The Church of England last night denied government claims that it was opposed to gay marriage ceremonies, saying that it was more than happy to welcome homosexuals into the house of God, on the proviso that it could burn them as witches immediately afterwards.
“With the decline in church membership we can’t afford to turn down new business,” sighed the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
“We promise to put on a lovely ceremony, one fit for a straight couple. All we ask is that when the newly-weds leave the church they allow themselves to be tied to pyres and sent to eternal damnation in hell.”
“We believe that many people will see this as a positive alternative to the unremitting bleakness of marriage that awaits them.”
Lesbian couple Sarah Brackley and Lindsey Plumpton were delighted by the church’s plans, with Sarah growling: “We loved the idea of a fancy wedding, but we were unsure about the whole spending the rest of our lives together part.”
“Now we get the best of both worlds.”
“Yeah, it kills two birds with one flame,” enthused Lindsey, “And think how much a huge bonfire will cut down on catering costs.”
The Archbishop continued that once the gay couple had been consumed by the Devil’s fiery breath they would be eligible for an immediate funeral service, at half the going rate.
“This is the perfect solution for anyone who has ever worried about how many people will show up when they die,” beamed the Archbishop.
“Now you know that the same people who waved burning torches with joy, who doused you with kerosene instead of confetti and who cooked hotdogs over your boiling bones will be there to mourn your tragic passing.”
“What a great idea,” cheered socialite James Spencer, “It saves me having to rent the same suit twice.”