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SON OF GRIDKNOCKER

HALLOWE'EN

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Folk I encounter on my peregrinations across High Town, sometimes stop me and ask: ‘Vicar – how did you come to be de-frocked?’ Oftentimes, this question is posed in Polish.

I usually explain to them that I am bound by the terms of a Gagging Order signed by the then-Bishop of Hereford, The Right Rev Greville Chasuble, save to say it was a very minor misdemeanour, of no great import, involving a) an amateur abseiling session down the cathedral tower to raise funds for a hedgehog sanctuary at Tillington; and b) my total absentmindedness in forgetting to put on any underpants that morning.

It was the graphic telephoto images, broadcast that evening on Midlands Today (which then went viral), which sealed my fate – and caused irreparable damage to the BBC’s Birmingham switchboard. But all that – as the former Mrs Membridge-Tinninges so aptly reminds me, in her annual Christmas card from Antibes – is now in the past.

As Christ himself put it (in his sermon on the steps of Aldi’s Tel Aviv branch, I think it was): “We should always turn the other cheek - after first checking that a) we are wearing underpants and b) there are no BBC Midlands cameramen lurking nearby”. A happy Hallowe'en to you all.               

E. Membridge-Tinninges (Rev – defrocked)

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I remember this. It was sickening! On the day after the transmission I was on duty at Samaritans where I took five calls. All five committed suicide. Whilst two of my callers had inadvertently dialled the wrong number and then decided to kill themselves, the three who had intentionally dialed Samaritans and then killed themselves, were deeply distressed by the film footage transmitted to good Herefordians who generally speaking were minding their own business diligently recycling their rubbish.

As for the Compromise Agreements between the Clergy and you, I was one of the few who wasn’t armed with a big pointy stick to beat you with who, during an open forum was brave enough to argue you shouldn’t be paid a single penny for displaying your scr.ot.um from your elevated position and I still, to this day, maintain that the contents of that weeks Offertory Box should have been given to the meek, the mild and the downright stupid who regularly bet upon uncertain outcomes, rather than line the pocket of your shamed and loose fitting cassock.

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