The Vicar of Doncaster reportedly used a four-letter word and complained about having to go to church on Sunday. A complaint about the comments was sent to senior clergy at the Diocesan Bishop of Sheffield's office. The Bishop of Doncaster intended to discuss it with Canon Shackerley, the Bishop of Sheffield's office said.

The comments began on a Saturday evening and included comments such as "I think I will put my feet up" and "I hear the fizz of tonic in my gin beckoning." The vicar reportedly went on to post: "Alas, I have religion tomorrow. At least I'm not preaching this week. Preaching next week at St Mary Abbotts Kensington though. Best make that a good one eh?"

The Facebook extracts, accompanied by an anonymous letter, were sent to the Bishop of Sheffield Dr Steven Croft and the Bishop of Doncaster the Right Reverend Peter Burrows. The canon's posts used language that was "abhorrent for a man in his position and pretty distasteful for anyone", the complainant is said to have written.

I recognise that Screwtape language, it's Trollish. This particular troll will be so pleased that the Bishop of Sheffield can be played and responds to anonymous emails.

If I was a bishop and received an anonymous email about a priest's "bad language," I would email straight back with a succinct "Piss Off!" Unfortunately I am not even a priest anymore, let alone a bishop, so the church in England carries on in its traditional, dreary, predictable way to the oblivion of utter insignificance.

Hat Tip to Thomas on Facebook for alerting me to this story.



  1. I’m pretty sure I used a four-letter word and a snarky comment about showing up on Sunday, while talking to my bishop the other day. He seemed to be in agreement.

    You’re right. If a bishop receives an email about a priest’s behavior and it wasn’t something egregious, the bishop should just ignore it.

  2. Oh, good grief. That’s just silly. Did that idiot consider that maybe the priest was just being snarky?

    Some year ago (the now retired) Bishop Moody of Oklahoma got criticized for using the word “shit” in a sermon. He promptly got back in the pulpit the next week and preached a sermon on THAT! (And in it, of course, he used the word “shit” quite a number of times….)

    I sort of loved him for that…

  3. I think the retired Bishop of Oklahoma was right on the money. And any bishop of anywhere who takes an anonymous accusation seriously ought to be strangled with his own pectoral cross.

  4. This deserves a double-dactyl:

    Canon Paul Shackerley
    Doesn’t like Sundays
    Thus wrote in a post.

    The Bishop found out from an
    Unnamed parishioner, so
    Shackerley’s toast.

  5. I do my best. Double dactyls are almost as fun as limericks. Was at a depressing church meeting last night so this cheered me up.

  6. Bravo, Chris. Double dactyls are delicious.

    I got hauled before the Standing Committee for using “fuck” in a very serious prayer on my personal blog. Seems some trollish fellow clergy were keeping an eye on me. Fuckers. I now have nothing to do with church above the level of my local congregation and refuse to be around clergy gatherings of any sort.

  7. Obviously the bishop doesn’t know what a troll is or that a troll’s only purpose in life is to get attention and cause disruption. The bishop needs to get his own website or facebook page and just wait until someone starts on him!!

  8. “Double dactyls are delicious.”

    Almost as much as a G&T. Almost. ;-p


    “And you, a priest!” should ONLY be used as an in-crowd joke. If used seriously, the user is an ASSHAT. I Have Spoken (and me, in the wisdom of DioWMich, NOT a priest!)

  9. Oh, Paul! That’s simply beyond dreadful. The STANDING COMMITTEE???? Some people must have too much time on their hands.

    Shame on the priest(s) who did that. I mean it: SHAME.