This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Friday, 11 October 2013

The laws of Christianity

With the news that the Vatican is to have its own cricket team, it is clear that some readers would appreciate a handy cut-out-and-throw-away guide to the game of Christianity.

tea towel

The laws of cricket, however, are well known.

1. In the game of Christianity, there are two teams, called the saints and the sinners.

2. The team of sinners is much larger than the team of saints, and beginners will usually start there. This is called original sin.

cry baby

Howzat? An original sinner.

3. The object of the game is for the sinners to become saints. The saints will help this, but other sinners will try and prevent this.

4. Declaring one's innings closed is considered bad form, although not against the laws of the game. Causing someone else's innings to end is more serious, and the party responsible loses the game.

5. At various stages in the game a "tempter" will run up and attempt to get past a player's guard. Points are scored for batting away such attacks.

6. The player who is batting has a variety of scoring shots available, all with technical names such as praying, fasting, alms-giving, etc.

7. A cry of "Alleluia!" or "'Owzat?" will greet the end of an innings.

8. There is a Trinity of umpires. Two of these are out on the field, but one is pavilioned in splendour and girded with praise. Their decision is final.

The pavilion at Lourdes cricket ground.

Meanwhile, as the Vatican decides whether to recognise the controversial events at Medjugorje as apparitions of the Virgin Mary, it has been asked to adjudicate on another controversial event.

Anti Moly

Probably NOT Mary.

According to a part-time mystic, Brother Eccles, he was on holiday in the village of Muddlejorge, when he awoke from a doze to see an old lady in the room with him, smelling of gin. She screamed "WOEFUL!" at him, hit him over the head with a bottle, and then herself fell to the floor and started snoring. Eccles blacked out for a while, and when he regained consciousness, the lady had vanished.

A Vatican spokesman said: "As in the case of Medjugorje, this is totally unlike the apparitions of the Virgin Mary that we have so far accepted - Lourdes, Fatima, Walsingham, etc. - in both the appearance and the message of the alleged apparition. However, 'Woeful!' is probably a good rendering of Mary's views of the current state of the world, so perhaps it was a genuine apparition after all. Who knows?"

Eccles's Auntie Moly was unavailable for comment.

Finally, the Vatican has withdrawn a papal medal where the name "JESUS" was misspelt as "LESUS".


I blame the Lesuits.

In fact, this is not the first time that J and L have been confused in religious circles. In the first century, in an attempt to appease the Romans, St John wrote "God is Jove". However, this was transcribed as "God is Love", and we have had to live with the consequences ever since.


  1. Dear Sir,

    As a frequent pilgrim to Medjugorje I would like to point out that this type of experience is a feature of the local mysteries. The Bishop of Mostar has so frequently been assaulted by the Virgin Mary that the local police now regard it as a domestic dispute and refuse to get involved.

    Yours etc.
    Basil Syntax,
    Tunbridge Wells ACTA

  2. "I blame the Lesuits."

    At least, unlike the Telegraph (where Bruvver Eccles still appears to be persona non grata), the BBC acknowledged the source of this joke with a link:

    1. He is still suffering from conk-cussion, and couldn't remember

  3. The “Game of Christianity”…? It’ll never catch on. I wash my hands of it.

    – Pontius Pilate

  4. Medjugorie seers insisted that it was revealed to them the name Lesus is the correct version. This is because at Lourdes there was a cry of shock of "sus" in local language & from the inhabitants of the nearby commune of the same name, as a result of the English team regaining the Ashes from Australia. This has been acclaimed as a miracle. "Le sus" or "Lesus" has become the accepted name for this apparition & this is how the pope and his team at The Vatican got mixed up, apparently.

  5. We were told the new pope didn't know any Latin, so now this is clear when he can't spell the Lord's name in the church's traditional tongue. Or maybe this is the latest post-conciliar hermeneutic of discontinuity. The pre-council church has been spelling The Lord's name incorrectly all the way along. Well, wasn't the council wonderful after all?

  6. A Vatican spokesman said … "Who knows?"
    If you check the original Italian, I suspect you'll find he actually said "Who are we to judge?" After all, we know how tricky issues of translation are turning out to be in this pontificate.

  7. Very educational, thank you.

  8. TOTALLY off-topic :