Written for April Fool’s Day 2012 (a Sunday)
Emergency Synod calls for Ban of Microphones in Church
The Church of England has issued an emergency ban of microphones in all its churches after concerns were raised regarding the health and safety of Clergy.
Concerns were raised when a Vicar in Norfolk stood up to preach one particularly stormy Sunday. Revd Barry O’Gussly was due to preach on 2 Samuel 6:1-7 where Uzzah is struck down by God. He had just made his way into the pulpit when a bolt of lightning struck the church. Instead of being grounded safely through the lightning conductor, the bolt jumped to the electronic sound system causing the Revd’s radio mike to explode and sending a nasty shock through him.
Fortunately, the shock did not kill him though he was unconscious for several minutes. In fact, Revd O’Gussly sustained more injury from falling out of the pulpit than from the shock itself. Naturally, the congregation of St Bernard’s were highly alarmed by the events and rushed to their Vicar’s aid. One lady, a Mrs Sybil Wittering described the events as “A rather bracing ordeal that one would not wish to witness every Sunday.”
A General Synod meeting was convened in haste and it was decided almost unanimously that no microphones should be used in churches until the risks can be fully assessed and eliminated.
Revd Dr Frank Steiner, the lone voice opposed to the ban had this to say on the matter:
“This is a typical Church of England knee-jerk reaction that has spun the situation well out of proportion. While our prayers are of course with Revd O’Gussly and his parish, we can reasonably assume this was a one off event. I do not believe that The Almighty is in a habit of smiting down His servants and indeed it shows a distinct lack of faith to suggest that it will happen again. Furthermore, we are forgetting the simple fact that Revd O’Gussly’s survival of the fall was nothing short of a miracle as his scarf and robes became tightly wrapped around his neck. I think the issue that should have been addressed here is the practicality of robes not the safety of microphones! Fortunately for Revd O’Gussly, the Easter Garden display was there to break his fall.”
The ban on all microphones will be enforced on Easter Sunday and Clergy are instead encouraged to seek vocal coaching to learn techniques for projecting their voices. Unfortunately, there is little provision for those with hearing aids but Bishops, on a local level, hope that initiatives within individual parishes will find a solution to this end.