This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Monday, 4 September 2017

What was the quality of the service you received?

Thank you for attending divine worship this weekend. Please take the time to fill in the following ecumenical questionnaire, as we are constantly trying to improve the quality of our services.

1. What was the first thing you noticed on arriving at your place of worship?

a) A man high up in the tower shouting "Allahu Akbar!"
b) The jolly ringing of church bells, intermingled with the screams 
of someone who had caught his foot in the bellrope.
c) Hooting and swearing from drivers trying to park their cars.
d) A solemn silence.
e) An axe flying past your head and a cry of "Odin is great!"
Michael Palin the Viking

"Welcome to our humble service of worship. I'm the vicar."

2. Did you have difficult finding a seat?

a) No, as there were only three people present.
b) Yes, but I kicked out old Granny Bannister, and took her place.
c) We do not sit in our church, but meditate while standing on our 
d) No, but a bouncer removed me, hissing "Get out of the bishop's 
e) No, because I was part of the clown procession, and had a reserved 
bath of custard to lie in.
bishop in custard

The liturgical significance of custard has been under-estimated.

3. Which (if any) of the following sacred beings were mentioned during the sermon?

a) Pope Francis.
b) Fr James Martin SJ.
c) Lord Oates, the Quaker Maximus.
d) The crocodile god.
e) Rowan Williams.
f) Donald Trump.
g) The Duchess of Cambridge.
Martinian heresy

"I take as my text the 2000th tweet of St James to the Twitteratians"

4. The sign of peace. What do you do?

a) We don't have it, although we are allowed to smile at our neighbours
if we don't get too excited.
b) As little as possible, but usually one or two people catch me.
c) I embrace as many as I can, and later go round to the houses of 
all the people I missed.
d) I grab my neighbour's hand firmly, and squeeze until he cries 
for mercy.
e) In our church we smoke a pipe of peace.
pipe of peace

No, I don't know, either.

5. What music was there?

a) Gregorian chant.
b) Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos ("Throw out the lifeline 
across the dark wave; There is a brother whom someone should save").
c) 100 Hymns for Hippies.
d) Something old, tuneful, and spiritually nourishing.
e) The Kevin Mayhew book of Bad Hymns.

"The organist is sick, but Mr Banerjee has agreed to play 'Shine, Jesus, Shine' on the nose-flute instead."

6. What was on offer after the service?

(a) Coffee and Eccles cakes in the church hall.
(b) Gin, toiler cleaner and hair-restorer, chez Anti Moly.
(c) Cold tap water (we are tops for asceticism).
(d) The priest's own-brand spinach wine.
(e) As much liturgical custard as we could drink.
Hogarthian orgy

"More gin, vicar?"

Thank you for completing our questionnaire, and if you have any further comments please keep them to yourself.


  1. Coffee and Eccles cakes! i'd go there.

  2. 7) At the Kiss of Peace, did the congregation engage in
    a) a shaking of hands
    b) mutual embracing
    c) a peck on the cheek
    d) full-on snogging
    e) nothing at all: just kneeling down and praying silently
    f) a general weeping and gnashing of teeth

    If d) please specify in which pew of which church this takes place, so we can all check it out for ourselves.
    If e) what's all this kneeling and silent praying lark about anyway?
    If f) Oh, we've got an honest one here, have we. Listen, being frank will get you no points at all, unless of course you *are* Frank, in which case the gnashing of teeth is to be expected.

  3. 4. The sign of peace. What do you do?

    Intone the Agnus as quickly as possible.

  4. Well. I checked on that fine hymn, Throw Out the Lifeline. It is for real! And what a fine video of those singers, checking the words on their cellphones throughout the presentation. We didn't have that number at my chapel but the choir did burst out a grand Sancte Pie Decime for Sunday's exit. I may show our director this Lifeline video and see if they could master it in the next few Sundays...and then, maybe we could have Eccles cakes. One can hope.

  5. The survey is too complicated.
    Mrs. Whiner.

    (I fear the Lifeline singers are more charitable than I. Send absolving thoughts across the pond if you are a priest.)

  6. We filled out a survey like this three years ago and nothing was done.

  7. 1. What was the first thing you noticed on arriving at your place of worship? No priest. He's got 5 parishes to look after. It takes a slide-rule and an ouija board to work out the Mass schedule. So I'll answer for the odd Sundays that he is here.
    2. Did you have difficult finding a seat? No, I just kneel behind the rear pew honking and blowing my nose and muttering about I knew I should have got a flu vaccination. Surprising how quickly a space clears.
    3. Which (if any) of the following sacred beings were mentioned during the sermon? The deacon is a big fan of Man U and always manages to mention them. Who are all these other people?
    4. The sign of peace. What do you do? Drool a little or fake a nosebleed. Don't know why it puts people off.
    5. What music was there? To Be A Pilgrim, sung syncopated, with guitar and tambourine accompaniment. You've never heard anything like it. I only wish I hadn't.
    6. What was on offer after the service? Nothing. Get away before you are volunteered for something.