Archaeologists have recently made a startling and enlightening discovery. They have come across Paul’s 3rd letter to the Corinthians. It was found by accident in a dilapidated church vestry by adventurer and archaeologist Bognor Brown, when he was looking for a paperclip in the back of the vicar’s drawer. Previously Bognor Brown has been famous for tracking down the Holy Grail in a pub in Whitby and Noah’s Ark in a boat show on the Isle of Sheppy. Brown let us cast a curious eye over Paul’s long lost missive, which was scrawled on the back of three first century beer mats and reads as follows.
1Hello you old Corinthians, hope you’re all hunky dory and feeling groovy. 2Thought I’d try writing this time on these little cardboard squares, they’re cheaper than parchment and might help me to keep this third letter a bit shorter. 3I got wind that some of you found 16 chapters quite a lot to get your head around over the toast and Nutella first thing in the morning. 4Well then, straight to the point. Disregard my first two letters, I was only joking… 5Ah gotcha! Not really. But I do want to address some really serious issues in this third epistle. 6Now that the churches are getting established and really getting stuck into tearing each other apart I hope I can help. 6You see, what really matters is the pews, the carpets, the PCC, the choir robes, and the after service tea. I mean who cares about all those lost souls dying out there when you can have a good old ding dong about the fabric of the building. 7Not to mention spreading rumours about one another. So I advise you keep the services relatively short so you can gather as much gossip as possible afterwards. 8When you meet, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation but everything that’s done must be useful and short short short. 9No more than two or three should speak and someone must be ready to shout them down if it looks like they’re cutting into the after church gossip time. 10Gossip is impatient and nasty, it is jealous, boastful and proud. It demands its own way, is irritable and very good at keeping a record of everybody else’s wrongs. 11Gossip thrives on injustice and falters when truth rears its ugly head. 12Three things endure, faith, hope and love. But gossip can have a jolly good go at trumping them all! So don’t give in. 13Oh oh, looks like I’m running out of space so I’ll say bye for now, toodle pip, wish you were here and RSVP. Ciau. 14St P.