I originally applied for permission to officiate in my diocese at the beginning of December last year. It took the bishop's office nearly two months to acknowledge my request and that was only after I had repeatedly harangued the bishop like the widow in the parable did the lazy arse judge. Before the bishop will even begin to consider giving me permission to officiate I have to be checked out with the Criminal Record Bureau to make sure I don't have a history of abusing children or vulnerable adults. This is standard procedure nowadays, thank God. So towards the end of January I drove to the diocesan office and filled in the necessary form, as they have to witness its completion and then send it to the relevant government agency. The report is then sent back to the person getting checked up on rather than to the prospective employer etc. It normally takes a couple of weeks as they are aware that jobs depend on the result of the enquiries. After, over a month I was beginning to get worried about the fact that I had heard nothing from the Criminal Records Bureau (I've been checked many times in the past and they have never taken this long). But before I rang the CRB office to complain about their tardiness I thought it best to check with my diocesan office to find out when they sent the form in.
I was told that the form had been sent to the CRB on 23rd. February, only a week ago. They had sat on the form for nearly four weeks before getting round to posting it.
So far, my dealings with the staff at the diocesan office have shown them up to be a bunch of lazy incompetents completely unconcerned about the people they are supposed to be working for. My desire to get back to being a priest appears to mean nothing to them although it is the most important thing in my life at this moment in time.
I think I am going to write to David Cameron and suggest that the government privatises the Church of England because, in its present, nationalised, unaccountable state, it has become a living reality of the "not being able to organise a piss up in a brewery" saying.