More on R.S. Thomas's sense of humour (see below: 'A cheese box...'). Byron Rogers reports that only one Punch cartoon ever made Thomas laugh out loud. In it, a parson is delivering a sermon to a blank-faced congregation. 'Now, I know what you're thinking,' he says confidentially. 'You're thinking that I'm being guilty of Sabellianism.'
Thomas once told a friend that the Church only kept him on because he was capable of explaining such things as Sabellianism. It's a third-century heresy based on the eminently sensible notion that God does not have three distinct persons but three modes or aspects in which we mortals perceive Him. I doubt a gag like that would get past any cartoon editor these days, even on the Church Times.
Does the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Selby, have a view on Sabellianism, I wonder?