Get me to the church on time

23rd March 2001 at 00:00
AND at that time the mothers of Gideon, and of Daniel, and of Ben met together. And did cry upon the Lord and did say unto Him: "Lord, we have neglected you.

"And for many years we did not see the point of you and greatly did we murmur at our dinner parties that all this religion stuff is just out-dated superstition, let's be honest. Now, however, we discover the error of our ways and behold we ask you to number our sons among your chosen."

And the Lord did cast his eye down upon the mothers of Daniel, and of Gideon, and did say unto them: "Funny how many of you only get round to having your kids baptised when they are 10 or 11-years-old.Why hast it taken you so long?" And the mothers said: "Lord we have been busy, you've no idea what it's like being a parent these days."

But the Lord taxed them, saying: "Has this by any chance something to do with the comprehensive school in your land that is called Bog Standard? Truly have ye seen the light or is this some cynical attempt toget your sons into my nice church school round the corner?" And at this the mothers sent up a great wail and did rend their body-warmers, and mightily did they cry upon the Lord that it was beyond their wealth to move into the appropriate catchment area for St Nicely's. "You, oh Lord, are our only Hope," they cried.

"Will you cast us away because we are not as wealthy as other middle-class parents?" And the mother of Gideon fell to the ground, foaming: "Oh Lord, righteous is your wrath. But must our children suffer for our iniquity?" "Well, that is what it says in the Bible," replied the Lord. "Hast thou read it these last 10 years?" Then spake the vicar of St Nicely's, saying: "Oh Lord, suffer the 10-year-olds to be baptised for this is the only way we can keep our congregation going."

And the Lord sighed, for verily this scenario happeneth every year. "All right then. Behold what a soft-touch I am these days."

And great was the rejoicing among the Middle Classes.

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