Friday, February 03, 2012

The Book of Wreckovation


1 And all the multitude of the People of God (TM) being gathered together, he said to them: These are the things which the LORD hath commanded to be done.

2 Six days you shall do work: the seventh day shall be holy unto you, the sabbath, and the rest of the Lord: but only go to Mass if thou canst be arsed

3 You shall kindle no fire in any of your habitations on the sabbath day, except maybe the Bar-Be-Cue.

4 And the bishop said to all the assembly of the People of God(TM): This is the word the LORD hath commanded, saying:

5 Set aside with you firstfuits to the LORD. Let every one that is willing and hath a ready heart, offer them to the Lord: gold, and silver, and brass, but the diocese doth take Mastercard, Visa and transactions via the web that is inter.

6 Polyester, white , purple and green. Oh and that creamy shade,too

7 Felt of varied colours for the making of banners to adorn the walls

8 And fluorescent lights and light that are of the EL-EE-DEE and bulbs that make light but are small in the footprint of carbon, for the footprint of carbon that is large is an abomination unto the bishops of the Conference.

9 Concrete, both reinforced and non-reinforced

10 Whosoever of you is wise, let him come, and make that which the LORD hath commanded:

11 To wit, the cathedral and the and the roof thereof, one that is likely to be flat and therefore to be a bit leaky and causative of the cancer of the concrete and the unsightly stains on the wall

12 The tabernacle, which is small and tucked away in a little side chapel

13 The table with the bars and the vessels, and the wafers of proposition, which shall be very big, yea even as a Fris-Bee and shall be wholemeal and Fair-trade:

14 The candlestick to bear up the lights, the vessels thereof and the lamps, and the electricty for the nourishing of fires, for the concrete, it is fair cold on a Winter’s day, because it is all open-plan:

15 The thurible of incense, and the incense of spices which shall moulder in the cupboard of the sacristy, for we do not use these things these days:

16 The altar of the People of God(TM) which shall be concrete, ten cubits by ten cubits so that all the priests in their raiments of polyester shall be gathered around it

17 The vestments that are to be used in the ministry of the sanctuary, of polyester and other manmade fabrics the vesture of the high priest, and of the other priests, to do the office of priesthood to me of white, off-white and cream, of purple and green and sometimes red, but definitely not Rose.

18 And all the multitude of the People of God(TM) going out from the presence of the bishop (for they are an Easter People and Alleluia is their song, yea, even in Lent)

19 Offered firstfruits to the LORD with a most ready and devout mind, to make the work of the postconciliar churches. Whatsoever was necessary to the service, and to the holy vestments, because surely the bishop knew what he was doing,

20 Both men and women gave unto the treasury of the diocese and unto the parish funds

21 All both men and women with devout mind offered gifts, that the works might be done which the LORD had commanded by the hand of the bishop. All the People of God(TM) dedicated voluntary offerings to the Lord with gold and silver and brass and notes of paper and transactions with the plastic cards.

22 And the bishop said to the People of God(TM) : Behold the LORD hath called by name Richard of the tribe of Vosko of the U-Ess-Of-A.

23 And hath filled him with the spirit of modern architecture, and understanding and knowledge and all learning of how to build in concrete and glass and steel and plastic.

24 To devise and to work in aluminium and more glass. And maybe some lead on the roof for it is a bit leaky being of the flatness thereof.

25 And in engraving stones with abstract patterns, and in the pouring of concrete. Whatsoever can be devised artificially,

26 And lo, when it was built the priests came unto the assembly and began there to sing a new song, which was very High-Pitched, and musicians there with their drumkits and the cymbals and guitars both acoustic and of the electric kind and their flutes, which are played by the nice girl with Grade 8 of the flute

27 And they played the songs of Haugen and Haas, and the People of God (TM) stopped their ears, though some of them joined in,

28 And the people looked at the church which their gold and silver and bronze and transactions with paper and the plastic had paid for and they said, “What is this that ye have done?”

29 “The priests are clothed in polyester which will not last five years with their vestures with the zip uo the front which will fray and break”

30 “And what is this place that is so unlovely and colored of the gray concrete and which has only the felt banners upon it”

31 “And yea, we do not see the tabernacle of the LORD for thou hast hidden it away in a cubby hole round the corner”

32 And the bishop said, “It is so. For I have a friend who is an architect and he says it is very nice and he hath much skill in the making of modern buildings”

33 And the People of God(TM) left the assembly with wailing and gnashing teeth, and they shook their heads saying “What hath happened to the beautiful temples of the LORD, with the marble and the gold and the vessels for the offering of silver and gold and the vestments of silk and velvet and fine white linen, with the birettas of silk and the mozzettas furnished about with edgings of fur, and the lampstands of the altar and the candles of beeswax”

34 And the prelates said unto themelves “We have sold them at auction. And we are off.”


Blogger Ttony said...

"Polyester is the fabric of the vesture of the priest; and the fabric of the vesture of the priest is polyester."

7:41 PM  
Blogger Supertradmum said...

Many years ago someone made a coffee table book of the worst wreckovations in pictures, including the Liverpool Cathedral and others.

I wish I had it but I did not want to pay money for ugliness. This is so funny and sad.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Richard Collins said...

Excellent, truly excellent. Thank you.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...


They'll be finding those albs in landfill sites for millenia to come.


Liverpool was, I think, among the worst offenders. As you say, sad and funny. The post is heartbreaking when you think about it. Didn't the archdiocese sell off a beautiful church that became a pub?


Thank you.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Marshall said...

Liverpool? Clifton is ten times worse.

Think multi-storey car park x inner city comprehensive school assembly hall and you'll get the picture. And yes,the Blessed Sacrament is indeed shunted off into some side chapel,as one would expect.

And the so-called "Stations of the Cross" are one of the ugliest things I've ever seen inside a church.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

I had Clifton Cathedral in mind when I wrote this.

The 'stations of the cross' have a startled looking face that looks like Charles I. I never understood what it represented.

It's a ghastly place. I secretly hoped they would swap it for Christ Church with the evangelicals. It would be a good trade.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Northern Lawyer said...

Hi Paulinus,
I've been looking at your blog on and off for a while. Like you I am from Yorkshire and like you I did my degree at Bristol University although a bit before you! I think you're not quite fair about Clifton Cathedral. To start with it wasn't (wr)e(ck)novated it was built like that! It is not great from the outside. It was referred to as the Clifton Skyrocket when I was a student. And it hasn't weathered well at all but building in that sort of concrete in the seventies was not restricted to churches. Howver inside (stations excepted) I always thought and still think there is a beautiful sense of space and light and you certainly couldn't crticies the music if you picked your Mass right nor the liturgy, certainly when I was there.
Very amusing post though spekaing as someone who has written a fair few parodies/satires myself, not all printable
Hope you're enjoying Canada.We've spent many a happy time there with our kids.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Marshall said...


I didn't know, but I'm not surprised! As for the "startled looking face that looks like Charles I" I always think it looks like a 1st century lady who's just had her bottom pinched. I never understood what it represented either.

And I can't agree with Northern Lawyer; the inside is just as awful as the outside. Stark, brutal concrete everywhere; not a crucifix behind the "sanctuary", not a tapestry, not even a statue. The Blessed Sacrament shunted off into some side chapel out of sight. There is no sense whatever of the sacred.

It struck me then that after centuries during which pious men and women had always laboured to produce buildings and objects of beauty for the glory of God, we were now in an age in which people actually labour to produce ugliness - and to what end?

10:00 PM  

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