Ever since the Society Model was announced, there has been something nagging in the back of my mind about acting. Something on TV maybe? No, now I have it. There was a serialised radio play on the BBC called "The Swish of the Curtain". According to the Beeb, who revived it as recently as 2007, it was an 'astonishing story' ..'Pamela Brown's 1940s tale of stage-struck children who start their own theatre company'. It even gave rise to a Theatre School in Bournemouth - their logo appears above, I hope they are glad of the publicity.
So there we have it: Our Lord spoke about "children in the market place saying 'we piped for you and you would not dance'". Neither John the Baptist nor Our Lord himself could satisfy them. Now there's another little group, a 'society' which wants us all to play their game.
Fr Hunwicke has posted a devastating account of where this Society Model has come from - a product of the dream-world of Chichester. Perhaps, though, there is also about it something of 'The Swish of the Curtain'; stage-struck children, setting up their own company. Of course we wish them well; but I fear it is going to end in tears when the theatre management tells them their little show is not going to appear. It will be patronised for a while by those who would use it to undermine Anglicanorum Coetibus; but it will not be allowed to have any independence, any jurisdiction. Just patronised. Still, children grow up, and eventually they will be looking for a more authentic and enduring company. The longest-running show on earth has an opening for them - the Ordinariate will always be there to welcome them.