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Private Eye Issue 1002 Friday 19 May 2000

Church News Page 11

SATIRE often struggles to keep pace with reality, as the congregants of Westminster Abbey are the latest to discover.

Last year it was revealed that Dr Wesley Carr, the dean of Westminster, had enjoyed a £45,000 unsecured loan from the abbey funds. Shortly afterwards a spoof of the Westminster Abbey Bulletin, the PR department's self-congratulatory newsletter, did the rounds: it featured a letter from one "M. Muddleton" praising the dean's business acumen and general saintliness. In a PS, Mr Muddleton asked if he too might "borrow a few grand from the AbbWest Bank".

Lo and behold, as they say in ecclesiastical circles: the latest accounts show that the Rev Canon Michael Middleton, the man in charge of the abbey's finances, was last year the fortunate recipient of a £50,000 loan!

The accounts also record that the total put in the collecting plate at services was just £53,000 - barely more than half the equivalent figure for the previous year.


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