Newbridge parishioner, Ethyl Porter, perished under a deluge of holy trinkets she had been keeping in her wardrobe.
A good friend of the deceased, Ivy Mullally, said that Ethyl had mentioned them previously saying, ’People keep giving me these medals and relics and prayer cards and I don’t know what to do with them. They’ll be the death of me they will. I can’t throw them away but I can’t wear them all. I’d look like ’im of off the A-Team, what’s his name? B.A. Barabbas.’
The Institute of Ecclesial Ecology said that ’People like Ethyl act as natural sinks for such items. They are passed on by others until they reach people who don’t know what to do with them and so just keep them. It’s like pesticides in the food chain or the last person to get the box of Quality Street at Christmas which still has left-over from every box that went before it. Poor old Ethyl has just been flattened by the church equivalent of generations of coffee creams.’
But Ethyl isn’t alone. In Chipping Norton last year three people narrowly escaped from a fire accidentally started in decades worth of dry Palm-Sunday palms. A vast and secret underground bunker of weighty Priestly garments is rumoured to exist in North Devon.
The Church’s Health and Safety Commission has issued advice that parishes should have an amnesty of icons, medals, prayer cards and other such items. It has set up a large network of centres where the items can be collected, recycled and used to make more holy trinkets.