Friday, 29 January 2010

Teacups, "ho ho" theology and Sir Humphrey

The following gems can be found in the "Lives remembered" piece in today's edition of The Times. This little section allows people to write in with additional anecdotes about those whose obituaries have recently appeared in the paper.

These witicisms are related by Rt Rev Geoffrey Rowell, the Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, about his fellow Bishop Colin James. Bishop James appears to have had a great skill in his use of English.

On one occasion, during a meeting, Geoffrey Rowell observed of the matter under laborious discussion that it was all a storm in a teacup. "You are quite right", was Bishop James reply, "But if you are in the teacup it is still a storm". Bishop Rowell gained his advocacy of a theology of "Ho ho" from an occasion when Bishop James ended an inconclusive discussion with the words "Oh well, ho ho" - this theology recognising that even a Bishop can't solve every problem! "Well played, Sir Humphrey" is reported as stopping a long winded bureaucrat in his tracks, and leading to an end to any further mention of the scheme concerned.

[What prompted me to read these observations was that they were written by Bishop Rowell. During my time as an undergraduate in Oxford, he was the chaplain at Keble, so I had some limited contact with him then. Nothing wrong with the occasional name drop, is there ..]

1 comment:

Francis said...

Quite right about name-dropping.
Gordon Brown siad the same thing to me only the other day.