We were up at Lincoln over the weekend for my nephew’s wedding. Here are some random observations.
The presiding vicar was a calm, articulate self-assured young man who had an effortless command of his audience. His conduct of the service was a beautifully-paced mix of humour and good advice anchored by his religious faith.
As an exercise, I tried to see him through fundamentalist catholic eyes: ‘Here is a self-confident young man, in fancy dress, parodying the service of the true faith. He commits the sacrilegious crime of imposture, having no authority.’
I was reminded of the barbed remark that when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, meets the Pope, Williams thinks that two major wings of Christianity are in communion while the Pope think he’s talking to a deluded pious academic.
By the way, in case you should believe this is gratuitously anti-catholic, recall I'm non-theist. To me, they're all blokes in ritualised middle-eastern wear. Having said that, we need ritual and dressing up is part of it.
After the evening disco, some of the squaddies went out on a tour of Lincoln nightspots through to dawn. Apparently wherever they went, the bouncers were more than friendly, ushering them in past queues of punters. Says a lot about opinion on the street towards the army right now. And that’s without mentioning the drinks they had bought for them.
I took some videos at the church and afterwards, at the reception, of the cake-cutting and speeches. Sunday evening after returning home I dutifully put a little web-page together with links to the seven videos and some humorous one-liners.
A few hours later I reflected: no-one at the event had asked for their antics or presentations to be put on the public Internet. Some of them were in the military and perhaps would value the publicity even less. So I pulled the material. It’s easy to forget just how public material on the Internet actually is.