Naughty Thoughts about Durham Cathedral Bookshop

Matt Wardman muses:

Where is Very Rev Brandon Jackson when you need him? He’d sort out Mr Philip Brewer Esq in short order, probably borrowing the Bishop’s sword for the occasion:

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.

Romaldkirk Stocks

Romaldkirk Stocks (Photo: BBC)

“Cowboy hat” shy with rotten tomatoes while drinking a pint in the local pub across the street, anyone?

29 responses to “Naughty Thoughts about Durham Cathedral Bookshop

  1. Naughty thoughts about Durham? One of the bookshop staff once asked a canon why she should not put the Brewers in the stocks. When I asked the staff member what she would like to throw at them she said, “the pew”. That gave rise to that cartoon on asingleblog. At the time Dave Walker’s book was a best seller.

  2. I don’t know where to put this but

    MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE, and good luck for the new year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Those stocks would be far too lenient for these asset stripping degenerates…

  4. Phil, we did try to fit in a sink and a bathbtub and the two heads in Cuthbert’s coffin.

  5. NT Wright Bishop of Durham still has a private “army” of admirers. Perhaps we can set them on the Brewers. The problem with that is that I know some NT Wright detractors who would then support SSG!

  6. Peter, Bishop Tom does not support the Brewers. Full stop.

  7. Phil – it depends on the weather and what is thrown at the people in the stocks. I doubt it would be rotten veg.

  8. Valiant for Truth

    The falchion is kept in the Treasures of Durham Cathedral – ready for use?

  9. Aye, sounds like the warlords are going to die by the falchion.

  10. Asingleblog, I think you misunderstood me. I was going to set Bishop Tom and his admirers on the Brewers, perhaps with the Bishop wielding his falchion. One of those admirers has already been mobilised: David Keen. The only problem is that the infamous Jim West might then start supporting the Brewers on the basis that your enemy’s enemy is your friend.

  11. Point taken Peter. I probably did misunderstand you. Put that down to my Zulu. I just wanted to point out that Bishop Tom is not an admirer of the Brewers.

  12. And neither is David Keen.

  13. Do the Brewers have any admirers?? Besides themselves, that is?

  14. Unless you can find other noble shysters…no

  15. Jim, I just wanted to get your attention. Now that you know that the Brewers are opponents of Wrightianity, are you supporting them?

  16. Jim, Peter: I hope this means you’ve found some common ground at last 🙂

  17. Merry Christmas Peter Kirk. When I get hold of you I shall slay you with Cuthbert’s falchion.

  18. Asingleblog, that episcopal weapon would be better used on the Bishop’s enemies like the Brewers and the West. Merry Christmas!

  19. Valiant for Truth

    The falchion never belonged to Cuthbert. He would have used prayer and it’s good that so many of today’s Christians are praying for us.

  20. I’m such an admirer of Bishop Tom, I was even there in Croft on Tees when he was presented with said falchion. To be honest, it looks like a bit of a blunt instrument.

    But perhaps that’s what we need….

  21. Hope he didn’t drop the falchion on the Episcopal foot.

  22. Falchion? I’m trying to stay awake for the midnight service where someone is going to sing “Once in Royal David’s City”. Oh bring me my sweet Falchion.

  23. no, that’s Jerusalem: ‘bring me my bow of burning gold’ etc.

  24. Or you could have Peter Kirk on stage with Kendrick. Provide the link Peter!

  25. Yes, Asingleblog, I was once on stage with Kendrick, and here is the link. It wasn’t midnight Christmas Eve though, I’m glad to say. I’m also trying to stay awake until a service, and hoping we won’t have too many nonsense carols.

    Of course Bishop Tom doesn’t need the falchion any more than Cuthbert did. In his hands, and mind, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is sharp enough to divide any soul and spirit, and to exercise appropriate judgment on the thoughts and attitudes of the Brewers’ hearts.

  26. You are a real sport Peter Kirk.

  27. peter,
    really- as an outsider to the whole spck thing (only having heard bits and pieces of it here and there) i don’t even know who the players are. or why they are playing.

  28. Jim – please check out our Info page, where I’ve attempted a concise summary of the situation and provided a few links to help those new to the story.

    We also have a Who’s Who page that briefly introduces Matt Wardman, Phelim McIntyre and myself as this site’s main bloggers.

    As for why we’re playing — I’d prefer the term fighting, because it isn’t a game. We’re fighting for justice for a group of UK booksellers whose rights have been trampled underfoot by Messrs Philip W and J Mark Brewer, who took over the SPCK bookshops back in 2006 with a set of promises which they have subsequently reneged on; we’re fighting for justice for a group of suppliers whose goods the Brewers have taken and failed to pay for; and we’re fighting for the right to freedom of speech, which the Brewers have tried to take away by threatening some of us with legal action.

    Our basic aims are threefold:
    1. Payment for former employees whose wages remain outstanding
    2. Payment for the unpaid suppliers
    3. Withdrawal of legal threats

    But we’re also campaigning for the Brewers to be permanently ousted from the UK bookselling scene. These men, who call themselves ‘Christians’, bring shame and disgrace to the name: they are wolves in sheeps’ clothing. If there’s anything you can do via your own blog networks to help expose their crooked dealings, that would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.

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