Dear Frank,

Just a few lines to wish you a happy New Year.

To be honest 2017 has proved a bit of a disaster for me. I thought that ‘safeguarding’ was intended to safeguard me, but apparently not. Now I am getting it in the neck from George Carey and the family of George Bell. And all I did was what the insurance chappies wanted. It’s so unfair. Somebody will be accusing me of child abuse next! And then, I suppose, I shall have to apply to become a Catholic, like the Ball brothers. I can’t begin to imagine what Sandy would say about that.

Of course, the gay thing will be returning to the General Synod before long. These people never let up.

I imagine we will have to produce one of those Bishops’ Reports about it, the way they did over the women thing. Looking around the House of Bishops, I am not so sure that would be wise. Hardly any of them is better qualified theologically than I am. I am afraid that nobody would take us seriously. You know you have reached the bottom of the barrel when the front runners for London are Stephen Cottrell and Sarah Mullally.

I could go on; but I suppose you have your own worries about the year ahead. Still, chin up! Nobody said it would be easy.

Have a happy New Year if you can,

Your friend,


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