The arrest of two top Church of England bishops following a wild midnight party at the Bishop of Bournemouth’s palace, has blown the lid on the rock and roll lifestyles of Britain’s new breed of young clergy. Responding to complaints from local residents in the sleepy Bournemouth suburb of Christchurch, Dorset police found the Bishop of Newbury, the Right Reverend Cornelius Steel, urinating in a neighbour’s garden pond – when arrested he claimed merely to be blessing the fishes, telling police: “I’m so bloody devout I piss holy water”. His host, Dr Tom Bone, Bishop of Bournemouth, was apprehended as he ran naked (save for his mitre) through a local park, shouting “Jesus loves you, but I just want a quick shag” at passers-by. Whilst police at first suspected that Dr Bone was under the influence of drugs, tests proved negative. “He claimed he was merely high on the love of God and infused with the Holy Spirit,” commented a police spokesperson. “In answer to allegations that he had sexually assaulted five of his neighbours, three female and two male, his only defence was that Jesus had told us all to ‘Love thy neighbour’!”

Whilst the Church of England refuses to comment on lurid press stories of an orgy involving a dozen or more bishops at the Bishop’s palace that night, consuming gallons of communion wine and snorting communion wafers, local residents have been less reticent. “House of God? More like a bloody Palace of Sin,” comments seventy three year old Sid Pointer, who lives opposite Dr Bone’s official residence. “They come screaming in and out of there in their flash motors, gold jewellery dripping off of them, trophy wives in the passenger seats – it’s a bloody disgrace!” Pointer also notes the large number of women priests ordained by Dr Bone, many of them former topless glamour models. Other locals have told of how the Bishops of Bournemouth and Hornchurch raced to the local cathedral in their sports cars one Sunday morning, with the victor winning the privilege of taking a live televised morning service. The race culminated with the Bishop of Bournemouth losing control of his Ferrari at the last minute and wrapping it around a lampost. The Bishop of Hornchurch, meanwhile, proceeded to crash his Porsche through the cathedral’s main doors, skidding along the main nave before colliding with the font. “He climbed from the wreckage clutching an electric guitar and proceeded to give his ‘sermon’ – a very poor rendition of the guitar solo from Led Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog'”, says local housewife Lucy Turgood. “Of course, the Bishop of Bournemouth claimed that the Bishop of Hornchurch had deliberately forced him off the road – they had a massive fist fight in the vestry!”

Although the Archbishop of Canterbury remains silent with regard to the Bishop of Bournemouth scandal, Johnny Lorne, Bishop of Hounslow, considered a rising star in the C of E, agreed to talk to The Sleaze about the new generation of so-called ‘Bling, Bling Bishops’. “It’s all about image – people ‘ave got to start associating Anglicanism with glamour and success,” he rasped, as, clad only in boxer shorts and mitre, a jewel encrusted gold crucifix nestling amongst his chest hairs, he relaxed in his luxurious official residence. “For too long we’ve been seen as dour, depressing and elitist – they’re bringing in geezers like me to show that ordinary blokes can make it in the clergy! The modern C of E understands the aspirations of the average man in the street – widescreen colour telly, flash motor, huge wads of cash and top totty on your arm!” With the new breed of bishops has come a whole new style, particularly with regard to fighting sin. “If I hear of anyone being naughty in my parish, I send my boys around to give ’em a good spanking,” he says, dismissing press speculation that he financed his way through theological college by robbing sub-post offices. “We’ve seen a massive drop in crime and a huge increase in church attendances since I took over this bishopric – and let’s not forget the increased generosity of congregations when it comes to the Sunday collections!”

However, there have been allegations that the bishop’s ‘posse’ of young clergymen have been involved in closing down rival churches, with two catholic churches, a mosque and a synagogue having been burnt down in the Bishopric of Hounslow in the last month alone. Jehovah’s Witnesses are also said to be afraid to knock on doors at night after a series of drive-by crucifixions, whilst there have been rumours of vicious pub brawls between gangs of vicars and the Salvation Army over charity collection rights. “It’s all been exaggerated by the local press,” explains Lorne, casually tearing a page from a Bible and using it roll a cigarette with one hand as he scratches his crutch with other. “It’s just a case of some of the young curates gettin’ a bit over-enthusiastic in spreadin’ the word of Our Lord! There’s no way we’d want to put our fellow believers outta business – like all good Christians our creed is live and let live!” Nevertheless, the C of E has been actively recruiting members from other churches, with several high profile, big money transfers, most notoriously the Roman Catholic Bishop of Skegness, who accepted a ‘golden handshake’ of two million pounds and a Maserati to become the Anglican Bishop of Great Yarmouth. “I’ll be honest, it was the sex,” he admitted later. “All that abstinence is no good for a man – I was starting to look at young choir boys arses with lust! I just thank God for all those lovely lady priests to harass in the C of E!”

Despite increased church attendances, many traditionalist Anglicans, particularly in Africa, are less than happy at these recent developments in the C of E. “This is shocking, first of all they propose to have homosexuals as bishops, now they employ thugs, drunks and sex maniacs! I am outraged,” says Joseph Okumba, Bishop of Nairobi. “It is clear that these people have lost their way and clearly need spiritual guidance!” So disturbed at what they see as the moral decline of the C of E, African church leaders are planning to send missionaries to the UK, although volunteers have so far been hard to find. “I keep assuring my clergy that these stories of Britain being populated by savages who will cook them in huge pots and eat them are all untrue”, says Okumba, who plans to equip his missionaries with DVD players, crates of beer and other shiny objects to trade with native Britons. Lorne is unimpressed with this development: “We don’t want their pious patronising do-goodery here! They’d better watch out for their kneecaps if I catch ’em in my manor!”