Showing posts from November, 2009

"A Big Gay Holiday Camp"

In 1961 clergymen (they were all men in those days) from the Church of England Diocese of Southwark met for a conference at Butlins Holiday Camp at Bognor Regis. They were filmed for British Pathe news. As some are shown arriving in a 'Noddy' style train, the commentator describes the scene as
"a big gay holiday camp".How language has changed! Various shots seem intended to show clergy relaxing like any other holiday camper. I fail to be convinced of this by the sight of a Bishop (Dr Mervyn Stockwood) buying a newspaper while wearing a purple cassock and carrying his crozier

And were viewers meant to be surprised at seeing a clergyman accept a drink from a barmaid in "Ye Olde Pig and Whistle"?

The whole feel conveys the impression of clergy as a breed apart, faintly ridiculous figures of fun. In 2009 there might still be some truth in that of course. To be a Christian at all you have to be prepared to be seen as foolish. I've long thought that to be ord…