Apropos of the picture below, Stephen asks why Big Al is wearing a 'sash'. Well you may ask! Did he win the accolade of outstanding ordinand of 2009 (the OO factor)? Or maybe it's just one of 'his favourite things' - in his case white satin sashes? In fact 14 out of the 17 of the deacons were all wearing pale cream bandaleros (or stoles, as they're known in the trade - which I think means an item of clothing (stola - Latin)). So probably the question to ask is why the others WEREN'T wearing them. But to be honest, they don't seem to serve a useful purpose, except to give employment to seamstresses. Maybe it's the difference between wearing a tie and an open-necked shirt. I'd recommend the latter, as some people get hot under the collar about what vicars wear.
On a more serious note the Lords are due to be debating Lord Falconer's amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill TOMORROW. Personally I trust that they decide to give the whole issue of assisted suicide a fuller debate, rather than just think about the few who can afford or want to go to Switzerland.