Letter: Sir Humphrey and Saint Hugh

Letter to the Editor

Sir Humphrey and Saint Hugh

Dear Sir,

Thank you for bringing to light the secret St Hugh’s Conversations between the Bishop of Oxford and evangelical leaders (EC, 2nd December 2022). The subsequent mutual co-operation between the Bishop, in producing his booklet advocating a change to the doctrine of marriage, and the Rev. Vaughan Roberts, in drafting his response to him, seems jolly chummy. It also seems rather familiar.

I turn to the diaries of hapless Premier, Jim Hacker of Yes, Prime Minister fame. He had to navigate a tricky diplomatic incident with the fictional Gulf state of Qumran, as he records:

 “Tomorrow, apparently, we are to deliver a strongly worded note of protest to the Qumranis.

“ ‘Why can’t we do it now?’ I asked.

“ ‘Because we haven’t got their agreement yet,’ he [Sir Humphrey] replied. ‘We’re talking to the Ambassador privately now. When they have approved the wording we shall hand it in to them. Then,’ he remarked smugly, ‘we’ll have done all we can.’ “

How reassuring to us all that the spirit of Sir Humphrey lives once more in the St Hugh’s Conversations. What could possibly go wrong?


Michael Andrews