You may not have heard before of The Campaign for Colourful Clothing; but that’s hardly surprising, as it’s not got beyond the Catholic Chaplaincy of UCLAN until now. Like many of my ideas, it may never actually come to fruition (the Eucharistic flash mob was an exception), so I thought I’d put it out for people’s amusement and (possibly) edification.
The Campaign for Colourful Clothing is not evangelistic – it falls rather into the category of ‘pre-evangelisation’ (a useful term I first came across in an article about The Lord of the Rings). For it seeks to lift something of that blanket of dullness whereby the devil keeps many people from finding and following the Lord.
I have already written about wearing the religious habit in public. But one thing I didn't mention was how it slowly dawned on me, over the years, that my sober, penitential garb is actually quite colourful and stylish compared to the drab, misshapen clothing worn by most people in this country. It further occurred to me that this was wrong, that the religious habit was originally conceived as a modest and austere contrast to the merry clothing of medieval Europe. Back then, wearing brown made the friars stand out as poor and humble. Now, however, it is the rare person wearing something colourful who stands out from a sea of black, grey, and highly muted colours. Just have a look next time you're out in a busy street or other public place.
|Old Tom Bombadill is a merry fellow;|
Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.
As someone who wears dark brown, I am far from denigrating 'drab' clothing. I appreciate the subtlety of muted shades - including grey, which no fan of The Lord of the Rings can regard as a boring colour. Black, too, has its place. But my point is that there is far too much of the dark or muted colours.
I have therefore resolved to raise my voice against this modern wrong, and start a campaign to encourage a change in fashion. I conceive this as part of a greater movement, which for the time being I shall call Making England Merry Again, and which has yet to develop. The Campaign for Colourful Clothing is but the first battle in this crusade (I use the word deliberately).
In my fond imaginings, the battle will be brought to the streets by cheerfully-dressed people wielding 'Award Cards', which will be handed out to anyone wearing colourful clothing. The cards will carry a simple message of gratitude - "Thank you for brightening up our lives". There will also be a list of the guidelines as to what kind of clothing merits an award card, and the address of a website which will give tips on good colour combinations and other ways of dressing more merrily.
|Deep down, they really want to be Benedictines|