Anorak News | The Will Of God

The Will Of God

by | 19th, July 2004

‘GOD moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform. But travel is expensive these days and His feet are not what they were, so can you spare some cash and see Him right?

Ripon or rip-off?

You don’t have to give until it hurts – not that you’ll feel much pain when you’re dead.

Prepare to hang your head down low and pray as we relate the Mail’s story of how the Right Rev John R Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, likes to raise funds.

The story started when 99-year-old Edith Hunt was sent to hospital.

Uninvited, a chaplain arrived at her bedside and, although Edith can’t recall giving her visitor any personal details, he talks to her.

A few days later a letter drops though her front door.

Her great-great-grandson, Darren Hunt, opens the note and sees at once that it is from the aforesaid Bishop – there being a picture of the cleric alongside his letterhead.

In the letter, the Bishop introduces himself, and then reminds Edith that Ripon Cathedral is an expensive place to run and that it might cost £300,000 just to fix the roof on the nave.

But she mustn’t worry too much if she can’t stump up the lot in her will because the bishop knows a few people in the trade and ‘a donation of say, an oil painting, a piece of antique jewellery, or a Victoria sideboard, can be just as financially helpful to the future of the cathedral as a cash gift’.

He goes on: ‘Anther helpful way you can ensure the future of this great living part of Christian civilisation is through the gift of shares or property. Or even by taking out a Standing Order now.’

Despite this generous offer, Mr Hunt is not best pleased, and having remarked on how his great-great-grandmother has only ever attended church for death, marriages and funerals, calls the Church a bunch of ‘sanctimonious mercenaries’.

For his part, a spokesman for the bishop says that his master regrets any offence caused – and that it is hard for a rich old widow who’s grassed up the Church to enter the kingdom of Heaven, unless she first allows God to cash in on the local property boom by donating all her worldly goods to the clergy.


Posted: 19th, July 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink