Project Canterbury

A poem by the Revd Dr. C. B. Moss, written after a visit to the Church in Finland:

I am an Ultra-Bothnian,
I have a word to speak
I think the English Liturgy
Should all be sung in Greek.

I think the Cowley Fathers should
Long beards and whiskers grow,
And drink their tea with strawberry jam,
Like monks at Valamo.

Dean Inge a hermitage should have
Beside Imatra’s falls
And Michael Constantinides
Succeed him at St. Paul’s.

While as for Dr. Barnes, I’m sure
That he would make his mark
If in the Living Church he were
Appointed Patriarch!

The Principal of Ripon Hall
His lectures should begin
By construing ‘Reality’
(By Streeter) into Finn.

A language, which, I understand
Has twenty five declensions
Should Modernistic brains expand
By at least five dimensions.

The staffs of theol. Colleges
Should chiefly spend their lives
In seeking for their ordinands
Companionable wives.

The persecuted twenty-one
Who martyrs long to be
Should all be Metropolitans
Beside the Arctic Sea.

The Commentary of Dr. Gore
I feel quite sure is not
Much read in Kolonitz, so that’s
The place for Dr. Scott!

While as for Father Maurice Child
I think his job should be
To set to work and organize
The Finnish F.C.P.

A certain well known journalist
Would not be such an ass
If all his diet were confined
To tiddler soup and kvass!

I haven’t quite decided what
To do with Wilfred Knox
The day the English Church becomes
Quite strictly Orthodox.

If only at Sortavala
He’d take up his abode
His Latinizing tendencies
Might be in quite the mode!

Oh, what a lot of curious things
In Christendom we’d see
If only Ultra-Bothnian dreams
Achieved Reality!



The Ultra-Catholic

(By the Revd Dr. E. L. Mascall)


I am an Ultra-Catholic-No ‘Anglo-,’ I beseech you,

You’ll find no trace of heresy in anything I teach you.

The clergyman across the road has whiskers and a bowler,

But I wear buckles on my shoes and sport a feriola.


My alb is edged with deepest lace, spread over rich black satin;

The Psalms of David I recite in heaven’s own native Latin,

And, though I don’t quite understand those awkward moods and tenses,

My ordo recitandi’s strict Westmonasteriensis.


I teach the children in my school the Penny Catechism,

Explaining how the C. of E.’s in heresy and schism.

The truths of Trent and Vatican I bate not one iota.

I have not met the Rural Dean. I do not pay my quota.


The Bishop’s put me under his ‘profoundest disapproval’

And, though he cannot bring about my actual removal,

He will not come and visit me or take my confirmations.

Colonial prelates I employ from far-off mission-stations.


The music we perform at Mass is Verdi and Scarlatti.

Assorted females form the choir; I wish they weren’t so catty.

Two flutes, a fiddle and a harp assist them in the gallery.

The organist left years ago, and so we save his salary.


We’ve started a ‘Sodality of John of San Fagondez,’

Consisting of the five young men who serve High Mass on Sundays;

And though they simply will not come to weekday Mass at seven,

They turn out looking wonderful on Sundays at eleven.


The Holy Father I extol in fervid perorations,

The Cardinals in Curia, the Sacred Congregations;

And, though I’ve not submitted yet, as all my friends expected,

I should have gone last Tuesday week, had not my wife objected.

The Anglican Alphabet

(Attributed to the Revd Sandys Wason)


A is the Anglican brimful of gas,

B is for breakfast he eats before Mass,

C are the Curates at Cuddesdon bred,

D are the Districts, Perambulated,

E is the Eagle, sublimely absurd,

F are the females that polish that bird,

G is the Guild of the Church Lads Brigade,

H is the helluva row that they made,

I is the incense we "can’t see our way too".

J is St Joseph they won’t let us pray too,

K is the Key to the Vicar’s position,

L is the lace that we wear at the Mission,

M is the Mattins we have at eleven,

N is the nonsense we talk about heaven,

O is the Octave we keep up with preaching,

P is the Prayer Book "our Standard of Teaching",

Q is the Choir of Communicant Laymen,

R is the roar of the "Seven-fold Amen",

S is the stole all embroidered with lotuses,

T is the tone for giving out notices,

U is the "Use" that we have from our "Aunt",

V is the Vicar who says "No you Can’t",

W is the wife whom our Vicar has wed,

X is the uxorious life that they’ve led!

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