Monday, October 25, 2004

English and Anglican miscellany and a small coincidence
St Michael’s, Bray
Of course years ago (over 15!) I loved the Inspector Morse episode 'Service of All the Dead' and read the Colin Dexter book not long after. It's set in a fictionalized version of one of Oxford's Anglo-Catholic churches - St Mary Magdalen (not really AC anymore*, alas) is a good guess but it's obviously not. The name (dedication) in the TV version is St Giles but having seen the real one in Broad Street (charming and conservative like the religion I was confirmed in but looks Central, middle-of-the-road) it's obviously not. My guess is the wonderful Catholic appurtenances were brought in for filming - the realistic, graphic Spanish or Italian statuary that made secular everyman Morse say 'I don't like this kind of church'. (Of course we disagree.)

Turns out filming was at St Michael's in the village of Bray made famous by the poem and song memorializing Anglican compromise - yes, there really is a vicar of Bray; whether he's like the one in the song, who knows?

"Church of England? Never heard of it mate," was how one plumber in a white van succinctly put it yesterday while eating a Big Mac and talking on a mobile phone to his divorce lawyer. "It won't affect the interest rates, will it?" he continued. "Tell you what, I bought a house three years ago for 50 grand and it's worth 200k now, so I got a holiday gaff in Marbella on the back of it. And I've got two new cars and a 42-inch plasma home cinema set-up. Bet you haven't, have you? Go on, how big's yours? Twenty-eight inches? Ha! Anyway, gotta rush. Big Brother is on at ten and I reckon that good-looking bird might get her laughing gear round whassisname's spam javelin. See ya."
*You can still get the practice of religion but the teachings? Forget it. Not only is the vicar the Oxford prime mover of the linked group, but the pillock who started that wretched thing was in the room next to me at college. Mr Hawes in 1989 on the Catholic religion: 'I like the opera too but I go to Covent Garden for it'.

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