Yesterday ITV3 helpfully broadcast Rumpole and the age of miracles – where Horace represents his nephew in the ecclesiastical court. The nephew (played by Martin Jarvis) was at risk of being defrocked as a result of conduct unbecoming a clergyman (allegedly sharing a double room with an unmarried lady that was not hs wife).
This public service aspect of ITV3’s coverage was of course to assist us in considering English ecclesiastical law pending any consideration of the future of the tired and emotional Bishop of SOuthwark who attended a reception last Tuesday in fashionable Belgravia (the qualifying adjective is required by law) and returned home at an ungodly hour sans briefcase and with cuts on his head. With no recollection of the incident the Bishop claimed he was mugged. The police think differently.
Apparently the injuries suffered by the bishop were so bad he was unable to wear his mitre in early advent services.
The Church of England is the only religious body with guaranteed representation in the legislature with a collection of bishops (the Lords spiritual) involved in the legislative process. Among their number is the Right reverend Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark. Suggestions that he was as drunk as a lord, simply because he is one are wholly scurrilous and some would say sacrilegious.