In other news,
A Church of England vicar has caused outrage among parishioners by claiming that the birth of Jesus actually happened. In his annual carol service sermon, Rev Trophimus Merryweather told startled parishioners that there was every reason to believe that someone called Jesus was born in humble circumstances in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. What’s more, he claimed, the witness of the biblical writers points to the unique identity of Jesus, asserting that he is the Son of God.
‘I never thought I would hear such right wing propaganda in a Christmas carol service,’ said one angry church attender, who asked to be kept anonymous. ‘I mean, how dare he; my family and I have been looking forward to Christmas and we don’t come here to be told this kind of thing. It’s just so outdated. Maybe Queen Victoria believed that stuff years ago, but that’s not what Christmas is meant to be about.’
Meanwhile, Rev Merryweather was unrepentant. While acknowledging that there may be many strands to the celebrations of the Christmas season, he believes that it is quite reasonable to use December 25 as a celebration of Christ’s birth. When pressed on why his sermon didn’t mention Father Christmas or the Christmas elves, he said it’s up to people to think whatever they want about such things which, he said ‘everyone knows is just a bit of made up fun.’
The bishop of Rev Merryweather’s diocese appeared to back the outspoken cleric, while admitting that some might find his views outdated or countercultural – ‘I don’t expect everyone will agree with me’, he said. And in what may come as further bad news for the angry parishioners, the Archbishop of Canterbury is thought to affirm his belief in what Christians have come to refer to as the Incarnation.
Just another story of those pesky Christians spoiling Christmas for everyone else!
PS – I made this up. Don’t go looking for details. It’s a kind of mirror image of the stories that pop up about vicars who ruin Christmas by saying that Father Christmas is not real!