“May our tongues be gentle, our emails simple and our websites be accessible.” Rev. Canon David Parrott
As John Cleese would spot in a flash the good Reverend is definitely a live and very lively Parrott, with a secure grip of his parish perch. He recently organised a blessing of smart phones and other devices brought to a special service by members of the congregation of St Lawrence Jewry in the City of London.
In an earlier parish, at Yuletide, he’d dressed up like a Christmas tree. The livewire leader is obviously a very switched on clergyman in the Anglican eccentric, eclectic and now electric tradition.
The 3G blessing ceremony was an overdue V2 of the medieval Plough Monday ceremony, when farm labourers would bring ploughs to the door of the church to be blessed. This stopped them being turned into spears. (See below for how to turn old mobile phones into cash for Starship Children’s Hospital*).
On the altar, in ecumenical propinquity, were four Smart phones, one Apple and one Dell. Members of the congregation tended to their own devices, tenderly key stroking their mobiles and searching for the 3G spot (which heretics now claim doesn’t even exist), in order to receive a blessing in the name of 3G, the Holy Trinity of Mobile Communications.
The Apple was, no doubt, a salutary reminder of certain events in Genesis (the book, not the power company or the rock band).
We can assume there was a reading from The Book of Jobs. The iPostle’s divine products are both objects of worship -dangerous territory in Old Testament terms- and diabolical inducements to the heinous sin of envy for those without an iPod and an iPhone.
For those who eschew micro soft options they are also universal proof of intelligent design rather than evolution.
There are other theological implications of the blessed event at St LJ.
For example, without getting in too deep, we can expect much more speaking in tongues in off-shore call centres. (This may be a mixed blessing).
More customers will summon the strength to get off the broadbandwaggon and use the power of prayer to by-pass telco networks by using God’s free direct dialling service. This will give Telecom New Zealand more headaches on top of the Commerce Commission’s recent report into errors in the telco’s historic broadband charging. It sheds a little light on esoteric invoicing practices and is a timely homily for unwary consumers: thy will be done.
Next time Anglicans do the Lambeth Walk we can expect a proposal to change the chronological alphabet from BC to BB (Before Bell) and AD to AC (in the Year of Our Cellphone). There will be a hot debate about whether those with mobile pre-pay schemes will qualify for ordination. A conservative Anglican minority apparently regards pre-pay as synonomous with the pre-Lutheran purchasing of indulgences and therefore anathema.
Meanwhile, a Kiwi with dextrous digits and a well-thumbed keypad has just won the Bronze in the World Texting Champs. This event is a portent of accelerated thumb evolution which could forever alter the dynamics of the key to humanity’s technical wizardry, the opposed thumb and index finger. That will really fire up the anti-Darwinists and create a real debate.
But thumbs up for the colourful Rev. Parrott. There may be a few feathers flying in his parish and calls for normal service to be restored as soon as possible, but any reason for a live gathering of any community is better than leaving people to their own devices, locked in their own cells, in these connected but often lonely times.
#Lyall Lukey 16 Jan 2010
PS Starship Hospital appeal for old mobile phones. If you can’t ressurect your dead batteries or you’re buying a new phone, turn your mobile phones into money for a good cause.*