It might be remarked as to why I never joined the Anglican church given that, at some stage, when I was young and foolish, I was very much minded to integrate myself into English society. Things like the usage of flags within the churches and the book of common prayer were attractive in that they seemed “traditional”. That being said I did not know as much about England as I do now and in any case Russia has far greater respect for such things.
In particular in the town where I spent some time, the vicar Guy Bennett was known to abuse children but strangely everyone protected him and would intead harass an elderly gentleman known as Mr Paeg who perhaps had some form of autism (he was very much into his trainsets). In terms of social skills, he was considered odd from the perspective of the middle classes in that he used to walk around with shorts and wellington boots whilst smoke a pipe and used to approach people to talk in a manner which befitted the Greek philosopher Socrates.
Anyway, during my stay at St Catharine’s College Cambridge, I unfortunately met a member of the Anglican church, the Reverend Anthony Moore. He has a reputation for being tired and emotional and would also in response to complaints with regards the welfare provision in the college (most notably the fact that he and Dr Oliver a member of SIS were responsible for helping students who were also tired and emotional) would either leak or make up things about the student who had complained. There was a dossier prepared by the Cambridge University Students Union which was apparently handed in Dr Hartle, the senior tutor and head honcho for GCHQ within the college and actions was strangely not taken.
As I consequence of that individual and the drinking culture within the college, I had avoided the island site during the second year. I had in fact hesitated as to whether I should accept the offer of place before my arrival because I was aware that it had a certain reputation.
One evening in late 2012, after having avoided him, I talked to the Reverend Moore and tried to make amends as I had decided to move back into college. Despite offering an olive branch, he was particularly obnoxious and excluded me from a conversation which he was having with other students in the Middle Combination Room(MCR) on the basis that I was “not a graduate” (I was in fact entitled to be in the MCR as a mature student) and from participation in the life of the college, most notably as a chapel warden. I had initially intended to join the choir upon my application to the college but elected to try other things upon my arrival.
Being somewhat aggrieved at this behaviour and his self-pity (he complained that he was lonely which was hardly surprising), I posed him a question to which he took considerable offense but which was entirely reasonable in that it was based upon a statement from a former “boss” of the church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury. I asked him whether he agreed with the statement made by George Carey that the Church of England was like a toothless old woman muttering in a corner, ignored by everyone but who occasionally says something sensible.
He took considerable offence even though it was my statement and lets just say that it was from this point that things took a considerable turn for the worse in the college because of my lack of respect. He was later promoted to Vice-Dean and Canon for Liturgy & Formation of Lichfield Cathedral:
My understanding of Christianity is that it offers the prospect of eternal life in heaven but it is of considerable concern that I would be stuck with such a representative of God for eternity, which as I am sure everyone will agree is an incredibly long time and more than one should have to bear.
I suppose my encounters with such “pillars” of English society is the reason why I read, watched and listened to people like Mike Dickin (now deceased), Ian Hislop and Peter Hitchens in the mail, in that they appear as lay vicars to have a better understanding of concerns like morality than has been the case with the Church of England. No doubt due to my experienced with the Hausers amongst others, I sense it would probably bring bad luck were I ever to meet anyone famous and feel that in as much as it is necessary (in particular with regard to those who might have something to contribute to the first five essays), it is best to resort to tweeting.