ALL THE J names: Justin Welby, Justin Beiber, J.K. Rowling. J.R.R.Tolkien

Justin Welby.  Justin Beiber.  J.K. Rowling.  J.R.R.Tolkien

I have just glanced at the Order of Service for the enthronement of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury.
In fact there were two enthronements:  the first as Bishop of Canterbury; the second as the Archbishop of the Province of Canterbury (church talk) and the Primate of All England (more church talk).
If you’d like for me to explain all this on your death bed my fee will be $5000 (pro-rated for inflation) plus first class air fare.
Anyway, dear and sweet Justin Welby , (well meaning as I believe him to be)  has inherited the hot seat of Anglican Christianity without so much as a campaign, a primary election, a manifesto, a vetting by lay christian leaders, a measurement of his body fat index --  or any other such scrutiny.  

He will be like Justin Beiber - thrust  into the spotlight of celebrity with no training, and no experience of dealing with the paparazzi, or the yellow press, or even of Fox News.

Meanwhile in Canterbury we return to Justin Welby.


This enthroning language is all a bit embarrassing for the modern Church. So his service was entitled:


All well and good I suppose.....  BUT

Before his inauguration/enthronements there were processions of various and sundry dignitaries representing the C of E; other Christian Churches; Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and other faith traditions  --    together with  all manner of  political, civic and academic leaders.  These processions lasted for one hour!.
There was not one person in the multiple processions who represented the poor and dis-enfranchised.
But Oh My God  (and I mean that) there were titles a plenty.
In the processions there were
Virgirs (using the old English spelling)
The Ostiarius
A Beadle
The Custos of Winchester Cathedral
The Ceremonarius
The Appartitor General (I kid you not)
The Trainbearer

And there were Registrars, Vicar-Generals, a Commissary General, the Dean of the Arches, a Master of the Faculties, the Legal Company, and the Vesturer.

They are such silly titles  - let us all laugh the C of E to scorn.
Oops!  J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien have also created silly titles and names which are celebrated in the popular culture.

So to my English readers – How come that you celebrate the mythologies of Rowling and Tolkien, yet scorn the mythology of the C of E?

I am fairly agnostic about both!


  1. Perhaps it's because the mythologies of Rowling and Tolkien are presented as fiction whereas the mythology of the C of E is presented as fact!


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