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GAY but CELIBATE men in civil partnerships have become acceptable to the Church of England, but they must abide by a rigid set of guidelines.

According to the Independent today:

• Gay Bishops and their partners are allowed to hold hands on the sofa when watching Downton Abbey but snuggling on the sofa is forbidden.

• When greeting their partner, gay Bishops may only kiss them once on the cheek. To kiss them twice on the cheek is too European and therefore too gay.

• Holding hands across the table in restaurants is forbidden. Footsies under the table is permitted.

• Thick cotton flannel pyjamas must be worn in bed at all times during winter. In summer, only the top half can be removed and they must then face away from each other in bed.

• When sharing a milkshake or a Pepsi, gay Bishops and their partners must use two straws.

• The phrases “I love you”, “you are my one and only”, “you complete me” and “you look nice today, have you done something to your hair?” are all banned.

• Gay Bishops and their partners must immediately dispose of all Erasure and Pet Shop Boys CDs and replace them with Katherine Jenkins and Michael Buble.

• When tempted to make love to each other, it is advised that both parties close their eyes and think of God weeping at their lack of self control.

• Gay Bishops and their partners are banned from eating pork sausages as they may encourage sniggering at the breakfast table, but are permitted to eat Quorn and Linda McCartney sausages.

• Gay Bishops and their partners are now banned from watching Pillow Talk staring Doris Day and Rock Hudson for obvious reasons.

• Gay Bishops are allowed to talk to actresses, so long as the actresses are not left wing liberal lesbians who may encourage them to disregard the above rules.

Meanwhile, it is reported here that the C of E’s decision could open the way to Jeffrey John, Britain’s most senior openly gay cleric, becoming could be the next Bishop of Durham.

Worshippers at Durham Cathedral today were split when told of the news.

Sharon Keedy, 47, from South Shields, sniffed:

It goes against all of my traditional values. I would not oppose it, but I do not think it is quite right.

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