Justin here... and my apologies for my being away from my Thought for the Day desk recently. Truth be told, I have been involved in not a little Church diplomacy, consulting with my French, Spanish, German and Italian counterparts about Brexit and whether the UK can regard itself as a Christian country after we leave Europe. I did try to point out that Christianity is just ONE form of belief amongst many here, but Monsignor The Reverend Pierre Panique was of the opinion that all the different belief systems tolerated in Europe merely led to unrest. The Italian representative agreed and suggested that I, as head of the most numerous Christian congregation in the UK should declare all inhabitants of these islands Christian. After all, the Spanish bishop said – there is only one God.
You might imagine my shock and disbelief. Even the young man with the wire in his ear sniggered loudly at this point. Up until then he had been content with trying to work out what sort of side – arms were being carried by my contemporaries’ bodyguards. (One Beretta, two Browning Hi-Powers and the inevitable Glock, apparently).
Consequently, upon my return, I was very anxious that details of my Church Brexit discussions did not leak out, considering especially the fact that my Muslim colleagues are awfully keen on the one God thing. What would Jesus have done?
In fact I need not have worried because the Palace was buzzing with ideas about what form our Christmas celebrations should take. I did suggest that it is still only late October. My lady wife actually called me a killjoy and Mr Hassan laughed heartily. I have never been clear as to what his religious beliefs are, so I asked him. He replied that it didn’t matter and that there was only one God anyway and besides, the main thing about Christmas is getting presents and drinking a lot.
I must admit that at this point I left, pleading tiredness and a headache after my international discussions. As I headed up the wooden hill to a steaming mug of Horlicks. I heard the young man with the wire in his ear and Mr Hassan discussing the practicalities of installing a Bethlehem bouncy castle in the Lady Chapel.