Anglican vicar rues decision to permit questions after sermon

Reverend Ian Beasley of Pendleton parish church has regretted the decision to curtail his regular Sunday sermon for questions. The Q&A was originally established to address the anxieties of parents, whose children were displaying worrying signs of scepticism and rationality. In one extreme and rare case, an excessively curious teen had been discovered reading a science book. His parents are now receiving marriage counselling.

In agreeing to hold the Q&A, the Reverend never envisaged the scale of such frenzied interrogation. 

“An incensed but voluptuous young lady had the gall to challenge me on the ethics of the New Testament", he said. Referencing Jesus’ declaration 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone', the woman raged “Isn’t this a bit bloody relativist and non-judgmental? I’m not even sure it allows for the prosecution of Harold Shipman.” The vicar continued, "She addressed me with utter contempt, and I thought she might try to storm the pulpit. So I tried to calm her down by asserting that the Bible should not be taken so literally. Or so seriously.” 

Another teenager asked "Why do we not know anything about Jesus as a teenager? Did he have acne? Was he bullied?" Before the Reverend could respond, the boy mumbled "I'm bullied" and proceeded to cry hysterically. His mother was angry and asked pointedly "What is the point of you vicar?"

An elderly member of the congregation, however, was delighted with the new format. Octogenarian Marjorie Atkins remarked “I’ve been coming to this church since 1965. I shouldn’t really say this, but I now prefer it to bingo. Last week a grammar school boy was banging on about something called confirmation bias. The lad's parents looked confused, but I found it rather thrilling. Is this what they do in mosques?”

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