Magazine article Anglican Journal

Satiric Ship of Fools Web Site Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Satiric Ship of Fools Web Site Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Article excerpt

A Web site that is possibly the most irreverent in the Anglican world, Ship of Fools, celebrated its 10th anniversary on, appropriately, April 1 or April Fools' Day.

Founded in 1998 by two theological students who did not, eventually, seek ordination, www.shipoffools.com carries such irresistible features as Gadgets for God ("tacky religious items"), the Fruitcake Zone (such oddities as a group that offers to send telegrams to the dearly departed) and the Mystery Worshipper (anonymous volunteers who file reviews of church services).

"The Web site's subtitle is 'the magazine of Christian unrest.' We are about questioning our own faith without diminishing our commitment to it. We think questioning and mocking our faith is a healthy thing to do. Rather than let atheists mock the Christian faith, we do it for them," said co-founder Simon Jenkins, 53, who went on to earn a master's degree in theology, decided that being a priest was "not a good fit," and is today a London-based freelance designer, artist and Web site writer/producer. His co-editor, Stephen Goddard, is now a public relations consultant in Manchester, U.K.

In addition to chronicling Christianity's quirks, Ship of Fools runs several lively bulletin boards, on which interested folk discuss church and faith matters. "About 13,000 people have signed up on the bulletin boards over the years, and 500 to 600 are active at any one time," said Mr. Jenkins.

The "ship" began as a magazine in 1977, but folded six years later, again on April Fool's Day, due to financial pressures. …

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