In a bid to somehow resurrect the Anglican Church’s rapidly fading appeal and in a last ditch attempt to make it more relevant and accessible to today’s youth, The Archbishop Of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has thrown his weight behind a new version of the Bible written entirely in emoji and text speak.

He is understood to have instructed all dioceses and their parishes that this Sunday’s lessons must be delivered accordingly and not to comply will see mass defrockings of those clergy failing to toe the line.

In a statement issued through Lambeth Palace he says: The Church must move with the times or be left behind and thus wither and die. For example over the years we have dropped anachronistic phraseology such as ‘chambering’ ‘fain’ “thee” and “thine” etc. Well now we must all learn to embrace these new texts and see them as just the next logical step in ongoing modernisation – so hashtag – come into the real world guys!  cul8r & gbu JW.

But former keyboard player with the squeaky-voiced crew-cut headed 80s popsters, The Comunards, now turned holy man, The Reverend Richard Coles, thinks it’s a bad idea and that it is just fodder for mockery. In an article in this weekend’s Guardian he writes:

‘IMHO FFS! <purple devil face><eyes out on stops><purple devil face> <vomiting><angry face><thumbs down><thumbs down><vomiting><praying hands> irmc l8r’.