Tuesday, January 14, 2014



I noticed in this week’s edition of The Sunday Times an article by Marie Woolf headlined Perils of the vicar’s tea party concerning the very unfortunate rise of violence against clergy.  In it she quoted Sir Tony Baldry MP, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, who said that although some attacks were violent, “I don’t think anyone wants to see kung-fu vicars with Berettas in inner cities. We need to get this into proportion.”

Now many of the clergy I know – inner city or otherwise – have berettas.  They often carry them, and wear them, without causing any problem.  Indeed, many people like to see clergy with a beretta: it gives them a sense of confidence.  Far from not wanting to see clergy with beretta’s, many parishioners would like more priests to have one tok hand (or head).  However, clergy should certainly not wear one to tea nor practise kung-fu, especially when the milk is being poured.  Keeping one on is hard enough at the best of times without cavorting about trying to be a martial arts expert.  So, come on Sir Tony, far from fearing the beretta, why don’t the Church Commissioners give one to all clergy!

Having said that, I am not sure how a biretta would prevent violence (although an Italian friend tells me it's a small beer in the Roman dialect, so perhaps offering a drink - a small sherry or a gin and tonic - might help?): some people seem to get quite cross about them, so maybe he has a point…

1 comment:

Antonia said...

Love it!!