I walked into church one morning to notice two older women laughing with each other with just a hint of "aren't we being risqué?" I walked on down, sensing a pastoral moment, and asked what the joke was. They both blushed deeply. Jo and her friend had come to this, the cathedral church of the parish, from a smaller church during a combining of congregations. For those not familiar with such an event, read for combining: "where the small congregations have been taken over and their memory is being extinguished as fast as the cathedral congregation can get away with it." Jo took a deep breath and then said; "We were just discussing how those things on the walls look like men's penises."
I'd never really noticed. But she was right. Down both side walls were a series of huge buttresses off the rafters which looked startlingly like limp penises. I commented on this to my wife who said, "Of course, it's the first thing I noticed about the building!"
There were two churches in this street. As I drove home with a carload of kids from the youth group one night, they were talking about whose parents got married where. One couple was married in this street. The daughter said, "No, not the church down the bottom... the other one; the one with the balls on the walls." They all burst out laughing. I joined in. The congregation's high opinion of itself- friends were once told they should attend elsewhere, because this was the managers' church, was a delusion. They were a laughing stock.
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