A load of unholy cobblers

May 18, 2018 by

by Quentin Letts, Mailonline:

Last Saturday, when there was no shortage of lawn-mowing to be done, I was obliged to spend four hours with a former detective. If that sounds alarming, it was, though not for the reason you might suppose.

The retired female cop, who in the name of Christian discretion we will call Wendy, was the ‘safeguarding officer’ of our local diocese of the Church of England. Her creed? ‘I assume nothing,’ she said. ‘I believe no one. I tend to suspect the worst in people.’

As deputy churchwarden and a member of our village’s parochial church council, or PCC (a group of about 15 volunteers), I had been ordered to undergo Wendy’s C1 Learning and Development Framework Safeguarding Core Module.

Apologies for the jargon. I am afraid there is going to be rather a lot of that. And this from an Anglican hierarchy that has largely abandoned Thomas Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer because ‘no one understands it any more’.

For the next four hours, my fellow church volunteers, one aged 100 and one a septuagenarian Austrian countess, and I were battered and splattered by gibberish. It was like standing in front of some muckspreader loaded with stinking bureaucrat-ese.

The thrust of Wendy’s message was that there could be a pederast behind every churchyard yew tree. Just as station Tannoys command us to ‘see it, say it, sorted’ and report any suspect package, Wendy told us to be alert to all forms of abuse — sexual, inter-marital, even abuse of vulnerable churchgoers by over-zealous preachers — throughout our communities.

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