The fierce rift that has developed between members of the Church of England over the appointment of women bishops has been healed today, following the ordination of a widowed former washerwoman at a solemn ceremony at the Alhambra Theatre, Brighton.
The Right Reverend Twankey, 64, emerged as the ideal compromise between liberal church goers who supported the ordination of women, and traditionalists to whom the very idea of a female bishop was an anathema, a Lambeth Palace Spokesman revealed. 'Geoff was an acceptable choice for all concerned: while she is undoubtedly a woman, she possesses certain masculine characteristics, such as the occasional five o'clock shadow.'
'Twankey also became popular through her bubbly personality, infectious laugh and caring and compassionate nature,' he continued, 'not forgetting her charitable work in the Far East, such as exposing the terrible conditions of China's laundry workers and her crusade against evil Grand Viziers and the lamp shining industry.'
The campaign for Twankey's ordination, which was kicked off by a stirring speech at the Stockton-on-Tees Primary School Christmas Spectacular, has been running for almost three years and has gathered considerable celebrity endorsement from such stars as Sir Ian McKellan, Roy Hudd and Christopher Biggins. 'I'm absolutely delighted for her!' a jubilant Biggins recently told journalists, 'It wouldn't surprise me to see her in the new year's honours list as a Dame.'
However, not every one is happy with this 'Wishee Washee compromise' and many hard-line clergyman lambasting Twankey's flamboyant hairstyle, exuberant dress sense and boisterous nature. 'She's making the Anglican Church a laughing stock,' wrote one angry vicar, 'all that larking about during her investiture - what a bloody pantomime...'
Twankey has not only made history by becoming the first female bishop, but has also stunned the religious establishment by gaining recognition from His Holiness the Pope. 'Normally the thought of a woman in a dog collar would be enough to make most Catholics apoplectic with rage, but I'd welcome Twankey with open arms,' the Pontiff told worshippers in St. Peter's Square. 'In these troubled times, having someone onboard with the ability to shout 'he's behind you!' at the top of her voice would be invaluable, believe you me.'