taking-the-episcopalian.co.uk domain name for sale

Ruins of Whitby Abbey
Ruins of Whitby Abbey by James Nader. (Image courtesy of iStockphoto – #109404.)

Would anybody like to acquire the domain name taking-the-episcopalian.co.uk? It expires on Saturday 07 April 2012. Contact me if you would like me to transfer the domain name to you.


In 1997 I began a two years course of studies at TISEC, the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church, as well as an MTh in Ministry course at New College, the University of Edinburgh.

It wasn’t long before I started editing an “underground”, satirical newsletter that did the rounds among fellow students and a few tutors, mostly at residential weekends. We called it Taking the Episcopalian.

As I wrote later, “my original idea for the newsletter was to provide a forum for a light-hearted look at the life and work of TISEC. My personal interest is in satire – no, not the woodland god with goat’s ears, legs and a tail, that’s a satyr – but, satire: ‘ridicule, irony and sarcasm’.”

Its content was contributed to mostly by the full-time TISEC students, and also a few tutors. Taking the Episcopalian was fun, and it often relieved some tensions and made light of some of the politics, which in turn helped us to cope in a more light-hearted way.

Residential weekends became our deadlines and there was always a flurry of activity in the couple of weeks before the weekend to get articles finished and the newletter typeset (in Lotus AmiPro) and a few copies printed. I seem to remember we would print only two copies to reduce the chances of it being discovered by… well, tutors who hadn’t contributed to the newsletter.


After ordination, and as the world wide web became more popular, Taking the Episcopalian quietly moved online. As we weren’t aiming for regular publications, new articles were added more infrequently. We did, however, acquire a couple of new contributors from the Church of England, and began what turned out to be a very popular new series with images lifted from the pages of vestments catalogues.

This, I think, was my favourite:

Priest in vestments
I’m a Christmas tree!

I even got an email from someone who works at F A Dumont Church Supplies who said, “I absolutely love your website, especially the model section!”


The feedback was mostly positive.

“Brilliant! More please!”

“Ah, such fond memories come flooding back when I read this post. It took me right back to those dreadful days but oh, what fun we had. Thank you for this trip down memory lane. And I stand by everything I contributed!”

Your work is brilliant and most welcome!!

I even had an email from a bishop from Norway who wrote:

Dear Editor !

I must confess that I have fallen in what St Benedict condemns as a serious sin – and your web site is the reason for it, since it gives ‘anything that provokes laughter” … which he of course “condemns to
eternal exclusion.”

Thanks a lot for a lot of really good laughters ! I specially enjoy the chasuble with a thermostat!

During most encounters with my diocesan bishop he asked me when there was going to be more content; particularly more vestments.

Take down

But not all the feedback was positive, and in the end I was strongly and politely ‘invited’ to remove the site completely; acknowledging that while I wasn’t the only person involved I was certainly the most public face of Taking the Episcopalian.

Reuben and Joshua had not long been born and I simply didn’t have the energy to do anything else. The site had moved to WordPress.com by then so it was easy to mark the site as private and effectively hide all the content.

Moving on

That was three years ago, and I’ve not had the energy to do anything more about it.

Occasionally I get asked about the site, mostly asking when it will be back. I usually say that I was asked to take it down, and that I simply don’t have the time or energy to do anything about it these days. It’s just not been a priority.

I do wish that it had grown a bit more, but there you have it.


If you would like to acquire the domain name then please get in touch. It’s currently registered with 123-reg.co.uk (and I’ve just noticed is still registered to my old address in Inverness) and is due to expire on 07 April 2012.

Contact me if you would like me to transfer the domain name to you. You’d be welcome to (most of) the backlog of content too, if you wanted it.

Keep calm and carry on

Keep calm and carry on

The BBC on their Magazine website in February asked if this was “the greatest motivational poster ever”.

Apparently, 2,500,000 copies were printed but weren’t distributed; at least not widely.

The Keep Calm and Carry On “motivational poster” was created in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II as a last case scenario to be used in the event of the Nazis succeeding in invading the UK.

It’s the stuff of good old, stiff-upper-lip British resolve. Keeping the chin up in the face of adversity.

Updated for web developers

Which got me thinking. This would be a perfect companion to .net magazine‘s Bring Down IE 6 campaign.

Bring down IE6

The premise is simple: Internet Explorer 6 is antiquated, doesn’t support key web standards, and should be phased out.

But what if it’s not? What if Internet Explorer 6 carries on being supported for years and years to come. What if companies, and schools and universities don’t drop it for something better, something newer? What do we do then?

Well, that’s where my new A4 poster comes in:

Keep calm and debug IE6

We just keep calm and carry on!


Creative Commons Licence

Creative Commons License
Keep Calm and Debug IE6 by Gareth J M Saunders is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 UK: Scotland License.
Based on a work at www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk.

Powerpoint Edinburgh: An apology

Louis Theroux and Luis Palau

In common with all other Scottish Christian blogs, I may have given the impression that I thought that the Powerpoint Edinburgh committee had lost their minds in inviting such a controversial public figure to speak at this season’s opening event at St Thomas’, Glasgow Road, tonight.

Blog post titles such as “Theroux a glass darkly”, “When Louis met Jesus” and “Is this the start of another Weird Weekend?” may have contributed to readers’ belief that I had a low opinion of the committee’s choice of speaker. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I would like to make it clear that I have always believed in the gospel-led choices of the Powerpoint committee. Their dedication to spreading the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through worshipping God, listening to some exceptional spoken words and playing some intriguing games with a tenuous link to a so-called “theme” is unrivalled.

Besides, it turns out that it’s not TV broadcaster Louis Theroux that’s coming to speak tonight, but Argentinian evangelist Luis Palau.

Please help save the bunny …!

Every time you use Comic Sans, Faye will punch this adorable little bunny.

I did a little research, following my untimely outburst against the Comic Sans font.

It appears that there is a website dedicated to banning the Microsoft Comic Sans truetype font … and strangely not simply because it hails from Chez Microsoft. It’s rather predictably called Ban Comic Sans.

There’s an interesting interview with the folks being the campaign over at Earz.

Earz: Why, according to your manifesto, should comic sans be banned?

Ban Comic Sans: In short, it’s just not safe for unregulated public use. It should be handled like controlled substances or firearms, and should be used only by licensed professionals in very specific settings. Since we can’t have it that way, I’m afraid it should be banned altogether. As an aside, I’ve actually used Comic Sans for web design appropriately in its intended context: www.gorillamart.com/gallery.html

And that’s from a professional graphic designer. Professional! Yeah! That means he knows what he’s talking about. You wouldn’t have the same attitude of wanton disregard if that was a doctor telling you to stop eating chips because they’re bad for your health!

It’s the same thing!

Except instead of chips it’s a font. And instead of narrowing of the arteries and a potential heart attack … it’s a document that looks a bit cheeky and ‘F.U.N.’

Yeah, well … alright, it’s not really the same thing. But it’s close.

I also learned today that someone has written a computer program that automatically deletes the Comic Sans font from your computer. Admittedly it’s all part-and-parcel of an installation application that wipes everything on your hard drive. It’s called Linux!


Oh yeah, what I forgot to mention is that in all honesty, I don’t mind Comic Sans. It’s a beautifully-crafted font.

However, I just do happen to agree that it’s often used inappropriately.