04 October 2006

More Heresy, Vicar?

B. and I went to the final installment of the Bluffer's Guide to Heresy course last night. The topic was Donatism, so B. bought donuts to take along.

The Donatists believed that certain actions on the part of certain priests during the Roman persecutions had called into question their competence to perform the christian sacraments -- especially, in the case of their local bishops, their ability to ordain further priests. The Donatists therefore created their own parallel churches, under the alternative episcopal oversight of bishops whose purity and rectitude they considered beyond reproach.

We had fun speculating how this particular heresy might be of relevance to the church today.

The event -- and particularly the rather decent real ale pub we visited afterwards, which I hadn't encountered before -- was in the general vicinity of the Bristol Hippodrome, which was staging The Rocky Horror Show. The streets, and pub, were dotted with raucous and / or slightly embarrassed people milling around in fishnets, dinner jackets, gold lamé leotards and the like.

While walking back to the car we found ourselves walking behind one young lady wearing fishnets, a basque and some impressively tight latex shorts.
B: It's a shame we didn't know Rocky Horror was on, I'd have liked to have gone.
Me: [Strangely mesmerised] Well never mind, at least we're in the area...
I think I got away with it. Even though we were giving the vicar a lift home at the time.

(I know I should stop finding the fact that Simon -- a university contemporary who I knew years ago through S.C.M. -- is a priest now, quite so amusing. He's hardly the first friend of mine to get ordained. He is, however, the first who's ended up being the priest at a church anywhere near me, and therefore the first who I can refer to as "the vicar". It's amazing how funny almost any anecdote becomes once you insert a vicar into it.)

One the way home, I suddenly flashed back to a recent dream where I was attending a Rocky Horror-style audience-participation performance of The Exorcist. (My dreaming subconscious has been unusually creative recently, perhaps in an attempt to compensate for my rather secluded daily life.)

The only part I remember clearly is the buckets of pea soup which some audience members were getting ready to throw around during the vomiting scene. What they might have been planning to do during the neck-revolving scene, and especially the crucifix scene, I really don't want to speculate.

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