God Bless This Home

Are you worried about crime in your neighbourhood? Have you got a problem with rising damp in the house? Maybe your sex life is a little lack luster? Never fear – the Church of England is now ready to help.

Yes, you heard correctly, the dusty old Church of England – a religious institution famous for sending its dwindling congregations to sleep - is at last trying to get to grips with real people in the real world, via real estate.

Pop into your local real estate office in our northern city of Manchester right now and you'll find they've gone into partnership with the dog-collar brigade. So for a few dollars more, the house of your dreams can be given a special religious service to guarantee you move into a heavenly home.

These clerics don't just exorcise ghosts - they give you the works in every room. It's a sort of Christian Feng Shui designed to counter the explosion of interest in alternative New Age spiritualism.

So the visiting vicars are big into laying-on of hands. They lay them on the beds – praying for a healthy sex life; lay them on the lavatory – thanking the Lord for sanitation. They'll open your wardrobe and lay them on your shirts.

And in the kitchen you'll get them touching up the toaster and fingering the fridge: "Oh Lord, to all who shall work in this room that in serving others they may serve and share in your perfect service; and that in the noise and clutter of this kitchen they may possess you in tranquillity."

Then it's off to the garage and the family automobile: "Almighty and Everlasting God be to this household a guide in all their journeys and a shield from every danger." Any sign of structural problems and they're quickly on their knees. Outside they'll bless the whole house. They've got prayers to protect you from dry rot, wet rot, droughts, floods, pestilence, vandals, vagrants and probably encyclopedia salesmen too.

This couldn't happen in America, of course. Your Constitution guarantees the separation of Church and Estate.

NOTE: Monday was a public holiday in England, and therefore our team in London had to tape Ed Boyle's Comment well in advance. By a cruel twist of fate, the cameraman that day was Paul Douglas - you will probably have heard by now that yesterday he was killed by an explosion in Iraq. Paul was not our regular cameraman for London Comment, but he would always step in when needed. He was a gentle man, lovely to work with and kind to his colleagues, always laughing. As well as all the other tributes to his bravery and professionalism you'll have heard on this network and elsewhere, we shall miss Paul because he was our friend.
by Ed Boyle