Tuesday, February 19

From Dean Cliff to the Parishoners of Much Ticking

My good people,

It suffers me that, through no fault of your own, you are currently experiencing a long period without any spiritual leadership with Fumblefinch being away. I for one had no idea he would be gone so long, nor that he had intended to cover part of his absence through the improper and unauthorised use of an unqualified ranter in the pulpit, namely one Konan T. Baptist.

This is wrong on so many counts:

The Baptist had no authority to cast out those money makers of the bird information manuscript services.

He had no right to instruct all CocK members to sell their long lenses and give the proceeds to charities for poor fowle if they ever want to enter the nature reserves of Heaven.

He had no power to carry out exorcisms in order to 'drive out the demons' of year listing.

He could not pass a decree banning the carrying of a 'Collins' on a Sunday.

He could not make compulsory the growing of lustrous beards for the purpose of parrotte crossedbill nesting material, especially for the womenfolk.

He was not empowered to ban the reading of the works of Pope Barrius RX on the premise he objected to the Holy RX Empire claiming lands in both South Saxon and Canticus.

Finally, and of most trouble to myself, he could not insist that no single one of you could call yourselves a true birderer until you had been baptised in the muddy ditchwaters of the Northern Marshes. He is only ever in there himself because he chooses to fall in so often.
For all of this the Baptist has been warned he is no longer welcome in this parish. And, for his part in allowing this, strong words and public rebuke await Fumblefinch on his return.

In the meantime, for the sake of your own souls, I have made arrangements for Layperson Larkrise of the Northern Marshes to lead your services in the interim, qualified as he is to do so through laying you all so often with his late published accounts of his many rare findings there. Until he arrives for Sunday service, I urge all of you to follow the Papal decree to 'RX Fowlewalk' for the cleansing of your souls, and I also offer you this artistic relic by the blessed St. Traceee of Emina entitled 'a depiction of the plebs of the air being taken in by the rantings of nothing more than a madman passing himself off as a wise olde birde when in fact he can only cough up pellettes of half-truthes'. I am sure if you muse on this for a while you will find a subtle lesson on the misleadings that have happened these past few weeks.

The Reverend Cliff, Dean of Losechelsea