One Trick Bishop

One Trick Bishop

Back when he was just a parson
local scout hut fell to arson
so in this dire, desperate hour
he abseiled down his belfry tower.

Cassock flapping, mental hair,
nervous thumbs-up, little prayer.
A vicar doing silly things,
it fondly plucks the ticker’s strings.

The Synod press team gave it welly
(got a bit on local telly)
Crazy Cleric! cried The Sun
and soon enough near everyone

had heard about the Vicar’s stunt
and stumped up for scout hut fund:
the giant cheques, those wincing smiles
that one associates with piles.

Oh what success! And though they mocked
it made up for his dwindling flock.
His spirits, which would weekly dampen
dried-off when he strapped-on crampons.

Frankly put, his gauche descent,
it made him feel more relevant
So, like a nun (excuse this bit)
he made a habit out of it

and carried on once he made Bishop.
General Synod was explicit:
Headlines, Bishop? Bravo! ‘least
it’s not another: PEDO PRIEST

eh? Carry on! And so he did
each season saw another bid.
On Red Nose Day, on Cancer week
the bishop’s maladroit technique

would garner quids for worthy causes:
frail cats, dyslexic horses,
wartime widows, battered belles.
The Wugged Weverend of Wappels

(as Wossy dubbed him) clipped on clips,
dug his heels, got to grips,
posed stiffly for the grim-faced pap
then chatted with the usual hack.

He’d try to get some godly quote in
(every year they left him hoping).
Till later when he read the thing:
Always with the abseiling!

Never once a piece of scripture!
After time the Bish would sit there
with the paper, feeling glum
as page 5 showed his dangling bum.

And Mrs Bish. would then assert:
I don’t know why you bother Bert!
But Bishops like to help the meek
and so he turned a harnessed cheek

and carried on through hail and snow
and though his flock refused to grow
the public never tired of him
stood grinning in his climbing trim:

Famous in the bishopric
for only having the one trick.
For most shirk sermons if they can
but Christ Alive, there’s good in man

and good he saw, yes good and love
when he descended from above.

1 Comment

  • Catherine Smith April 13, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Re the awards, I have voted, and I really hope you win in your category.
    Love the new poem. Some deeply unsettling images – flapping cassock in particular. Yum!


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