Matt Wardman muses:
The sword is presented to each new Bishop of Durham on entering the diocese of Durham for the first time at Croft Bridge.
It gets better. The tradition is this:
It is a great ceremonial tradition in which the a local dignitary declares: My lord bishop I hereby present you with the falchion wherewith the champion Conyers slew the worm, dragon or fiery flying serpent which destroyed man, woman and child in memory of which the king then reigning gave him the manor of Sockburn to hold by this tenure that upon the entrance of every bishop into the county the falchion sould be presented.
It is the one time since 1642 when we need a Civil War in a Cathedral, and he appears to have gone back to being a Vicar somewhere, or retired.
I say translate The Very Revd Brandon Jackson to the Benefice of Sockburn.
I write with happy memories of a baptismal service in Bradford Cathedral in about 1985 where the Very Rev Jackson delivered a lecture about how the “Holy” water was
“ordinary water, not special water, not different, not transformed, just H2O set aside for a special purpose”.
One other possibly relevant lesson that we should remember from Bradford Cathedral is that even if someone does sue a Cathedral, it is damned difficult to actually collect any money unless the Cathedral wants you to. That would give plenty of time for the legal authorities to catch up with our friends Mark and Phil.
Alternatively, we could wish that it was 1831 when the Bishops of Durham still had their own private army.
In the meantime we will have to remember that in the village of Romaldkirk not so far from Durham, there still exists a set of stocks on the village green. They even have four armholes, so we could do both Brewers at once.
“Cowboy hat” shy with rotten tomatoes while drinking a pint in the local pub across the street, anyone?