April 13th, 1998.

Whether it's true or not.

Well, that's Easter over and done with. But what is the relevance of an egg? I thought Easter was about Jesus getting nailed to a big cross then dying? I can't see the egg connection myself. Still, I guess that somewhere there is one.

Staying with the whole church/religion theme, let me tell you about something that has somewhat annoyed me recently. A friend of mine came up to Birkenhead this past weekend with his wife and on Sunday she went to a local 'church' she used to attend which I'll call the 'We're all Christian Centre' to protect its identity.

On its own this isn't the most eventful bit of news, but here's where it relates to me. While there some religiously brainwashed follower approached my friend's wife and told her that I had written something on my website about her that was "not very nice." There seemed little point in making this claim as it wasn't difficult to prove this to be without even the smallest grain of truth. The person who made this claim, who I'll call Steven Prickly, was obviously either lying or guilty of listening to some other gossip rubish dreamed up by someone else.

This incident on its own would have perhaps just seemed humorous to me if it wasn't for the fact that this person who made the claim has never once met me, doesn't know me, and has just listened to gossip he's heard about me.

I am puzzled as to why Mr. Prickly, his sidekick who I shall call Karen Inner-Man, and all the other 'centroids' who attend this 'church' have such a strange fascination with the goings-on of my life. What possible motivation lies behind making up such an easily dispelled claim? Sadly this would seem to be typical of the kind of behavior one can expect from many of the people who attend the 'We're all Christian Centre.'

I suppose though it's the price of my infamy within the 'We're all Christian Centre.' After all, I was once a member of that place myself. Some four years ago (1994) the preacher, who I'll call Rev. Paul Epsom, took exception to the fact that his hormonally-charged daughter, who I'll call Natasha, visited my flat on many occasions to get something a little more than merely spiritual input! This was somehow all my fault and Daddy decided that he'd put an end to Natasha's little visits by booting me out of his dodgy cult-like 'church' without so much of a word of warning.

One sunny Sunday morning in 1994 The Rev. Epsom marched up to his throne and announced that I was disfellowshipped (excommunicated from the 'church') for sexual immorality! No mention was made about 'Miss Horny Wirral,' the ever spotless Natasha. Instead, she dutifully sat in stony silence next to her mother, who I'll call Evil in Epsom for short.

Rev. Epsom's hostile actions on that day had damaging and discouraging effects throughout the lives of many of my friends at the time. Some had attended the 'church' for many years, and all were threatened with the same punishment if they continued to associate with me in any way.

Despite the biblical principles of Matthew 18:15-18, at no point did Rev. Epsom attempt to contact me about the alleged sexual immorality. I was forced to demand a meeting with him to learn his explanation for such a draconian action. In the end, the meeting was as farcical as the action itself. He threw all sorts of accusations at me that were either just secondhand rumors or snippets of groundless gossip he had listened to.

I asked him why, if he was so concerned, had he not approached me to find out whether the gossip he'd listened to was even true. He said what has now become a timeless classic quote, "Whether it's true or not is irrelevant!" He went on to boast "I can do what I want in my church."

I'd been forewarned by those who knew the man better than I did, that the meeting would merely be an exercise that would change nothing as Epsom ruled "his church" with the iron fist of a power-crazed megalomaniac. Sadly they were right. Despite the fact that he simply had no response to many of my challenges, after a one and a half-hour meeting the outcome was, as expected, unchanged.

The thing that bothers me the most about the Pastor Epsom is the fact that he is supposed to be a 'man of God.' However his overly comfortable lifestyle and his heavy-handed technique seem so removed from those of the Bible that he is only a Pastor because of a worthless title.

Four years have passed since this ill-conceived graceless incident. At the time Epsom announced that God had told him I would "run away" and leave the area, that I would "soon be gone." But I have done nothing of the sort. I have simply gone on with my life despite the frequent occasions when members of the 'We're all Christian Centre' seek to stir up trouble for no logical reason. I can only but speculate that the motives behind such acts may be to provide an element of drama and ephemeral diversion to what might otherwise be a boring life. But really, who knows?

Oh and finally, a message to those from the 'church' who may read this. In my capacity as 'poster bad guy' for the 'We're all Christian Centre' I am now taking bookings for private functions like prayer meetings and house groups, although you'll have to provide the stick-on horns for me!

This article was written and published and usually I don't post addendums or follow-ups, even when my opinions change. However, over the years several members of the church in question have contacted me to express their displeasure that I chose to publish the piece. For those people I wrote an addendum which you can read here.