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I see John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, has tried to score a late winner this morning. The BBC reports he has joined a couple of other church leaders and written in the News of the World criticising the Premiership for allowing two games on Easter Day, that will kick off in a few hours time.
I have swallowed hard and waded through the usual selection of trashy articles on the paper's web site to try and find Sentamu’s article. I have discovered: 'Obama’s Brother in Sex Quiz', 'Meet our (semi-clad) models Danni and Lucy Ann', ‘Bizarre life of bonkers boob basher’, 'Button go go goes for randy Branson’, 'HOT STUFF: Gary's (Lineker’s) girl is Fabulous', ‘I’m having Blake’s love child’… but I can’t find anything about why we should maintain the Christian standards of Britain by John Sentamu. If anyone can find it online, do send me the link.
I suspect though that the Archbishop’s late volley will go wide and be ignored by quite a few people (some of whom may be at the football) who are bored by moaning bishops (see Simon's blog a couple of days ago).
I do have a suggestion though. The Archbishop’s press officer Arun Arora supports Aston Villa, one of the teams playing today. In December 2007, to great publicity, in a dramatic gesture the Archbishop of York cut up his dog collar on BBC1's Andrew Marr programme. He would not replace it until Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe was out of office.
Football isn't as important as what's going on in Zimbabwe (and indeed Ekklesia agrees with Sentamu on Zimbabwe but disagrees with him over the football/ Easter issue) but the Archbishop clearly takes the issue of staging matches on Easter Day very seriously.
Far be it from me to give advice to the Archbishop's publicist, but I think a similar stunt could be used to great effect. Why doesn't Arora go on Match of the Day and tear up his season ticket or perhaps (since we are near the end of the season) refuse to go to any more Villa matches until the Premiership pledge that they won’t stage football on important days in the church’s calendar.
I might even be able to put him in touch with Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker who I met by chance at the launch of the 'Street Child World Cup' a few weeks ago. Gary might go for it if he isn't too preoccupied with his new "'fabulous', HOT STUFF" girlfriend, that is.
Off on the wrong foot(ball) for Easter by Simon Barrow
Report on Street Child World Cup: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/9002