Thursday, September 10, 2015

Inappropriate Clergy Awards

International Buy a Priest a Beer Day has passed without incident, and indeed without beer. On the same day a CofE vicar was reported as winning 'Funeral Celebrant of the Year', and I wondered if the beer had just found its way to the wrong place. Maybe it's just my British wibbliness about death that makes me slightly unnerved by a 'Good Funeral Awards'. After all, why not recognise excellence in this vital vocation?

There are so many awards going around now, and so many 'days' for different things (world sparrow day anyone?), half of them invented by someone on t'internet with a spare couple of hours. So I figured, why not enter the market?

Dishy Bishop Award presented by the staff of the Daily Mail, because what someone looks like is always far more important than what they think or believe.

Fullest Immersion: national competition for churches to see how many baptism candidates can be fully immersed in 5 minutes. Regional dunk-offs, followed by a national final in the Thames. Usually won by Vineyard, CofE churches often run out of candidates before the time is up.

Formation Thurible Swinging: troupes of altar boys and girls compete, bringing increasingly complex routines to tunes by Rutter (junior) and Bach (senior). This year, a new individual heavyweight contest, adult servers compete in an endurance test with a 20 kilo incense swinger, to see who can cense the most side chapels in Canterbury Cathedral during a sung Latin mass.

Most Tenuous Use of a Bible Passage nominations accepted from parishioners nationwide, though the winner is usually a speaker at New Wine.

Shortest Meeting: there has been an unofficial competition happening in village Church Councils for many years. Under the CofE's Simplification programme, PCCs are now offered a pro rata discount off their Parish Share (money paid to the Diocese) for finishing before an hour is up, whilst still discharging all their legal obligations. To date no-one has managed it.

Worst Lyrics to a Chorus there have been joint winners to this for as long as anyone can remember.

Vicars Voice Award for the vicar whose pulpit voice varies the most from the voice they use in everyday conversation. Congregations of 100 are blindfolded and asked to identify their own vicar from a lineup of 6 speakers. Several vicars have emerged pointless.

Sunny Side Up Award: presented annually to the people who compose the press releases about CofE attendance.

Action Song Leader of the Year: for the person who can most enthusiastically lead 100 repetitions of  'Our God is a Great Big God'

King Key Vicar: subcategories for Most Keys on a Bunch, Biggest Key to a Church Door, Most Keys that Don't Fit Any Locks in the Building and Nobody Knows What They're For, Worst Thought-Through Title For an Award.

Biggest Timewaster on Social Media who put that there?


  1. And he holds us in his hands
    And he holds us in his hands
    And he holds us in his hands

  2. sorry, I didn't quite catch that? Better sing the whole thing again...

  3. Love this, very funny!

  4. The most absent Clergy award. Rochester dioceses is holding a 3 day Clergy conference with a 3 line whip - so we've been Clergy less since Tuesday.

  5. Rejected categories:
    - Least convincing 'pastoral care face' (extra points for head-tilt).
    - Most unconventional emphases while consecrating the elements.
    - Unnecessary reference to the Original Greek.
    - Embarrassing spouse stories prize

    1. oops, I think I've already got 3 of those

    2. Just discovered your blog Fr/Mr Keen. On the censing front, it would be hard to beat the "botafumeiro" mega-pot in Santiago de Compostela. Worth finding photos or (better) videos of this roof-suspended thuirible in operation. I understand that on one occasion over vigorous swinging sent it hurtling through the transept window. Back in the good old days (gentle hint of my churchmanship!), Norwich had a similar device.

  6. Don't you need to add Glam Bishops to the Dishy ones now we have women Bishops?

    1. I think we had Glam bishops before women were consecrated! I was trying to think of a term that covered everyone, and that alliterated in some form. Bish Babes was struck off the list at an early stage.

  7. Sermon illustration least related to the topic being preached on.
    Greatest concurrent membership of subcommittees at parish, deanery, diocesan and national level.
    Twitter followers quality ranking (score 4 pts per Archbishop, 3 per Bishop, 2 per Dean and 1 per Archdeacon, 5 pt bonus for being followed by Dawn French or Tom Hollander)