Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New story, old url: the Telegraph and the Bishop of Greater London

May the Farce Be With You: there was a brief flutter this morning over a Telegraph story headlined 'Bishops Condemn CofE over Cinema Advert'.

If you visit the story now, you'll see that the headline and article have completely changed, but the url hasn't. The Bishops in question in the original (you only need 2 to make a plural) were Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield, who wasn't criticising the CofE at all (which the new article recognises), and the 'Bishop of Greater London', who is nothing to do with the Church of England, Here's a bit about his 'Open Episcopal Church', though his work seems to be as more of a freelance celebrant and campaigner. He doesn't seem that keen on the Lords Prayer either, which is odd for a bishop.

Credit to the Telegraph for correcting the story, but not much for posting it in the first place. It almost looked like an informal competition with the Sun for most misleading headline of the week.

The whole business does raise the interesting question of DIY clergy titles. What other clergy with impressive titles are lurking out there, waiting to be uncovered? If the CofE missed Greater London, what other parts of the UK could be ripe for episcopal/ceremonial recognition? It could be quite a lucrative trade, the ecclesiastical equivalent of personalised number plates. Canon Precentor of Marks and Spencer? Pioneer Archdeacon of Helvellyn? The Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells could be a proper title at last, with the added bonus of getting quoted by national newspapers looking for a headline.

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