by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

The Editor is assured that a document including the following passage was genuinely found amongst the effects of a deceased member from the days when we were the Modern Churchpeople’s Union (and perhaps a little different from now in some of our theological and liturgical approaches - or not? And perhaps General Synod has changed even less?)

How many [Modern Church] members does it take to change a lightbulb?

This statement was issued:

We choose not to make a statement either in favour of or against the need for a lightbulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that a lightbulb works for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your lightbulb (or light source, or non-dark source), and present it next month at our annual lightbulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of lightbulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted - all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

How many General Synod members does it take to change a lightbulb?

109: Seven on the Light Bulb Task Force sub-committee, who report to the 12 on the Light Bulb Task Force, appointed by the 15 on Standing Committee. Their recommendation is reviewed by the Finance Committee Executive of 5, who place it on the agenda of the 18-member Finance Committee. If they approve, they bring a motion to the 27-member Policy Committee, who appoint another 12-member review committee. If they recommend that the policy should proceed, a recommendation is brought to Synod, who appoint an 8-member review committee. If their report supports the change, and Synod votes in favour, responsibility is passed to the Secretary-General, who appoints a 7-member committee of Board secretaries to find the best price in new bulbs. Their recommendation must then be reviewed by the 23-strong Ethics Committee to make certain that the hardware store concerned has no connection with the arms trade. They report back to the Secretary General who then asks the relevant Board secretary to instruct the caretaker to make the change. By then the caretaker discovers that one more bulb has burned out - and the process begins again.