In the "old days", when God was an Englishman who loved to watch cricket, those who attended church could be sure of a robust sermon promising "fire and brimstone" delivered from the pulpit by a crusty old vicar.
However, in Nanny's Britain, such a verbal ear bashing is now rather unlikely.
Nanny's chums from the local council's health and safety orifice have decreed that the pulpit in the Church of All Saints, in Wyke Regis Weymouth, presents a clear and present danger to the health of the vicar.
The church has been forced to draw up guidelines after being warned by council officials that the pulpit is "dangerous", and that preachers might be injured while climbing its seven spiral stone steps.
In case you are wondering about the safety record of the church, it was built in 1172and the pulpit was added in the 16th century; there have been no recorded injuries to any member of the clergy mounting the pulpit during this time.
One wonders quite how mankind has survived before Nanny's health and safety Gestapo were created!
Notwithstanding the unblemished safety record, Nanny insists that a modern handrail be added to the pulpit.
As an alternative, churchwarden Gary Hepburn drew up his own safety guidelines.
These state that no one under the influence of drink or drugs will be allowed to use the pulpit. The steps shall not be approached in dim lighting, by anyone with poor vision or wearing bifocals, or by anyone feeling unwell.
Those entering or leaving the pulpit are advised to make maximum use of the structure itself, and the stone column supporting it to steady themselves.
You will be pleased to know that the inspectors from the environmental health department of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council have been mollified by these guidelines, Mr Hepburn happens to be a health and safety consultant.
"The issues were raised when a visit was carried out by council officials on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive. They were looking at the building and its use in relation to the dangers that might be present in a workplace, which is not comparing like with like, in my humble opinion.
The most contentious item was the pulpit and there was no way the church authorities were going to allow a horrible plastic and metal handrail to be installed, so we had to try an alternative tack.
In my professional capacity, I knew the type of things that needed to be said to reassure the inspectors and the way in which they should be expressed.
Fortunately my Safe System Of Work pamphlet was successful and normal service has been resumed – although I must admit even my faith was sorely tested at one stage."
What a waste of time and money!
Nanny is determined to destroy our cultural heritage, and the fabric of our society.
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