The Archbishop of Westminster has called for younger bell-ringers following claims that Britain's church bells could soon fall silent if their reduction continues unabated.
Vincent Nichols, Head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, has issued the 'fresh meat' plea following a three month study, showing a sharp campanology decline in churches nationwide. 'All of my priests say that we need more youngsters in our churches, and they tell me the younger the better,' said the Archbishop. 'Apparently the younger children are eager to please, more malleable, untainted -- almost virginal if you will.'
Leading campanologist Trevor Sayce has had little success with the very young children that the Archbishop seems to favour, citing the 'pretty insurmountable problems' of their generally poor musical co-ordination, spindly muscles and lack of bodyweight. 'I had half a class of eight-year-olds dangling off the rope for the tenor bell and they could barely start it off before ending up in a heap on the floor,' he said. 'I told them to piss off and come back when they were less crap.'
He has since tried encouraging older children and young adults to learn the dying art, but has had difficultly finding interested teenagers during his evening strolls through his local park whilst pretending to be walking a dog. 'I did find one bunch of lads who seemed thoroughly excited, what with all their irrepressible giggling at the very mention of bell ends and dongers,' said Trevor. 'Unfortunately they struggled to complete even one round without finding their low-slung jeans hitting their ankles.'
'I really wasn't bothered at their state of undress, but they seemed quite embarrassed at the predicament,' he said. 'Personally I found that an odd reaction, given that they had their pants provocatively on show from the moment they arrived, but it was nice to discover that even brusque teenagers can easily be brought to blush. Things turned nasty when our vicar gave them the helpful suggestion of wearing a cassock, or even a nice pleated skirt. We were both quite shocked when we ended up with heavy bruising and some internal injuries.'
Trevor says that he found the whole experience traumatic and is now refusing to teach anyone under the age of thirty. 'I've well and truly learned my lesson,' he said. 'That's the last time I try getting as far as a touch with teenage boys!'