Monday, June 22, 2015

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.

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