This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Top 100 Christians, part 2

The blogger Cranmer has now opened the envelope: the results of the poll for the top 100 living UK Christians are now out, and the Vicar of Baghdad is a worthy winner. I first blogged on this here, and I am delighted to see that my tips of Vincent Nichols and Giles Fraser were taken seriously. No laughing at the back, there. Also, we had a near miss when we tipped Bishop Campbell of Lancaster, since his most obedient deacon, Nick Donnelly, was on the list.

Blair praying

A truly holy man, and an obvious omission from the list.

Some of the winners have achieved great fame through publicity on this blog: for example, Vicky Beeching, who came out as a rock singer; Tim Stanley, alias Dr Who; Fr Ray Blake, the victim of the Brighton Argus; and Libby Lane, the first Anglican bishopess. Not to mention Austen Ivereigh and Catherine Pepinster. That's enough plugging old posts, Eccles.

Tina Beattie

Tina Beattie - omitted, in spite of all my efforts.

So who else should have been on the list, and wasn't? I was going to suggest Santa Claus, as he manages to be present in numerous places at the same time, proclaiming the joy of Christmas. However, he turns out to be Turkish, although his holding company is based at the North Pole.

Then there's Christopher Robin (Milne), as in "Christopher Robin is saying his prayers", but he turns out to be dead. The priest-detective Fr Brown of Kembleford, if alive, must be about 130 years old by now: it is rumoured that he lives in retirement in Scotland, calling himself "Basil Loftus" and emerging occasionally to write a humorous column for the Catholic Times. However, this rumour is unconfirmed, so I searched for others who embody the true Christian spirit.

Thomas the tank engine

Thomas the Tank Engine, in papal camauro.

Thomas, although a train rather than a human being, comes from a Christian family (the Rev. Wilbert Vere Awdry was his godfather). He is often described as a "really useful engine", but this does not go far enough. In terms of his faithfulness to Christ and his kindness to the poor, he surely provides one of the great spiritual examples of our time. It is true that he has a high carbon wheelprint, and would thus not be in favour with Pope Francis, but I think he can easily overcome such opposition. Success always attracts jealousy.

Fr Jack

Fr Jack Hackett.

Although technically Irish, Fr Jack was featured in the Father Ted series of documentaries, which had two British producers, Geoffrey Perkins and Lissa Evans. This makes him eligible for an award, which he wins on account of his great holiness and kindness. Hostile critics have described him as "lecherous", "foul-mouthed" and "alcoholic"; it is true that when he awakes from a deep coma and shouts "EXISTENTIAL SCHIZOPHRENIC" or "NEO-PELAGIAN" at random passers-by, one wonders how he achieved his high position as spiritual leader. However, he is a truly humble man, whose needs are simple (mainly, DRINK), and we plainly see the Light of Christ shining through him.


  1. I see that you have a lookalike Eccles. He actually posts on Cranmer's blog! The list you refer to on Cranmer's blog has some very, very strange names indeed. I learned something though. The C of E has set up a new 'bishoprick' and moved their 'bishop' of Leeds to the 'see' of West Yorkshire and the Dales. Eee bie gum.. on Ilkla Moower baht 'at. And I thought that Leeds only had one Cathedral. The C of E only had a Parish Church there!

    1. It seems that Baines, Coles, Fraser qualify mostly because they spend so much time burbling on the radio/TV.

      As for Leeds, it seems that the Anglicans have a Minster (= parish church with a new sign outside?). Somewhere I found a photo of Baines at Stock's installation: they waited 2 years for a new bishop of Leeds and then two turned up at once.

  2. I am appalled to find that I was not included on this list, even though I am a saved pusson.

  3. Me too, of course. My photo would have gone well with the others. But I was excluded to give everyone else a chance.

  4. St B.Liar would be an outstanding candidate for NO beautification while Jamie Oliver should be snacktified subiteo snacto.