I am a great fan of Kenneth Leech. When I was training for the priesthood my tutor introduced me to his books and I devoured them avidly. His work in the East End of London is legendary and he has been involved with racism, drug addiction, poverty, prostitution and good old Anglo-catholic ministry. I even was fortunate enough to spend time with him one sunny afternoon in London, and ever since he has kept me on his mailing list. Tonight his Christmas epistle arrived and it contained the following:
“My friend … Alan Edwards has produced an up-date of Fr Sandys Wason’s ‘Anglican Alphabet’ Some of you may remember the original, often sung by Fr Gresham Kirkby.
A is for answerphone, the Vicar’s not there.
B is for bell, are there still calls to prayer?
C is for committees, their numbers unending;
D for the Dioceses extravagant in spending.
E for Evangelical who presides in lounge suit,
F is for feminism now firmly in root.
G is for God, she’s transexual somehow,
H is for Hell but we don’t mention it now.
I is for incense at FinF masses,
J is for jobs they’d deny to the lasses.
K is for Kendrick who’s replaced J.M.Neale,
L the longing for Merbecke which some folk still feel.
M is for money, there’s no end to the giving.
N for the NSM with eyes on a living.
O is for organ, less heard now its roar is,
P for projector for repeating the chorus.
Q is for Quota, its level surprising,
R is for Rochester, Ms Faull’s star’s soon rising.
S is for Synod whose follies amaze.
T is for Turnbull and management’s ways.
U is for eUcharist, its prayers now are eight.
V is for Vicar, but we now call him ‘mate.’
W is for Windsor, what to do with the gays,
X for what exactly does that Report say?
Y the episcopal yearning for an ‘inclusive style church.’
Z is for Zoar when we’re left in the lurch.”