Posted by the Green Man from copy subbmitted by Sir Richard Arcos. This series describes a church service or services attended by one of the cast. In this case Sir Richard attended a service of the United Orthodox Protestant Baptist Church, Lesser Pudding, Norfolk, where he has been spending a few days.
The service was due to begin at ten-thirty, but when the minister entered the pulpit, the congregation were still deep in conversation. Not even a few loud blasts on the organ would shut them up. The minister stood up in the pulpit and looked significantly at his watch. The entire congregation looked at their watches, shook them, then went on talking.
Slamming the Bible down on the lectern, the minister announced that the service would begin at once, or he'd keep the congregation behind afterwards. Someone blew a raspberry and was sent to sit in the corner. Order being restored somewhat, the first hymn was given out: 'Here is Love Vast as the Ocean.' After which the Bible was read, although the minister was stopped when he saw one of the congregation was reading from the ESV. An on-the-spot ecommunication was attempted, but the member refused to leave. This led to the minister refusing to preach until the man left. The man replied 'no, you leave!' pouted, folded his arms, and looked at the wall, muttering to himself. Two deacons picked him up and carried him out of the church.
The minister then delivered his children's talk, despite the fact that no children have attended the chapel in living memory, before giving out the second hymn, which was the same as the first. When the organist picked up on this, he was told that they would sing it to a different tune, which they duly did.
Prayers started with a curse being pronounced on all who were not at the church, and proceeded to name every heretical church. Every church known to the congregation was named, with the exception of one in King's Lynn they'd forgotten about, which was named at the end of the service. During these, someone placed a whoopee cushion on the pastor's seat. The Pastor walked out, giving out 'Here is Love' for the third time, this time to a tune which didn't fit the words, and an elder delivered the message, looking down as he spoke, so that it was inaudiable to anyone but him. The rest of the congregation went back to talking and, as far as I know, they are still talking. I left at three to attend the Cat-Baptists at Pudding Norton, after ascertaining there would be no baptismal service tonight.
Sir Richard Arcos.