Sunday, August 9, 2009


Well we seem to be the only church in Leeds still administering the elements in both kinds.

My friend Joan's husband Martin has been in hospital. (Prayers for him please as he has just had a kidney removed after an early cancer diagnosis.) He related this event to Joan who told Bishop Walter and I before the service this morning.

Martin woke up to discover a new occupant in the bed opposite him. The man was chained to a prison officer on either side. A little groggy from his own procedure it took Martin a while to conclude that this patient must, therefore, be a prison inmate. He mused idly about how the practicalities of this arrangement would be worked through.

Some time later the prisoner complained to a passing nurse that he had swine-flu.

"Don't be ridiculous." she scolded.

"No, seriously. I have all the symptoms. Armley jail is rife with it."

A hasty bedside case conference was invoked and then the curtains were pulled round. When they were opened three men chained together were revealed - wearing hospital gowns. The last Martin saw was three sets of buttocks as they were marched off to isolation.