Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Postage delayed, pending Latin translation.

Dear Reader,

Segrave's Gazette has an article that is pending postage.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to post until we can provide a Latin translation for the benefit of our Roman ecumenical partners.

Please check back tomorrow as we continue with our up-to-date coverage in Latin, Greek, and the Queen's English.


Mr. Segrave's Editorial Board

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Most Distasteful Custom

From time to time in our Lord’s most beloved Church, some do fall into most abominable and lamentable sins, most especially the use of such devilry known as “wifi” at the Salt Palace Convention Center. If you have found yourself guilty of such error, I urge you to repent and return to the Lord who is slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love.  A proper Liturgy of Commination has been most skillfully crafted by my colleague, the ever earnest and capable Rev’d Sir Felix Coverdale.

But, dear reader, even more pernicious practices have been discovered at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Certain Romish customs have been reported to me during celebrations of the Holy Communion. I have not seen such mischief with my waking eyes, but I certainly trust the sources which have informed me of this injurious idolatry. 

Parents, only with careful discretion should you let your children continue reading this epistle. The purity of soul that you cherish in your beloved offspring might be eternally corrupted. Indeed, I pen these words with trembling hand; it has been reported that the celebrants at the Holy Communion have donned chasubles, those most distasteful garments worn by some who have been enticed by vain and fondly invented popish customs.

If you do not know what a chasuble is, give thanks to the Lord for his everlasting mercy. Furthermore, to preserve the purity of the Church and to safeguard ourselves against such popery, it is incumbent upon all Deputies, Bishops, and Visitors to General Convention to return to the godly and sober practice of Morning and Evening Prayer. 

Rev'd Sir Christohper Trychay is the Vicar of St. George's, Morebath

Friday, June 26, 2015

A COMMINATION AGAINST SINNERS: A Liturgy for Use at General Convention

One of the curiosities of the 78th General Convention has been the challenge of going 'paperless'. I cannot fathom how such an endeavour could be possible, but apparently it requires some ghostly power called 'wifi'. Segrave's has also discerned that the search for 'wifi' has revealed a gnostic tendency in The Episcopal Church: some have this secret 'wifi', others do not. There is also much lamenting those who would seek to steal this power from the Manichaean elect. In response Segrave's has authored a new supplemental liturgy to be used as a form of prayer before committee meetings. The liturgy draws upon the Commination Against Sinners in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, as well as revised hymns from the  hymnal.


The Minister begins,

BRETHREN, in the Primitive Church there was a godly discipline, that, such persons as stood convicted of notorious sin were put to open penance, and punished in this world, that their souls might be saved in the day of the Lord; and that others, admonished by their example, might be the more afraid to offend.

CURSED is the man that searcheth for wifi, though he be not a delegate.
And the people shall answer and say,

Minister. Cursed is he that maintaineth a Hot Spot in a committee meeting.
Answer. Amen.

Minister. Cursed is he that useth paper, felling trees along with his soul.
Answer. Amen.

Minister. Cursed is he that taketh up broadband in secret.
Answer. Amen.

The congregation will sing the following hymn to the tune of Helmsley,

Lo! It comes, with the cloud descending,
That which is Convention's bane;
thousand thousand deputies attending
cannot wifi access gain :
Oh come quickly, oh come quickly, oh come quickly,
As we seek Broadband in vain.

Every eye shall now behold them,
Reception bars of blue and green;
those who set at nought and stole them,
Shamed and assailed shall they be,
deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
Those who take wifi from me.  AMEN.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Unceasing Peculiarities

My how the peculiarities seem never to cease.

Only this very morning, as I took myself for a constitutional to find a coffee, did I come to the understanding that such beverages are illegal…or anathema in some way. Caffeine, it would seem, is a vice of the sort which these Salt Lakers hate. My surprise, no doubt, was understandable—and yet, I do confess, my understanding of the Mormons is limited. Much of what I know comes from the writings of Mr. Conan Doyle, whom presents little, if anything favorable. However, I was convinced from the start of my visit that such a characterization was unfair, as I had yet to meet any such ruffians or blackguards as Doyle described—certainly there are fewer horses…

Thus quitting the third establishment to explain this strange prohibition, I was equaled in my perplexity upon stepping from the shop (holding something called a ‘smoothie’) only to be nearly knocked from my feet by a passing velocipede. This, as it happened, caused me to drop my ‘smoothie’ upon the tarmac, and sending my cane into the nearest gutter. What’s worst, is that I believe the rider of offending contraption to be no less a member of the reverend clergy! Even the episcopacy, perhaps?!

Well, a fine thing it is to be shunted about all morning to be frustrated in this way in my efforts to procure tea or coffee—but this indignation may be the worst. I only hope that a repeat of events (of which my regular readers will no doubt recall) in which I was forced into a contest of pugilism with Hugh Grant and his driver… While I’ll leave it to my readers to revisit that story (for I’ve no reason to preen about my victories), the matter ended with Taylor Swift receiving a black eye (Grant’s driver is no fighter!), and Mr. Grant and I laughing and nursing our bruises like old friends at a nearby public house… Sadly, I fear my efforts in finding such a public house here in Salt Lake City may be likewise undone.

Indomitable in charm,

The Reverend Mr. Percivale E. Hollyshoes

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fr. Sir Felix Coverdale Dreams of Gaiters

The 78th General Convention opened this morning; however, I was unable to identify any bishops or prelates.  One might think this very curious as I am at a Convention of The Episcopal Church, yet I found nobody dressed according to the traditional standards of the episcopacy.  I encountered not a single pair of legs in gaiters! 

Illustration of a gaiter.
Gaiters: Dress for Mission 
I did however chance upon a nightmare of bad ecclesiastical haberdashery: men and women dressed not in the stark and sober garments of clerics, but in a colourful array of popish jerseys of every hue of plum imaginable.  Apparently, these “purple shirts” are yet another unfortunate innovation of late 20th century modernity. 

Need Segrave’s Gazette remind Convention attendees of that most sagacious advice of Blessed Percy Dearmer (by the way, why has he not been considered for A Great Cloud of Witnesses?), that a parson arrayed in a manner not marked by “simplicity, unity, proportion, restraint, and ecclesiastical propriety” is bound to “drive from the church those whose eyes, heart and intellect” are offended by their pastor’s poor taste!  Gaiters are a garment most suited to correct the episcopal abuses of gaudy shirts.  Not only do they give bishops’ legs a shapely tone but they also serve as a hallmark of a mission-driven church.  Gaiters are worn by archdeacons and bishops because they are ideal travel ware, facilitating easy riding between parishes in one’s diocese.

So inspired have I been by gaiters as a symbol of a missional episcopacy, that I have made inquiries with Messrs. Wippell at Booth 511 who have happily agreed to send their man from Exeter to measure the More-than-Reverend who is bold enough to wear this godly garment.

Rev’d Sir Felix Coverdale, Bt. is the newest correspondent for Segrave’s Gazette.  Sir Felix is the 7th Baronet Coverdale, a graduate of St. Sylvester's House, Oxford, and Chaplain-Grand Prior to the Society of St. Charles, King-Martyr.

House of Deputies To Regulate Rolling Bags

During the combined meeting of the first session of General Convention a poor dear soul came in late after having been lost for several hours in the heat of downtown and then the labyrinthine Convention Center . 

Upon stepping into the light, finding his bearings, he quickly made his way into the combined session of the two houses this morning.  He found there the deputies attention wrapped in the beautiful and captivating words of the president.  He quickly made his way to his seat.

His seat was 1.5 miles from the back of the room and he made his way there expeditiously.  Every deputy, including our dear soul, pulls behind them a rolling bag like the one seen here.  He pulled his all 1.5 miles.  And as he did, and as the president was speaking, his suitcase went, "Clickety, clack, clickety, clack," all the way through the hall.

This brought to mind the need for legislation as does most of life here at General Convention. I am proposing the following resolution adapted from the General Convention Scooter Policy found in the Deputy Guid Book:

  • Operate your rolling bag in a careful and considerate manner – it’s the same as driving a car; be a defensive toter.
  • Use a footpath or sidewalk when one is accessible. In most jurisdictions, you are considered a pedestrian and should avoid driving on the road - no matter how big your roller bag is.
  • Move off a shared path if you have stopped so others can pass. We understand from time to time your roller bag may tip over. Please move to the sidewalk shoulder as soon as possible.
  • Travel at a speed that doesn’t endanger others or yourself. Roller bags can be heavy and take a long time to stop.
  • Similar to how you drive a car, keep right, and pass on the left. There will be a lot of roller bags.
  • Warn others when you approach them from behind, around a hidden turn or on a covered driveway. If you have a horn, use it. While many roller bags don't have horns, we recomend you get one. Most deputies are unaware at how silent they can sneak up on someone with their roller bag. 
  • Always look behind you, including before you overtake someone who is slower than you (you may hit someone on the side.)
  • If you get a call on your cell phone, pull over. Don't try and pull your roller bag and talk on the phone at the same time. Your toting ability becomes five times worse when your attention is on a phone call, and when you’re using one hand instead of two to drag your roller bag behind you.
  • When you are in a dining room or restaurant park it to the side in the dining area.
  • It is illegal for you to let any person tote your roller bag, in a way that may cause you or the other person injury.
  • Please do not leave your roller bag unattended in the hotel halls; this blocks the flow of traffic (especially when you think it doesn’t).
  • Using curb cuts is the safest way to leave a curb; otherwise the roller bag, which is prone to tipping over will tip over.
  • Please be careful when carrying extra things on your roller bag - like extra briefcases. These can make the roller bag top heavy and more dangerous.
  • Also be mindful of any items (yours or someone else’s) that could get caught in the wheels of your roller bag.  This is very dangerous and could cause the roller bag to stop suddenly, injuring you and damaging the roller bag.
  • Enjoy the mobility that the roller bag offers you and General Convention.

Age of the Machine: Going Paperless at General Convention

2008 Ipad 2 distributed to Deputies and Bishop.
My dear reader, as you well know the industrial age has profited us much and that the great machines of our era have produced a wealth of opportunities. To this end the General Convention has, in its wisdom, allowed each deputy and bishop to receive one of these things called an "ipad".

The pad is an ancient device that appears to be run on magic.

It is to be plugged in and charged with the fantastical Thomas Edison electricity I am sure you have been told about. One bishop questioned, "Bless my peck and lush, so, I need to charge this?" Obviously flummoxed by the amazing technology there placed in his hand. The bishops, an ancient tribe, are often confused by what they consider to be the magic of technology. Another bishop remarked, "Dipper my trousers, I am just now getting used to stereoscope what is this blasted thing."

Of course the machines must be hooked up to wifi. Wifi is a way in which information produced by an alien race of automaton is spirited through the air by means of codes (for those of you who have never heard of this fanciful contraption).

The codes are secret and a person called a "legislative aid" (possibly a human like robot) will give you a special code to enter into the machine only if you have a special bar code. (Bar codes are present on the name tags so that if members of the houses fall asleep they may be transported back to their hotel rooms.) If you do not have a bar code thou shalt not receive these codes. The wifi enables the machine to hook up to what used to be called the binder. We believe that there is here in this giant space a room filled with secretaries typing in the binder information of resolutions.

Today will be the deputies first opportunity to use these machines in a meeting.

A triennial ago it took the bishops and deputies over half a day just to learn how to vote electronically so we imagine this production shall in the end bring about great confusion for the mass population here gathered who are overwhelmingly not digital natives nor digital migrants nor digital anything.

In our time last evening visiting among the hoi palloi we discovered that after exactly one hour of meetings the deputies and bishops were astonished to find out that their machines lost over 1/4 of their power. "Crankey Jem has done it brown! These infernal machines!" one deputy was overheard to shout. "Bluff! and Balamy! I don't know how to use it, now I can't use it." he stated with a loud burst of air through his mustache.

The General Convention office has responded by insuring that there is a squirrel power source available for each deputy and bishop. These can be easily worn around the neck and attach without too much trouble to the name tag.

An Advertisement

Dear Reader, 

We believe that there is this new phrase being bantered about: "crowd source." We are not sure this is of value given the high editorial content of this Gazette. 

However, endeavoring always to be leading the pack as they say, let me assure you an article from you about the fantastical events of General Convention shall be given all due consideration. Fame and glory shall be your payment. 

It should include a picture of the author, such that matches our own, and a bio of some considerable station. You may send these offerings to our skilled editorial staff at gilbertsegrave@gmail.com. 

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Gilbert Segrave
Well, dear readers, it is I, your servant the Rev. Mr. Percivale E. Hollyshoes at your service.

Once again, I have agreed to delight you with my musings as I once again take part in the “doings” of this charming Convention of the Ordinary of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

I confess, as a bit of sport, I wrote to the Secretary of the Convention offering volunteerism! Imagine the shock of my fellows in Manchester when I presented my little scheme… however we were all of a good turn once I revealed with what wit I contrived to play at condescending to physical labor. I am after all a Gentleman first, and also a Churchman—to think I’d take part in such affairs is laughable.

Needless to say, I was without surprise when the Secretary had returned post that my “kind offer to entertain participants with my witty repartee, while refreshing myself near pool sides in the company of charming ladies was not necessary…” From the dreariness of some of these participants I’ve met thus far—I must disagree. Were my offer not completely facetious, I might find it the very study of virtuous charity to deign to do the very thing I had in jest offered.

Well, as to less vulgar things, you will doubtless be overjoyed to know that I have indeed lately attained your charming America. Even now I await the porter who will convey my effects to the hotel suite, and satisfy myself by taking my customary gin and tonic at the Hilton Garden Inn (a place which sadly has received only an 4.4 of 5 rating). Reclining in stylish repose, and writing this very entry—I am struck at how greatly I feel the lack of the other 0.6 of that rating…

Alas, I shall take comfort in the knowing that part of what has endeared me to these little fancies in America are the very ruggedness one endures when coming here.

Well, until some other time, as ever, I remain
Mr. Hollyshoes

The Reverend Mister Percivale Erastus Hollyshoes is a man of means and culture who is ever seeking to avoid boredom. He was ordained in the Church of England; but is currently pursuing other intellectual avenues such as entomology and its connection to etymology. His passions include art, poetry, tea and various journals and anthologies to which I contribute. He certainly has bragging rights as he has been associated and contributed to the fine periodicals listed here: The Altwerter Uncommonly Erudite Quarterly, Cacoethes Scribendi in Latinae Linguae and Cat Fancy. Presently the Rev'd Dr. Hollyshoes is what many would consider an international Gentleman of Leisure, also the Richard Hurrell Froude Adjunct Chair Bearwood College. I met this fine man while enjoying a martini on the veranda of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC), Kolkata, India (established in 1829). 

His education like the rest of this fine team: BAS, Serampore College, West Bengal, IndiaLiterature, 2000 - 2004; Ridley Hall, Cambridge, Master of Theology, 2005 - 2008

He has lived in Manchester, England; Serampore, West Bengal, India; Berkshire, England; Dalmatian Coast, Croatia; and Arlington, Virginia, United States.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Anceint Process of the House of Bishops Revealed

As we all well know this General Convention will elect a new Presiding Bishop. Initially the position of Presiding Bishop rotated geographically. After 1795 the Presiding Bishop was the senior bishop in order of consecration. Starting in 1926, the office became elective, the Presiding Bishop being chosen at General Convention by vote by all bishops, and approved by the House of Deputies. The office now has a nine-year term. Since 1938 the Presiding Bishop has been required to resign his or her former diocese after accepting election.
Discernment Attire
Since the first election of the Presiding Bishop in 1926 the order by which this grand ritual has taken place has been quite secret. Of course what we believe happens is that the bishops after prayer shall elect from among the candidates a new Presiding Bishop, taking a ballot as needed until one rises above the others. This my dear reader is of course the coverup to the true mystical gamesmanship afoot.

Secreted away for the last several months the candidates have been preparing for the difficult ordeal ahead of them. Upon arrival they shall be required to put on the discernment attire (pictured here to the right).

Upon arriving fully prepared for the events that follow they will take part in a series of physical entertainments in order to achieve the much needed points for appointment. 

They shall be required to take up the velocipede and follow the clues around downtown Salt Lake City. At each turn they shall have to stop and do a liturgy of candles and recite passages from Michno's liturgical panopticon. They will of course have to take with them a chosen acolytes to aid in the lighting and extinguishing of the candles, a censor and altar boy to hold the velocipede during the recitals. We should pray for the low churchmen for this is their weakest hour. Then upon return each will be scored in order of arrival. Then there will no doubt be cheering and harrumphing depending upon the lead. 
The Velocipede

The Oration of the Trinity
Afterwards there shall be a drink of sherry and respite for all given the tumult of our work in this first hour. The job of the Presiding Bishop is one though that is only allowed a bit of rest throughout the day so our candidates will be escorted and stationed about the room where they shall give a great oration. The oration will be judged upon its diction and upon the depth of knowledge regarding the triadic nature of the divine being. The other bishops shall meander through the great hall and listen while dining on cheese and fruit. This continues until they have reached the end of there educating. I fear given several of the candidates' history that there may be quite a bit of elocution and this will take copious hours.
Then a game of crocket shall be displayed so as to reveal their ability to properly perform at the frequent visitation picnic. Then they shall reveal how they have packed their own picnic basket and show that they are quite prepared at all times to entertain. No doubt they shall be judged even down to the jaunty nature of their boater. 

The highest point winners shall then engage in the art of pugilism. However, during the jabs and jibs the candidates will be required to announce the book of Acts verse by verse.

Lastly, the final game of discernment will come to bear and finally put an end to the time of prayer. Dear reader you know well we should hide nothing from you - we should spare you nothing. I was, as you shall be, surprised by the revelation of the final act of discernment. As this is the church of the Episcopals it is important that they may both be prepared for entertaining and to be entertained. So it is that the last and final (dreadful) exercise is to set the table appropriately. One fork out of place, one sherry glass out of sync, and one misspelling upon the place card and points gained throughout the day shall fall away.

Then shall the cheers be heard and resounding Hurrahs bellowed across the great hall. The winner shall be hoisted upon the shoulders of many and paraded around the room. The name shall quickly be taken to a secret room where a special group of the House of Deputies shall inspect the order of points for each entertainment. They shall discern if the secret process of selection was undertaken faithfully as described and then shall burn the paper. They shall forget what they have seen and present the name to the House of Deputies. Upon prayer and discernment and a vote by the House a herald shall go out and invite the new bishop to visit. 

Dear reader if you are in the room you will see for yourself the bit of perspiration, the heavy breath, and the slow movements of the new Presiding Bishop given their discernment work that day.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Bumpy Start

I arrived in Salt Lake City this morning with what I believed to be a reasonable amount of luggage for a gentleman.

I was careful to think about the schedule of meetings, breakfasts, dinners, and after dinner events. You tell me what have I missed? I had packed:

  • my swimming outfit and sporting attire
  • my breakfast apparel for the early morning committee meetings
  • my luncheon regalia (this always includes a number of dandy hats)
  • afternoon jacket
  • a full set of neckties
  • the appropriate attire should I be invited to tea with the President of one of the two houses
  • evening wear 
  • and my after dinner jacket
These Episcopals are known for their dining and as was reported following the last triennial they tend towards luxury. They appear to fancy steak and fine bourbon.

I digress, I felt that I had an appropriate amount of luggage given my dance card and invitations.

I was harassed for my amount of luggage. The bell captain (who was not attired with a pill boxed hat or epaulettes - so I don't know why he was even speaking to me)  pointed out that we would have to use all the valets to get my luggage to my room.  I shouted out, "How dare you! Is this some kind of camping trip? Have we succumbed to modesty! Is this a backpacker's hovel?" I am afraid my cross continental rail trip had frayed my nerves.  Then it happened. A rude young man came up to me, slandered me for my carryon, and claimed that my Blank & Smith rugged valise of my college years was none other than his own! I turned to him and declared that he was mistaken and I flung my coat at him and said, "Be gone imposter. Back away you hooligan. I am afraid that what followed was captured by someone's contraption called "a snap chat instagram" and posted online in an attempt to persuade you not to read our Gazette. I show it here simply to be forthright in our reporting.

When my senses returned to me, it turned out it was none other than our very own The Rev’d Sir Felix Coverdale. Evidently the valise had reminded him of his own. Perplexed and without his household attendant he made a mistake - to which he apologized.

We retired after chatting each other up about the excitement to unfold before us. We made sure that we would gather for a glass of madeira later this morning, to make notes of who shall be covering what, to know the who is who of these Episcopals, and to ensure that you my dear reader are well informed of these goings on.

An Introduction and Fond Memories of Mr. Burr

I am most delighted to have received the assignment as the Segrave’s Gazette’s correspondent to the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. This is not a commission I take lightly, especially in view of the tragic demise of Segrave’s last correspondent, Mr. R. Wellington Burr.

Segrave’s readers may recall that Mr. Burr took leave of his senses after participating in an Enriching Our Worship rite of Holy Communion celebrated at the Indianapolis Convention. Upon hearing the Triune Godhead described as “Faucet, Source, and Holy Spigot,” Mr. Burr is said to have reacted in a manner not dissimilar to that of a Turkic Dervish. Delegates mistook the psychosomatic reaction for liturgical dance and only ejected Mr. Burr after he threatened to throw the celebrant into a “Lollard pit.” To this day, Mr. Burr has not fully recovered; his doctors have prescribed retirement and the sea air of the Dover coast as a remedy for his imbalanced humours.

In Burr’s absence I hope to continue this periodical’s excellent legacy of sound critique. Perhaps no issue demands our perspective more than the issue of what to do with the Episcopal Church Center. The 2012 Convention passed Resolution D016, that it is the will of the Convention to move the Episcopal Church headquarters. However, DFMS has neglected to take any action on the mandate.

During a debate on the Center in 2012, one deputy was purported to have declared, “Constantine has left the building.” While many in attendance heard this as a cry for reform, Segrave’s heard it as a lament for by-gone days of glory. Segrave’s longs for blessed Constantine and his pious successors. Would the Church not rather relish in Nicaea’s mosaicked imperial palaces than languish under austere PowerPoints in concrete convention centers? The Episcopal Church Center should reconceive of itself as a dignified residence fit for an archiepiscopal primate. With the spirit of counter-reform in mind, we propose the bold move of a wholesale expansion of the Presiding Bishop’s penthouse at “815” to include most, if not all of the building. One retired bishop who wished to be styled only as “His Lordship” remarked, “This bold step backward will be a Godly witness to the churches throughout the world that ECUSA remains Holy, Catholic, and Established.” His Lordship went on to say, “With the Romish Cardinal-Archbishop of New York entertaining the who’s-who of society just blocks away in a lavish neo-gothic mansion on Madison Avenue, it is a disgrace that the top prelate of the church of J.P. Morgan should have to live amidst such aesthetic squalor.”

Of course, we are acutely aware of the budget constraints which may preclude such a noble endeavour; yet, we have also discerned what we think might be a simple source of external revenue. In the spirit of its Anglican heritage, ECUSA might dissolve its monastic communities and fill the Presiding Bishop’s coffers with their liquidated endowments. What’s more, Segrave’s has heard tattle that the SSJE has some stunning plate which could be appropriately accommodated as decorative accessories within the Most Reverend Bishop’s private apartments. 

The Rev’d Sir Felix Coverdale, Bt. is the newest correspondent for Segrave’s Gazette. Sir Felix received his Bachelors of Divinity from St. Sylvester’s House, Oxford, winning first class honours for a dissertation entitled Silver Buckles: Clergy Footwear and The Tractarian Movement. Sir Felix is the 7th Baronet Coverdale and is Chaplain-Grand Prior to the Society of St. Charles, King-Martyr.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Time to Krank Up The Machinery for General Convention

The time hath cometh when we must dust off our pen and tablet, and krank up the machinery for the Segrave Fantastical Church Gazette and begin our reflections on the forthcoming General Convention in Salt Lake City. I hope my dear readers that you are prepared for another gastronomical feast of literary sensations meant to intrigue the wit and inspire wonder at the  mass rumpus called General Convention.

I promise no flat-catcher here for I am no pigeon but a sincere man about town with his ear to the ground on behalf of you the good gentleman and woman.

You may send your own articles for consideration (in good Victorian form) to gilbertsegrave@gmail.com.