Warm greetings to most of my flock. Although it’s not terribly warm here compared to Florida, where I’ve been reflecting for a month on the many troubling affairs of the day through the medium of hard prayer. All thanks to the hospitality of my spiritual mentor, the Pastor Righteous Loon, at his well-appointed beach-side mansion. Now I’m back and rearing to go. Let’s go find God and worship like it’s 1999!
Unfortunately I must start with a fond farewell. As many of you are aware, Mr Stephens from Birmingham has now completed his fantastic temporary stint as Parish Administrator and will be returning to live in disgrace in the Midlands a considerably wealthier man. Stephen’s work for our church has been exemplary – exchanging his generous salary demands for leadership in the blindingly obvious without quibble.
I’ve replaced him with our temporary bursar, Ms Klonowski from London. Ms Klownowski is hugely experienced, having worked in parishes in London as well as at St Wirrall-Cover-Up in the north. Many of you will know Ms Klonowski already. She has been working for us for over a year now so knows all about the parish finances and the appalling financial miscalculations of our former vicar, The Reverend Loose Canon Ferguson. After all, she helped him make some of them!
On my return from Florida, a number of you, no doubt encouraged by Ms Townsend from the Dave Spart Academy, brought to my attention Planning Application no. 1T5/MAD/A5/SH1T recently lodged at the council’s offices. This is an amazing design for a sustainable commuter transport solution through the parish. The eagle-eyed among you – also no doubt encouraged by Ms Townsend – have noted this will involve an increase in the transport utility for the underused north west section of our brownfield graveyard resource.
Please rest assured, a procedurally correct consultation has been undertaken by the relevant authorities with the Parish Property Sub-Committee. A number of key parish leaders were also engaged during this thorough process and everyone has agreed this scheme has the potential to transform parish travel outcomes.
Parishioners claiming “I didn’t know about this” have clearly not been paying enough attention and didn’t attend the detailed public presentation on the evening of 28 December 2016 heavily promoted on Twitter and on the choir noticeboard at the back of the chancel. At this presentation, it was factually demonstrated by expert civil engineers from the Cash From Concrete Corp. that this transport solution will improve public transport and cycling routes to both St Marvin’s and to the parish’s OFSTED rated ‘Excellent’ St Snoot-the-Privileged School.
The reutilisation of a small section of underused graveyard resource and the Dave Spart Academy’s lower years’ football pitch is obviously regrettable. However, technical metrics indicate the benefits to the parish going forward are measurable and may outweigh any minor non-positives parishioners – heavily influenced by an anti-transport lobby disbursing alternative facts – have raised. As my mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon says, “In the beginning was the facts, and I got the facts, and the facts are what I say. Anything else is a fake news alternative fact. Praise be to God.”
Ms Klonowski from London has also confirmed the exchange-in-kind value of the church land is “not insignificant’ and could be treated as a material match-funding asset for the Church Media Fund as we face difficult financial choices together this year. I hope, then, that this is the end of this discussion and that this silly fake news on Facebook about a “highway through the cemetery” circulated by a small clique of anti-transport activists will now cease. Instead let’s mature the conversation to explore the serious details of this scheme like what colour street furniture we prefer and what safety measures we might require to mitigate vehicles occasionally travelling at up to 60 mph near two schools and a church?
As you know, in March our church will embark on a new round of vital savings. St Marvin’s Under-5s will therefore be closing at the end of the month as part of the first stage of our sensible efficiencies strategy developed by Ms Klonowski. The St Marvin’s Elders’ morning sessions will continue on Thursdays only; a small reduction of two days a week. Both childcare provision and elderly day care can still be accessed in the parish at competitive market rates through private sector providers and we will be conferring preferred provider status on selected corporate partners very soon.
Now let me give you the good news. I’m pleased to announce that the proposed Church Hall refurbishment will go ahead as planned. Ms Klonowski has restructured the Church Media Fund and new staging, seating and lighting for the delivery of high-end passion play productions to benefit all the parish will go ahead as I promised at my job interview last year. My assistant vicar, the Reverend Tinkerbell, has even been in preliminary talks with the Oh My God! cable TV company. A national and international profile for St Marvin’s passion productions is a potential reality I’m promised.
Finally, please note I will be a keynote speaker at the ‘Jesus Says No Exit By Hard Brexit’ event in the parish next week. It is God’s will that you all attend and take heed of the words of elitist moral truth from myself and the new ArchLib elect Stephen Williams. Why not bring along one of my ‘God’s will not the Donald’s wall’ placards and the kids?
God bless you all and the Holy EU Empire!