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Dear Archbishop of Canterbury

[Editor’s note: Letter first appeared on thezimp.com]

Christopher L. Jorgensen
P.O. Box 546
Ames, IA 50010


December 8, 2008


Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams
Lambeth Palace
London
SE1 7JU


Dear Dr. Rowan Williams,

It’s totally cool that you write poetry. Not enough people do that these days. I am sending you some of mine to look over. I am including “Man of God,” and “Paramour.” You probably won’t like them though. Feel free to let me know what you think. If you do like them you can include them in your church newsletter!

Would it be possible for me to get an autographed photo? It would be my first autograph by a published poet. That would be cool of you!

I’m writing because there’s a worldwide recession going on, with cutbacks, layoffs, and permanent job losses. This got me to wondering if the Church of England has had to face such hardships! I hope not, but if so, I had an idea. You could start outsourcing prayer.

I know this seems ludicrous on the face or it, but if you think it through I am sure you will decide the idea has its merits. Many members of the Church of England are busy people with little time for things like prayer, and there are places like India with lots of people that need employment. I figure a system could be set up whereby for a small fee Britons could pay one of these needy people to doing the praying on their behalf.

Money would be funneled into impoverished areas of India, Britons would have more time to do good works instead of just praying, and as an added bonus thousands of Indians could be exposed to your ministries!

It seems like a win all around if you ask me.

Sincerely,


Christopher L. Jorgensen

Sponsor:

Reply:

Archbishop of Canterbury


27 January 2009

Dear Mr Jorgensen,

I’m very sorry not to have replied sooner to your letter, but it got a bit buried in the Christmas rush, I’m afraid. I just wanted to say thank you for writing to so kindly. Are you still writing poetry? I thought there was a lot of energy in what you wrote, and in the first poem the way in which you use the blood metaphor and the phrase ‘I sell my soul to a god that does not exist’ are particularly powerful. The second has some very good stuff, but seems to close at some points to the raw data (for example, the use of a person’s name in a poem needs careful thought, and I’m not absolutely sure it’s justified here), and reads more like work in progress. But I do hope you’ll carry on with the creativity.

Outsourcing prayer? Well, in a way we do it all the time simply by the constant exchange of prayer requests across the world (we have a lot that come in here). What I can’t quite get my mind around is paying people to pray; I suspect that God might raise an eyebrow…

Photo enclosed; thank you again and best wishes for the New Year.

Yours sincerely

[signed]

Rowan Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lambeth Palace, London SE1 7JU

Archbishop of Canterbury website: www.archbishopofcanterbury.org

Scan of the letters from Archbishop,of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams Scan of a photo of Archbishop, of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams

Commentary:

These are the poems I sent the Archbishop:

I offer them without comment or excuse.

By Christopher L. Jorgensen

Website: http://jackassletters.com

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Christopher L. Jorgensen
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