair and equal in its discrimination – hence the blanket ban.“This one only requires a relatively small amount of long grass at present” said a Lambeth Palace official “although one can never tell how it might drag on.” After all, the Church might to decide to extend the ‘temporary ban’ if agreement can’t be reached - at least long enough for the said clergyman to be too old for consideration.
The second (which will require a good deal more long grass) is a re-evaluation of the churches attitude to same-sex relationships. “This one is going to take a huge area” said Harry, "especially with the potential for people to try to rake up the grass and bring things out into the open.”Privately, Harry expressed doubt that Lambeth Palace actually had enough grass to cover this one over. “We might have to look for help elsewhere” he said in hushed tones. “It might be that other Bishops palaces will have to grow their grass too. And even long grass has to be cut sometimes – otherwise it all gets very messy.”
As a result of all this, it is rumoured that Church House is considering the creation of a new Department of Grass Management and Acquisition (DOGMA) to coordinate the programme. It will be run by the Church of England Press Office which has extensive experience in 'managing' stories of public interest.“It will be such a shame” said Harry sadly. “The gardens here used to be so beautiful, and now they are going to become more like a jungle. Still, it might make some members of the Anglican Communion feel more at home…”