The Church of England has come up with a new scheme to keep its customers in the cut-throat world of ecclesiastical consumerism.
In a bid to keep its loyal customers who prefer their bishops to have balls, the CofE is proposing a bumper deal for traditionalists – BOGOF – Buy one get one free!
The special offer ensures that a male bishop comes free with every female bishop appointed. Two for the price of one!
And who could possibly refuse this mega-offer? Surely it is too good to be true? Surely, there must be a catch? And there is! You can only get your free BOGOF Bishop if you choose a woman in the first place.
So there is an irony in the idea…
BOGOF Bishops are being put forward to ensure that traditionalists stay within the church – but the effect of BOGOF Bishops could be to encourage the appointment of women to take advantage of this special deal. Every diocese who wants to cash in would have to choose a woman bishop in the first place to benefit to the full.
So perhaps then the CofE should go further. In the interests of equality, perhaps the BOGOF Bishops deal should extend its appeal, and insist that the offer applies to all episcopal appointments.
Appoint a woman Bishop and get a male one free!
Appoint a male Bishop and get a female one free!
That way everyone would get the BOGOF Bishop deal, and the CofE would doubtless double its annual turnover as a result.
Or would it...?