Who wudda thought the guys at the Jewish Chronicle have a sense of humour?

Marcus DyschStephen PollardMichael "something of the night" Howard"Rev." Nick/Bernard Howard

Well, who would have thought that Marcus “gets it wrong again” Dysch had a sense of humour and such finely tuned satirical skills.  He must be laughing his head off.

As it turns out, the article about the Diocese of Guildford in last week’s Jewish Chronicle, was a spoof.  Marcus, that was very naughty, but I have to admit also very clever.  It certainly fooled me and just about everyone else, I should think.

Here is the real article, which I understand the JC are going to publish next week.

Anglican Vicar congratulates Church After Stephen Sizer Affair

A rather strange, lonely and obsessive young man whose candidacy for ordination by the Church of England was emphatically rejected, seems to have had  a “road to Damascus” moment and seen the error of his previous ways.  He seems to have gotten over his loathing of the Church that treated him so cruelly, and has emailed the Diocese of Guildford, congratulating them on their handling of the Stephen Sizer affair.

Contrary to what was said in my spoof piece a couple of weeks ago, which I am sure you all enjoyed, “Rev” Nick/Bernard Howard is not a Church of England Vicar or any kind of Vicar at all.  Rather, after a few years giving talks on behalf of the Evangelical Alliance to anyone that would give him a cup of tea and a biscuit, he seems to have got himself a job in New York as something akin to a Curate with an obscure gathering of Anglican disafects, who saw fit to ordain him.  In New York, he calls himself Bernard, presumably to minimise the chances of the Church tying him in with his previous idiocies.

But, the Jewish Chronicle never lets the facts get in the way of a good spoof.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t employ me.  Or Martin Bright, for that matter.

The JC  pressed “Rev” Howard hard on the question of discrepancies in Diocese statements and evidence Stephen Sizer gave during the conciliation process.  He clearly was very irritated by this and explained….

There isn’t any discrepancy please try to be less silly.  There is no discrepancy.  Anyway, if there had been, how could I possibly know?  The discussions were confidential and the only way I could know is if Jonathan Arkush had told me about it during our regular chats.  As is well known, Jonathan is a man of the highest repute and unimpeachable integrity and would never breach confidentiality in that way.  Please don’t quote those old chestnuts about his Mick Davis wobbler, and how he conned the Bishop with his Gavin Lightman wheeze.  As Jonathan never tires of explaining, on both of those occasions, he had been unwell.”

We enquired whether his seeming conversion was in consequence of his boss having ordered him to quit the vendetta?  Nick put on the most pained expression, suggesting he was mortally offended.

While it is true that the old oafs did order me to to quit, I had long been regretting my behaviour, not just in respect of this matter, but also at University and theological college.  It was the completion of this process, that resulted in my congratulatory letter to the Diocese.”

He didn’t take any more kindly to the suggestion that the reason he had quit it was that he couldn’t get it ok’d by his Daddy, Michael “something of the night” Howard, and even if it was, he couldn’t get it ok’d by the other CCJ  trustees, so there would be no CCJ back-up.

“That is simply not true, you are just fishing.  My Daddy does anything I ask of him (a small price to pay for being his son) and the CCJ trustees are wimps and scared shitless of him.  They will do anything he tells them to.  He just has to hint that he might resign!”

I could see that Nick was getting restless and was likely to up and leave any minute so I offered him tea and a biscuit, knowing his penchant for them and not wanting him to feel he had to beg this time, and asked him to summarise the basis of his admiration for the way the Diocese handled the case.  Nick obviously felt this was firmer ground, as he visibly relaxed.  He then gave an impassioned and, I have to say, highly persuasive speech.

“Well, first of all, there was no disciplinary process and this was, given the ludicrous nature of the charge in the first place, quite right.  That the Bishop had no intention of it turning into a disciplinary process is clear, from his proposing conciliation, with the intention that the parties should agree on how similar problems might be handled, should they arise in the future.  With this in mind, I understand that Stephen’s phone number was provided to Mr. Arkush along with a 10 pound pay as you go top up voucher. 

And you are a liar Mr Dysch, Stephen (I hope he doesn’t mind me getting this familiar and I am sure that it’s only a matter of a very short time before we kiss and make up) never acknowledged that some of his actions and words had offended the Jewish Community. You just made that up and have repeated the lie on several occasions and in several places.

Stephen did not “link to web sites promoting holocaust denial and Zionist conspiracy theories”, he linked to reputable articles.  In fact, it was the Board of Deputies who published material from web sites promoting holocaust denial and conspiracy theories.  Stephen did not.  

The conciliation agreement includes the sentence “the Board of Deputies agrees that its complaint is resolved on the terms of this report”.  It is not Stephen’s fault nor my fault  that the Jewish Chronicle has difficulty coming to terms with this.  

In the light of the impeccable manner in which the Diocese has handled this issue, the public can have complete confidence in the Diocese’s response, should a case of child abuse rear its ugly head within its remit.”

I pointed out that Nick seemed to have a thing about child abuse, and wondered whether all that pain in his eyes was an explanation, at least in part, for his obsessive and erratic past?

At this, Nick rose slowly to his feet, made an extremely rude gesture, and left.

We asked a Diocese official for a comment, but he merely returned Nick’s gesture.

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