a work of various hands

From Arun:

No, it can't be the rapture, because all the good people would be taken . . . hello? hello? Are you there?

from Arun Kutaria:

"No comment."

from Arun, off the record:

"No comment."

From Arun Kutaria, finally:

"The Apostolicorpulenticuriloriae of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, fellow Primates in the all-encompassing unity of the great and most high catholic but equably evangelical and universal Church of England, would like to insist that all 'no comments' about their grace and lordships's forthcoming and necessarily pending, although I cannot be explicit about that, visits to Her Majestys' former colonies of Africa or indeed anywhere else in the world were, are and forever shall be off the record."

from Dr Bill Beaver:

"Confidentially old boy - and you're the only one I'm telling this to - I think this will show up how wrong everyone else is. Thank you for coming..."

From Bill Beaver:

Hell, Paaauull, you guys are so negative! "End of the Church of England", "End of the world". Between you and me, we know this is just the Times subs. I know Ruth does her best. Look, let me tell once and for all, this is not the End of anything. I know: I've seen the figures, and there are six times as many people going to church at St Anne's, Wakefield, than have ever attended an association football (soccer) match since the beginning of time. And listen, get that Andrew off my back, willya?

From Steve Jenkins:

How did you hear about that? I haven't heard anything. Doesn't sound like a story to me. Still, I'll try and find out if you want. Which board would that be?

from Steve Jenkins:

"Ooh, you don't want to know about that do you? I don't really think it's a story..."

From the foreword to the Church of England Year Book:

During the year, the Church of England faced the challenge of the end of the world with its customary confidence, unity and mission . The Archbishops' Council resolved to make the issue one of its priorities over the coming months. The Presidents commissioned the Liturgical Committee to produce a Common Worship supplement for the occasion, incorporating three different exclamations: traditional ("Well, bless my soul"), modern (i.e. 1960s) ("Ye gods"), and family (i.e. youth): "Sheee-itt!"

From the Churches Together in England:

"The Moderator of the Free Churches, the Archemamdrite of the Ultra-Orthodox United Eastern Sect of Upper-Hertfordshire, the Archbishop of Westminster, the Vicar of Walthamstow, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Bishop at Lambeth, the.....


From Graeme Wilson at the Church of Scientology:

"You've got just five minutes left to come and see our exhibition. We demand a fair press, Now. And no, Tom Cruise won't be there. In fact there won't be any story at all but COME HERE NOW!"

from Rabbi Lionel Blue:

" Now as my old mum used to say, troubles never come singly, wrap up warm Lionel and mind how you go. And how right she was."

from Richard Chartres:

"Damn - foiled!"

from the newsdesk:

"Can it wait until tomorrow? Anyway what about a fact box about previous ends-of-the-world? And who is God anyway?"

from Sarah Williams, Church House press office:

"This is Good News for Christians," says Archbishop.

from Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's office:


From the Evangelical Alliance:

"Joel Edwards is available to write an op-ed."

From Chris Stone:

"The Bishop of Rochester is available for a comment. You can reach me on my mobile, my pager, my email, my home number, my office number for his comment. The Bishop himself is of course too important for you to speak to about the end of the world in person."

From the press office of the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds:

"The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds wishes to announce a diocesan mission to prepare the multi-ethnic residents of his diocese for the end of the world. The Bishop will preach about the end of the world but as he is not preparing his sermon in advance you will not be able to write about it. There is no embargo on this press release."

from Cardinal Murf-O'C:


from the news desk (if it happens on a Friday):

"Early copy....
Front Cuts Book Back