12 - At the elevation of the Host

A 55-year-old Roman Catholic man has decided that it’s perfectly acceptable to deliver a thumbs-up gesture towards the altar prior to the Solemn Latin Mass instead of the customary genuflection which would involve bending his arthritic knee.

Toby Dell, a foundry worker from Vallance Road, told a Whelk reporter: “I’m pretty certain God understands that I’m struggling a bit with my arthritis these days and that bending my right knee before taking my seat at Latin Mass on Sundays is becoming more and more painful

“A simple thumbs-up is perfectly adequate in my view. It indicates my respect for the church and doesn’t detract from my faith in The Lord one iota.

“Mind you, I wouldn’t fancy trying it in a Protestant church. That Prod God is a real nasty bastard by all accounts and would probably strike me down with a lightning bolt on the way to the pub after the service or something along those lines.”

A spokesman for the Catholic church told us: “It’s perfectly acceptable for the aged or the infirm to genuflect in the best way possible in line with the nature and extent of their individual physical difficulty.

“However, we would ask them to put in double the amount they normally pay into the collection box before the Eucharist as penance.”

In 2013, a wheelchair-bound woman from neighbouring Poplar was ejected from, St Mary of The Immaculate Conception church in Wapping, after yelling, “Alright mate?” at a carved edifice of Christ suspended above the altar bearing the Blessed Sacrament.