Saturday, July 09, 2011

Hunwicke on Humour

I thought you might enjoy Fr John Hunwicke's after dinner speech at the Anglicanorum Coetibus Conference in Texas, where he has shared a platform with Mgr Newton: it begins at about 8.45. I am afraid it is just audio and it has a few silent glitches but it is good stuff, a consolation for those of us who miss his blog.

He speaks about Anglican humour, that important part of Anglican Patrimony, which actually is really so English, I am told some Catholic clergy don't quite ken it.

 I suppose that might be a reason why some people still see Catholicism as a foreign import, for foreigners, promoted by foreigners. It is only when we get the Church's the humour right we might be more ..., well, at least at ease with ourselves. 
Maybe we should set up an Eccleston Square Commission on Humour.
The saintly Abbot Aelred Sillum said to a friend of mine on the eve of his Ordination, "Two pieces of advice; One: Treat Ordination as the most serious thing in the world. Two: Don't treat it as the most serious thing in the world". It is that tension which is important and needs a certain deftness of touch and mind, and heart.


Anonymous said...


Thank you for providing this. Hearing Fr. John's voice brought back a wonderful visit I had with him some years back.

Pax tecum,

Abba Yohannes Selassie

Hunwicke sympathiser said...

I fear his angle on satire and Anglican patrimony may not have gone down too well with the Protonotary Apostolic who was present - and happens to be his prospective Ordinary.

georgem said...

Thanks for posting this, Father. I really enjoy John Hunwicke's understated irony, delivered with a mischievous twinkle.
I'm already praying that SS John Fisher and Thomas More will give John Hunwicke a bit of a push and a shove towards ordination.
I think that the Catholic ministry is the poorer without him and the longer his ordination is delayed the more deprived we lay Catholics are of his wit, erudition and deep knowledge, not only of the Christian faith, but of Catholicism.
Perhaps his quirkiness is the problem. All I can say is bring it on.

Kelso said...

Nothing there when I click the link! Help! I want to hear the great Fr Hunwicke!

Fr Ray Blake said...

It takes a little time to appear.

Conchúr said...

Prospective Ordinary? He is his Ordinary and I rather doubt Msgr Newton is unappreciative of Fr Hunwicke's erudition and wit.

Physiocrat said...

The platform shared with a member of the Anglican clergy would most likely be a railway platform. An extraordinary proportion of Anglican clergy were interested in steam locomotives, including the author of the Thomas the Tank Engine stories.

Shame the Catholic clergy dismiss it as trainspotting.

Mairtin said...

Father, would I be right in thinking that this is the sort of talk you might get at a Catholic priests-only dinner, but which would be greatly frowned upon if given by a Catholic priest to lay people?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Martin, It is an after dinner speech, for those committed enough to pay to attend the conference, and now a posting on a blog for those who will take the time to listen to it, it is not a sermon.

It is supposed to be entertaining and yet provocative. I think JH succeeds very well under both headings.

William Tighe said...

Since I was present at the conference, and spoke at some length and more than once to Msgr. Newton and Fr. Hunwicke, I can confirm from experience the observation Conchur made on this thread.

Some of you may be interested in my presentation at the conference.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Dr Tighe,
I was very interested in what you had to say about Cdnl Schönborn and in the names of the Eight.

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