Later-day Saints .

Over the the last three years I have been working on a series of prints, initially monoprints, which take their starting point from the collection of saintly wood carvings in the Wellcome Collection at The Science Museum in London . The depiction of saints is a subject I have been long fascinated with, whether in paintings or adorning churches. Found in illustrations or adorning religious spaces, the power, durability and spirituality of these works has remained, strongly linked to faith. Originally used as comforting symbols for followers, the depicted icons offered hope and solace from medical and personal difficulties. A typical example being St Apollonia, the patron saint of tooth problems, martyred by having her teeth pulled, often depicted in illustrations having her teeth extracted. The seed for this series was sown earlier this year when the media reported that Roberto Mancini had been to church prior to the Manchester City game which secured the Premier League title. His prayers along with thousands of others ( mine among them,) were answered as the game was won against the odds. A sporting miracle! Even in these contemporary times faith and devotion are still strong. From this moment St Last Minute, the patron saint of football fans was born. There followed 80 other monoprints , introducing saints Kindle, Lotto , Tweetus and Selfie to a new audience. From these monoprints, 26 prints have become etchings and hand-coloured drypoints. This transformation of the familiar encourages the spectator to take a second look at the work, be inquisitive and respond. The saints themselves ,once figures and objects of devotion, are now featured holding or surrounded by modern objects of devotion. The series mirrors the modern day obsession individuals have with object and image. How many people can be seen worshipping St Selfie, St Facebook , St Pit Bull or indeed St Last Minute??!

The first 20 hand-coloured drypoints were shown at The John Rylands Library in 2015. The prints displayed in cases in the Reading Room, attracted over 4000 visitors, receiving a positive response, most visitors enjoying the humour. The show was featured in the Manchester Evening News.

Over the past year I have added another 35 saints to the collection, and these have been shown i at the International Medieval Conference in Leeds in 2016, and West Yorkshire Print Workshop in the winter of 2017.

As part of the  Manchester Museums, Health and Wellbeing Programme, I undertook a residency at Manchester and Trafford Hospitals where patients and health workers were invited to create their own personal saints. Over 500 people took a ‘saints pack’ away and 0ver 100 created their own engraving. These have been judged and 40 saints together with Saint Walking Poles and Saint 5-Ways of Wellbeing are on permanent exhibition on the corridors at Trafford General Hospital.

A 24 page magazine Later-day Saints is available on Blurb.  This features 20 saints together with their life stories. Postcards of 12 Saints are available as is an enamel  pilgrim badge of St Selfie. T-Shirts, mugs and fridge magnets are also available. Contact alan for more details.

Saints at WYPW.

Alan Birch. Printmaker.
Later-day Saints.

Alan Birch. Printmaker.
Later-day Saints.

Alan Birch. Printmaker.
Later-day Saints.

Alan Birch. Printmaker.
Later-day Saints.







Later-day Saints.

Lives of the Saints.

St Ruckus and Afters.

Saints Days 3rd Friday in December. Born AD 1970, Limoges .

St Ruckus was born in Catelat, two leagues south of Limoges, about the year 1970 . His parents placed him with a goldsmith named Abbo, who was a master of the Mint at Limoges. His talents were soon recognised when the King gave the saint an order to make him a magnificent chair of state, later taking him into his household and making him Master of the Mint. His great credit at court hindered him not from attending his profession, and he was much delighted in making rich shrines for the relics of saints. To solve his problem, Ruckus employed a young trainee goldsmith, St Afters, to assist in solving the backlog. Under great pressure, St Ruckus took to drink and was often found in the local cafe, indulging in his passion for Apple Hooch. For a short period ,St Afters was able to shore up the business, but as the workload increased, Afters joined his companion, preferring himself the golden Carlsberg Special Brew. Disciples of the Saints and priests who had commissioned reliquaries journeyed to their preferred drinking hole, pleading with them to follow the path of God, only to be given short shrift, and pelted with a selection of bar snacks. On many occasions ,Ruckus and Afters would be involved in skirmishes on the terrace outside. The King’s patience ran out, and the saints were banished from the land and sent to Lindisfarne in The North East of England to rediscover their faith. After two years of abstinence ,they opened a small goldsmiths in Newcastle, where the word spread of their talents, making trinkets, sovereign rings and gold studded collars for banned dogs. Unbeknown to them, “ The Saints Relics, “ a Wetherspoon establishment opened three doors away, and soon they gave into temptation. Every Friday night, St Ruckus and St Afters could be found ,rolling around the pavements in the Big Market. Indeed,their passion for alcohol and violence led to their martyrdom, being killed in a deadly drunken brawl. Their ashes are to be found in a jewelled yard of ale on the top shelf of “ The Saints Relics “, behind the optics.

St Sat Nav.

Saints Day. 2nd October. Born AD 1969, Dagenham. Martyr.

St Atlas was born in Dagenham, the only child of Joseph, a bus driver, and Mary, a mathematics teacher. From an early age he showed an aptitude for reading maps, and would often venture out on his scooter, seeking out new places. He was sent to the Holy College of St Jeremy ( of Clarkson ), where he studied mechanics and engineering. Following his graduation, he moved to Rome where he was charged with keeping the Pope mobile, and his fleet of papal cars in working order. He often journeyed to other centres of belief in Europe, notably to work on the Golden Carriage at Mons in Belgium. The Pope charged St Atlas with navigating the church through rocky waters. Saying “ He hath given St Atlas charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways! ” It was whilst working in the Vatican City Garage, also known as “ Oily Palms”, that St Atlas developed a prototype of a Satellite Navigation System, later sold to Sony. With the release of the system to the wider world, St Atlas changed his name to St Sat Nav. Following a lavish ceremony in St Peter’s Square, which saw angels making good use of the new technology, the Pope proclaimed “ The devils with implacable envy and malice, study to compass our eternal ruin. God is pleased to oppose to their efforts his good angels, by making them our defenders!” St Sat Nav left the world three years later, a victim of his success, martyred when his own holy vehicle was directed the wrong way down a one way street. Crushed by google map street car, St Sat Nav’s last words were “ God moves in mysterious ways! “ His holy remains are housed in a glass and gold vehicle , currently stored in the Transport Museum in Coventry.


St Health and Safety.

Saints Day. July 12th. Born AD 1956, London. Martyr.

St Health and Safety was born in London in 1956, and he pursued his studies in Oxford and Paris where he applied himself to the canon law. When he came back to London he was made secretary to the court of that city. After practising for several years he grew restless with his court work and it was during his weekly lunch break at the local Wetherspoon’s “The Liberty Bounds “ that he received a visitation whilst facing the toilet cleaning rota. From this moment he devoted his life to life to the study of health and safety, enrolling at the local technical college . After following a couple of short courses in Display Screen Equipment Assessor and Ladders, Steps and Working Platforms, he went on to secure a Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Health and Safety. Upon achieving his qualification, management were so impressed at his dedication and enthusiasm for the subject, he was immediately offered a post as technician. He quickly rose up the ranks to a Junior Management post, seeing his role as his religious calling. He would often be seen bent double checking the sockets and electrical appliances in all departments. He was a tenacious safety officer, and he showed ruthlessness in dealing with dissenters, often forcing their resignation. He was honoured by the college, and presented with their highest honour, a gold rimmed high visibility jacket .He attracted many followers, pursuing him down the corridors of power, pens and clipboard in hand. They established the new religion of Pedantism. Whilst his followers grew in number, he was not without enemies. Annoyed by his pedantry and his over zealousness in securing objects and work areas, a group of staff, further embittered by opponents being made redundant, plotted his downfall. Four staff members, who had no other religion other than common sense, conspired privately together to murder him. During a particularly stringent health and safety visit to a woodworking department, St Health and Safety was attacked with a hammer, suffering fatal injuries. In paintings, he is often depicted with the object of his martyrdom, a hammer, whilst wearing his high vis robes, spirit level and hard hat in hand. His body was taken by followers and his relics are stored in a gilded box file with paperwork in triplicate, in the headquarters of RoSPA in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

St 5 A Day ( of Todmorden ).

Saints Day. Sunday nearest the Harvest Moon. Born AD 1960. Lisbon. Martyr.

St 5 A Day , though a native of Lisbon, received his surname from his spell in Todmorden . He was born in 1960 and christened by the name of Ferdinand which he changed to that of 5 A Day when he entered the order of St Hugh of Dorset. In his early years he was sent to the convent of the Holy Cross, at Coimbra, a hundred miles from Lisbon. It was here he was deeply affected by the relics of 5 Whittingstallians brought over from Morocco, who had been lately there crowned with martyrdom. 5 A Day was strongly affected at the sight, and conceived an ardent desire to lay down his life for vegetables. After a period of 5 years spent in solitude working on his allotment in Portugal, he set sail for France, to work and preach in the kitchens of French chef Guy Saveloy, but his ship was washed up on the beach at West Bay, in Dorset. Impressed by the sandy cliffs and the fertile soil, he made his way to River Cottage. Here he spent 5 years, growing vegetables, tilling the soil, creating many vegetable purees, perfecting the skill of the ban marie , and watching repeated episodes of MasterChef. He was sent to Todmorden in West Yorkshire to spread the word of St Fearnley Whittingstall, living as a hermit in Stoodley Pike. He aligned himself with the Incredible Edible movement, promoting the benefits of vegetables , and was often found on a stall at Todmorden market. It was whilst manning one of these stalls that the crowds of people pressing to purchase seeds and kiss the hem of his habit were so great, that he received crush injuries from which he never recovered, despite the application of vegetable poultices He was taken to the Town Hall where he expired in 2013. He is often depicted with his vegetables and a large pepper mill. His remains are on display in the Town Hall at Todmorden, and his statue was later added to the impressive figurative facade.

St Medallion. Saints Day. Third Sunday in April ( usually the time of London Marathon ).  Born AD 1970. Huyton. Martyr.

St Medallion, the brother of St Giving , son of Causus, was so called due to the vast amount of medallions he amassed during his 30 year reign of running marathons, usually in fancy dress. St Medallion was by birth , a Liverpudlian, and by profession a bric a brac dealer , specialising in knick knacks and clothing. One day whilst working in the family business, Jesus walked by their shop. Seeing St Income and St Barter struggling to sell a vast collection of second hand tat ,he called them to come after him , promising to make them collectors of men. Indeed that very day, Jesus sold the entire content of the shop and suitably impressed, the brothers followed him. St Income headed to Canary Wharf to preach, St Barter headed to Marrakech, whilst Medallion moved to Loughborough. Medallion joined the local Charnwood Athletic Club ,devoting his life to running marathons and half marathons. Always choosing to run in costume, he experimented with cartoon characters, Goofy and Daffy Duck being favourites. His mid period was inventors with such as John Logie Baird and Robert Louis Stevenson, before settling on Darth Vader. He was drawn towards the dark side and the anonymity the costume offered. HIs relentless accumulation of medallions, and the raising of over 1 million pounds for charity cemented his place in British charity folklore. But his quest to achieve over 500 medallions was his downfall when a taunt from the crowd of “ What do you want? A medallion!” cost St Medallion his life but resulted in his martyrdom. The taunt shouted by a rival Darth Vader led to a light sabre fight, with St Medallion delivering a fatal blow. Following 6 years in prison, he died a broken man, rejected by the public. His jewelled and gilded light sabre was buried under the Olympic Stadium.


St Tweetus.

Saints Day. 1st January. Born AD 1988. Florence. St Tweetus was born in Florence, Italy.

His father, a computer programmer and his mother a postmistress, took great care to have their son instructed at home, and afterwards sent him to Rome. St Tweetus had there for tutor the famous pagan Grammarian Donatus. He became master of the Latin and Greek tongues, and made such progress in oratory that he for some time pleaded at the bar. Alas, due to his looking younger than his years, he never got served. In anger he retired to his spartan rooms, and led the life of a hermit, throwing himself into into the study of Information Technology .He was visited by illuminaries such as Saints Hawkins, Zuckenberg and Gates and was even introduced to Jobs. He travelled to Silicone Valley in USA, turning his back on religIon and immersing himself in work. The group discussed their tribulations and experiences of social exclusions ,and the seed for Twitter was established.St Tweetus spent 3 years alone in his rooms, seeing only 117 characters during that time. On the first of March 2006, he announced to the world the creation of Twitter ,an online social networking system. The reaction was spectacular, and he soon had millions of followers. He was martyred in 2015, when he was attacked by a gang of Trolls aided by some 2000 pensioners angered by their inability to access technology. His shattered mobile phone is now a guarded treasure in the Duomo, resting in a knitted mobile phone sock, one can still see his final Tweet “ AAAAghhhhh LOL ! “ on the screen.


St Debtas. Saints Day. Grand National Day in early April .  Born AD 1970. Carthagena.

The city of Carthagena was the place of St Debtas’s birth, which his parents, Severian and Theodora, persons of the first quality in the kingdom, edified by the example of their extraordinary piety. Sent to Paris in his early teens to read Theology, Debtas excelled in his studies, finishing top of his group. On a college trip to Longchamps to spread the word of God, he became fascinated by the jockeys silks, and the tic tac boards of the bookmakers. Unbeknown to his family, he gave up his studies to work alongside a bookmaker, chalking up the signalled odds, prior to the races. He later cut all ties with his family and moved to Newmarket In England, a town steeped in equine history. It is here that his life took a disastrous turn. Immersed in the racing world he began to gamble on the horses. Using his inside knowledge he initially began to supplement his stable job with his winnings. Buoyed by his good fortune he threw himself fully into the world of big money gambling, soon running up substantial debts. Banned by local bookmakers, he resorted to the internet. He borrowed money from pay day loan companies, banks and loan sharks. He was in such a desperate state he contemplated suicide but pulled himself back from the brink, declared himself bankrupt and spent his final days in a small bedsit in Norwich. He is the patron saint of Gamblers.


St Papoose Saints Day. 29th March.  Born AD 1971. Clitheroe. Martyr.

St Papoose was born in Clitheroe in the year 1971. His parents placed him at a very young age in Stoneyhurst College in Clitheroe , where he gave extraordinary proofs of his learning, in so much that brother Dominic, preferred him to a canonry in the nearby church. He was yet young when he left Clitheroe and went to York where he excelled chiefly in philosophy, theology and child care. He taught a considerable time in the Minster schools but also ran an after school club at a local primary school. St Papoose was tormented by the clash of his religious calling and his love and longing for children. At home he became obsessed with internet shopping stockpiling baby clothes, toys, and toddler carrying equipment. It was during this time he met St Pamper, a priest from Manchester, who shared his desire to raise children. Many clandestine meetings in the Via Fossa in Manchester strengthened their desires and their feelings for each other. They commissioned a local artist to depict them alone in The Wilderness of Boggart Hall Clough , chased and tormented by demons. Everything changed in 2014 with the legalisation of same sex couples. St Papoose tied the knot with St Pamper. They went on to adopt 5 children of various ethnicity, and went to live a happy and fruitful life. Once the children left home, he threw himself into Gay causes , in particular the Anti Gay movement in Russia, and it was here he met his untimely death, smitten by a mitre at an anti gay rally in Red Square. His holy remains can be found behind the bar in ‘New York New York’ in Manchester, a sight of pilgrimage for his rapidly growing bunch of followers.


St Lotto.

Saints Day. Every Friday and Tuesday.  Born AD 1994. Unknown.

The Saint ,whose name has been held in great veneration for several years in Spain and England, is said to have been an Irishman by birth, and of noble extraction. His extraordinary piety and learning drew the admiration of the world in such a manner that it was impossible for him to enjoy in his own country that obscurity and retirement which was the chief object of his desires on earth. Therefore leaving his own country he sailed to Spain and chose a hermitage on the Costa del Sol. Here he lived for many years until one day whilst out walking he came across an english tourist, the worse for wear from the devil’s brew, who had fallen from his yacht in the harbour. His life saved , the tourist presented the Saint with a ticket for the Spanish Lotto. Miraculously his numbers came up, and The Saint initially became known as El Gordo, and from that day he gathered many followers. He preached in many tapas bars and restaurants, luring unbelievers with the promise of free cervezas. Realising that his disciples were more interested in spirits than the Holy Spirit, El Gordo gave all his money to the local church and fled to England, where he lived in obscurity in a cave near Malham Tarn. With the introduction of the National Lottery, tabloid papers sought out El Gordo, renamed St Lotto ,producing facial cut out to put in windows in order to bring luck. A series of badges and stickers were produced, and his peaceful haven was shattered as thousands of hopeful punters flocked to his cave. He was trapped for days by the rabble, who refused to let him out until he shouted out 6 numbers ( they were not bothered with the bonus ball! ). As a last resort he shouted out ( 1, 4, 10, 12, 22, 40 ), and the crowd dispersed. One Saturday evening as he sat outside his cave watching the sunset over the limestone landscape, he heard cheers in the distance, which grew into a tumult. He was disturbed by local people who came to thank him for their good fortune, their luck was in. Unfortunately for St Lotto his wasn’t. Over 6 million people had won the lotto, each winning 83p each. Many had already spent their thought to be vast winnings. The next day a rabble stormed his cave and dragging St Lotto from his cave, stoned him with pebbles on which they had each painted their lucky numbers . St Lotto expired before the police broke through the crazed ranks, hIs left hand frozen with his thumb sticking up. His last words were “ It could be You!” His body was taken away by followers and cremated.His ashes can be found in a spinning globe named Excalibur in the headquarters of Paddy Power in Dublin .He is often depicted in paintings, alongside, St Debtas, seated at the left hand of God.


St Manbag of Milan,

Bishop and Confessor to Prada. Saints Day. January 13th. Born AD 1950. Beirut. Martyr. The saint was born in Beirut ,fashion centre of the Middle East , three leagues from Jerusalem. He showed an early inclination for the ecclestical state, but was sent to pursue his studies in Paris. He was 16 when his father recalled him to study accountancy in Milan. Alongside his study he would frequent the fashion houses of Gucci, Prada etc. Unfortunately for St Man Bag, he stood out in his spartan robes, and was often ridiculed behind his back. He spent the early morning feeding the pigeons in Piazza del Duomo, bringing millet in a carrier bag. Unfortunately on a couple of occasions he was mistaken for a vagrant and was arrested by the local police. Undaunted by his arrest and buoyed by his blossoming sense of style, he removed himself from society for 2 years whilst he worked on a stylish feeding bag. He begged offcuts of leather from the fashion houses and returned to the square distributing millet from a small leather shoulder bag with zips. This Horseferry check crossbody bag with leather trim, buckled leather closure, adjustable crossbody strap, with polished metal hardware and interior pockets, caused quite a stir.There was even a small pocket for change! Soon a vast crowd surrounded him and shafts of sunlight came down from the heavens illuminating his bag . A voice from the heavens proclaimed ‘Is there space for keys?’, a booming voice added ‘ ipad and iphone?’. St Man Bag revealed other hidden pockets. The crowd of men fell to their feet , then rose, carrying St Man Bag around the piazza. Bishops came dashing out of the Duomo de Milano palace and installed him as their new Bishop and fashion guru. St Man Bag fever swept the world. London, New York, Paris , Munich everyone had heard of St Manbag. He appeared on the cover of every fashion magazine in the world including Grazia, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Women saw the man bag as an assault on their world. as an object which undermined their femininity. He was assassinated in a lone wolf attack, a stiletto- wearing Fashionista ironically producing a hand gun from a hidden man bag. His relics in a golden leather case are on view in the men’s department in Trussardi of Milan.


St Kindle.

Saints Day April 23rd . National Book Day. Born AD 1960 . Burgundy. Martyr.

Kindle was daughter of Chilperic, younger brother to the tyrannical King of Burgundy ,who put him , his wife and the rest of his brothers except one to death, in order to usurp their dominions and their blossoming chain of small bookstores. In this massacre he spared Chilperics two daughters in their infancy. One of them ,St Manuscript, became a nun, the other St Kindle, was brought up in her uncle’s computer business, and instructed in all things linked to software engineering. St Manuscript beavered away in the nunnery, painting beautifully adorned borders, whilst St Kindle immersed herself in all things technological. Such terms as floppy, drive monitor and keyboards became second nature to Kindle. News of Kindle’s success in the computing world led her to take up a post at the Amazon Lab 126 product centre, working alongside Gregg Zehr. With the expansion on digital technology , St Kindle worked tirelessly on developing the e- book. Now based in Silicone Valley, St Kindle worked alongside Micheal Hart at Project Guttenberg. The publishing world was shocked when in they announced the arrival of the first book . The IT world worshipped St Kindle and in the first year 20 million were sold. The growth of Kindle meant that by 2010, over 1 billion people had Kindles, and St Kindle was decorated in Silicone Valley, with followers burning books as she was carried aloft , lying on Golden Kindle. Bibliophiles were outraged and clandestine meetings were held in Waterstones and WH Smith. A huge demonstration marched up Charing Cross Road to Foyle’s bookshop where they were addressed by St Manuscript , enraged by the what she saw as her marginalisation. A year later St Kindle was kidnapped whilst on a Kindle signing session in a Mac Shop in The Arndale Centre in Manchester. A video was posted on Facebook by the Bibliophilic State showing St Kindle on a bonfire of burning books. A masked orator was recognised as St Manuscript. No remains of St Kindle were recovered but her I Pad, I Phone and Kindle can be seen in the foyer of the headquarters of Amazon in Seattle, USA.


St Saleus of Primark.

Saints Day. 26th December, onset of Boxing Day Sales. Born AD 1986. Poland. Martyr

Saleus, born to KIng Nicholas II of Poland, and his wife Christina, was born in 1986. Betrothed to Prince Lewis, she spent her early years in the Court of Prince Aldi, growing accustomed to the finer things of life. Her particular passion was for clothing. The rest of her time was spent in prayer, reading and working with charities. Saleus with her pious husband’s consent, often rose in the middle of the night to pray, and peruse fashion and style magazines. Prince Lewis became a Director on the board of Primark and she moved with him to Manchester, England, where she continued to devote her life between prayer and cheap fashion. Aside from the interest in cut price clothing, she led an austere life, surpassing that of recluses, her meal frequently consisted of only bread and honey. Whilst her husband journeyed to the East to look for new lines of clothing, he fell ill of fever and expired. Prince Frederick succeeded to the throne, himself preferring to shop at Gucci and Harvey Nicholl’s. Disapproving of Saleus’s frugality, he succeeded in excommunicating her from the church and she chose to live on the streets with the homeless. She spent all her remaining money on clothing and she was often found handing out clothing she had bought and often stolen from Primark. It is this philanthropy that eventually lead to her death, for as she was attempting to secure bargains she was trampled to death in the Boxing Day sales. She is often portrayed in paintings with the trademark Primark carrier bags from which she handed out clothing to the homeless. And indeed this image has been used in Primark advertising.



St Olympus.

Saints Day. 27th July. Born AD 1976. Assissi.

The blessed St Olympus was born at Assisi in Umbria in 1976. His father was an athlete, training runners at Sale Athletics Club in England. Olympus ,whilst he yet lived in the world was meek, patient and liberal to the sporty. He often visited sports stadiums, consoled the losers and kissed the blisters of sprinters. One day as he was praying in the Church of Sebastian of Coe, before a crucifix, he seemed to hear a voice which said three times, ‘Francis, go and raise interest in the forthcoming Games .’ He therefore took of load of gold plated cheap metal he found in his father’s house and manufactured vast numbers of Olympic batons to be given to runners in the British Isles. Whilst in the wilderness of East Anglia, the devil and his demons came upon St Olympus and tormented him with javelins, arrows and hours of televised dressage ,persuading him to sell his batons in exchange for gold medals. Shamed by this weakness, Olympus went before Lord Coe and stripped himself of all his clothes and his medals and renounced the world, choosing only to run marathons to raise cash for the needy. Living in a place of solitude at Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield he saw, as it were, a vision of a man crucified on a podium. After a secret conversation, the vision disappearing, the mark of nails began to appear in his hands and feet, later transforming themselves into bloodied batons. This phenomenon became known as the Olympic Stigmata. St Olympus lived for two more years concealing this singular favour of heaven from the eyes of men.


St Selfie.

Saints Day. 28th April. Born A.D 1990. Kyoto. Martyr.

The extraordinary devotion to this saint is proof to the importance given to self image by his followers. According to accounts given to us by St Samsung, he was born in Kyoto , the son of a devoted computer technician. Following the death of his father, he embraced the profession of a soldier, photographing himself in war zones across the globe. As the years and battles passed, he grew tired and weary, retreating into a life of prayer, photography and the occasional ruckus. On his thirtieth birthday, he fought the fearsome dragon of Carcassonne, at the request of the royal family. Following a vicious fight and the sending of many desperate texts, pausing occasionally to take a few snaps, the dragon was slain.  Unfortunately as he was taking a long selfie using his lance as a monopod he slipped in a pool of seeping dragon’s blood, the lance piercing his amour, delivering a fatal blow. The final selfie as he breathed his last can be seen in a gilded mobile- shaped reliquary in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


St Lugagus. 

Saints Day. 24th January. Born A.D 1662. Sales. Martyr.

The saint was born at Sales, three leagues from Annecy. He showed an early inclination for the ecclesiastical state, but was sent to pursue his studies in Paris. Unbeknown to his parents, he spent his weekends at the many flea markets found in the capital. Rising before dawn, he would be seen with his trolley, seeking out holy curios , indeed he soon assembled one of the largest collections of religious kitsch of the twentieth century .He had a particular interest in 3-D religious postcards. Often spotted leading a snake of followers around the bric a brac stalls, he is attributed with instigating the cult of Tatism. Tragically he met his end , when, following a particularly fruitful day at the markets, with his trolley stuffed with “tat”, he unintentionally barged into an non-believer. Angry at having his personal space invaded, he threw St Lugagus down the subway stairs , coming to rest by a poster for “ The Passion of Christ. “ His head cradled by his disciples, he uttered he final words “winking Jesus ” . To this day pilgrims gather at the subway platform by the preserved hoarding , waiting for actor Jim Caviezel to blink his eyes. As a tribute, 3-D postcards of St Lugagus can be purchased ,and fabric shreds of his trolley are housed in the Basilica of St Peter’s.


St Onesie.

Saints Day. 23rd February. Born 1954. Hazel Grove. Martyr.

St Onesie was one of the most illustrious of the apolitical fathers, who being the immediate disciples of the apostles, received instructions from their mouths. He embraced Christianity very young and was a disciple of St Leg Warmus and St Tank Top.  He followed many holy disciples, among them three types of clothing. St Onesie kissed with respect the of chains of St Blingus, who passed by Denton on the road to his martyrdom in Broadbottom .Upon hearing the voice of God , the saint who dedicated his life to sitting at home, choosing to watch day time TV, occasionally venturing out to the bins or local Tesco express, undertook a journey to Rome to confer with pope John Paul II about jointly applying to go on Bargain Hunt,and the cost of satellite TV. Fascinated by his appearance, style conscious Romans ventured to Primark to obtain the garments, and pleaded with him to stay. The cult of Onesieism was founded. Whilst in Rome, a violent persecution broke out in Italy. Prevailed upon by his friends to conceal himself, Onesie presented himself to the tribunal of the proconsul. At the trial he was requested to blaspheme Christ, and discard his one piece fashion item. Upon his refusal to do so, he was lain on a sofa where wood and other combustibles were heaped all around it, and fire was set to the pile. The flames formed an arch around the saint and whilst he remained calm and at peace watching ” Cash in the Attic”, a centurion pierced his onesie with a sword. At the end of the conflagration the onesie remained untouched in the ashes. The garment was later spirited away by followers and its current wherabouts are unknown. The last remaining guardian of its location was assassinated in New York, and the story of the search for the holy garment, inspiring the film “The Onesie Code.”


St Deckus.

Saints Day. 30 November. Born AD 1964. Bethsaida. Martyr.

St Deckus was a native of Bethsaida, a town in Galilee, upon the banks of the lake of Genesareth. He was the son of Jonas a fisherman, and lived in a house where once Jesus lodged when he preached in the city. Indeed it was at the site of one of these gatherings where Deckus met St Kyle, an English saint preaching on TV. On a visit to the UK ,whilst looking for some raw plugs and multi bladed screwdriver, Deckus wandered into the garden section and was afflicted by the bright lights and the abundance of decking. Wandering the bleak, windswept moorlands of the north, dressed only in his light robes, with a 6 foot length of treated timber under his arm, Deckus pledged his life to spreading the word. He transformed the landscape of the north , hiding dark back soil under strips of light wood, sometimes adorned with railings, and often featuring plants in ceramic pots. Angered by the what they saw as the defiling of the once harsh landscape, St Deckus was put on trial for gentrifying the grim northern lands and was crucified by hard line members of the soil association. He was taken to Kinder Scout and where his X -shaped cross constructed from lengths of decking, was hammered into the dark claggy peat. Upon his death, the cross and his body was sucked into the peat, to be found perfectly preserved 20 years later, and displayed in the Glossop branch of Travis Perkins.


St Balloon. The first martyr.

Saints Day. 5th December. Born AD 1950. Great Hucklow.

It is generally allowed that St Balloon was one of the seventy two disciples of our Lord, for immediately after the descent of the Holy Ghost we find him perfectly instructed in the law of the Balloon. St Balloon had the primacy and precedence among the deacons newly elected by the apostles and being filled with the Holy Ghost, preached and spread of cause of Balloon art with undaunted courage. He initially started preaching to children in the 1960s , often turning up unannounced at parties armed with packets of balloons and a single action balloon pump. Children sat transfixed as animal after animal appeared as if by magic , the atmosphere charged by the sound of squeaky balloons. He further spread the word by marketing his own “Inflated Saints “ brand of balloon. The success of his teaching stirred up the malice and envy of the enemies of the art form. St balloon pumped, ied and  twisted for four decades, until society’s mood changed. Having made several appearances on “ Jim ‘ll Fix It ”, and partied with many disc jockeys in that period, animal balloons became unfashionable and he earned a living by inhaling helium at celebrity parties, and impersonating holy animals. The unicorn and the asp were particular favourites. At the turn of the new Millennium, following a party in Castleton , Derbyshire, St Balloon was discovered innocently reintroducing his long forgotten art form to a group of local children. He was pursued by a gang of vigilante parents and thrown from the top of Mam Tor. A pack of his balloons and his balloon pump are found in a small toy shop in Buxton and Jeff Koons immortalized his work in a series of Balloon sculptures, including Balloon Dog in the 1990s.


St Thermos 

Abbot Saints Day. 11th July. Born AD 1953. Norcia.

St Thermos was a native of Norcia in Umbria. When he was fit for higher studies he was sent to Rome and there placed in the public schools. He was not a little shocked at the licentiousness which he observed in some of the Roman youth and therefore left the city and made his way towards the lakes and mountains of Ambleside in the Lake District. Near this place the saint met a monk who gave him the monastic habit and conducted him to the local branch of Lakeland. He became fascinated with the range of products on offer and spent many hours there along with the many outdoor and adventure shops . He later took residence in a small cave, living life as a hermit for three years, eking out a meagre existence painting names on small pebbles which he sold to pay for real ale, coffee and occasional trips to the local Lidl. He walked thirty miles a day often sharing his flask of coffee with strangers whom he attempted to convert to his life of abstinence and frugality. Waitrosus, a priest in a neighbouring county, moved by jealousy, persecuted the saint and aspersed his reputation with slanders.  He died in suspicious circumstances, having taken poison found in his flask. Followers believe this may have been planted by an unholy alliance of saints Waitrosus, Sainsburi and Tescosi. His flask can be seen in the religious collection of Conishead Priory in Cumbria, and replicas of his flask are on sale in the Saint’s range of hiking equipment in Lakeland.


St Scooterius.

Saints Day. 11th April. A.D 1940. Poland. Martyr.

Scooterius was born on the 11th of April at Sezepanow in the Diocese of Krakow. He was the only child of infertile parents and seen as a gift from God. When grown up he was sent to pursue his studies at Gnesna, the first university in the kingdom, and spent two years in London. After seven years, he returned home, and upon the demise of his parents disposed of his fortune in favour of the poor and returned to England, settling in Southend. Here he began to spread the word of God, attempting to convert people in shopping centres and bingo halls. He returned to a new world, and found that he could not keep up with an elderly population ,now aided by mobility scooters. He decided that he must join what he called the ” Davrosisation” of the elderly and took to the road. He founded the order of the Scooterions, who took to the roads in large numbers, spreading the word. Seven years later, following a lengthy spell in the chair , St Scooterius discovered that he had lost the ability to walk. This was seen as a miraculous event and a small shrine was erected to the Saint ( now a Motobility shop ) With the success of his church, and seeing younger people keen to purchase scooters, it is rumoured that a plot funded by the government agency Link4life, led to his matryrdom. St Scooterius was assassinated when an explosive device disguised as a pair of tartan slippers exploded in his shopping basket attached to the back of his scooter. It is rumoured that St 5 a day may have been implicated, enraged by what he saw as a figurehead in the rise of obesity. The burnt out frame of his scooter can be seen in the Vatican City.


St Last Minute.

Saints Day. 11th May. Born AD 1959. Castile.

The son of Castilian royalty , St Last Minute rejected the opportunity to become King of Castile, instead following his love of football, in particular the English Premier League. Ostracised by his family he found solace in the smoky bars and clubs in northern England. He spiralled into drink and drugs during the 1970s, then experienced an epiphany . During a mass brawl outside a football stadium he saw a vision of Jesus astride a blue moon. He saw this as a potent to follow Manchester city,  and undaunted by friends jibes and protestations, moved to Manchester. He led a life of abstinence completely changing his character, and many times questioned his faith. Many times he was seen wearing a throwaway kagoul, sat in the Gene Kelly stand, soaked to the skin, preaching the blight blue word, as his faith was tested. On his wall he had the picture by Martin Schongauer of St Francis being attacked by demons, and he experienced many attacks which questioned his faith.One is legend when the mighty crazed demon from Wimbledon appeared over the festive period, putting his faith to the test. At his lowest point, his prayers were answered when from the east appeared one wise man bringing gold (and possibly myrrh and frankincense ) His faith was severely tested again in May 2012 but he was rewarded when St Sergio from Argentina answered his prayers. He has performed many miraculous events including Wembley 1999. Followers from around the globe often invoke the spirit of St Last Minute. He was martyred in 2014 when celebrating the second premiership title, he fell from the East Stand. HIs relics are stored in the museum of the Etihad Stadium, encased in a golden football. It is rumoured that the ghost of St Last Minute has been spotted on terraces around the world.


St Pit Bull.( formerly Saint Jane )

Born AD 1963. Plymouth. Saints Day. July 23rd.

The father of St Jane was Benignus Fremoit, one of the presidents of the parliament of Burgundy. President Fremiot was left a widower whilst his children were yet in their infancy, but he took such care of their education that no instructions were wanting for forming them in the practice of every religious duty. Jane was given in marriage by her father to the Baron de Chantal, an officer of distinction in the French army. The baron went out one day shooting: and his friends shot him in the thigh. He survived this accident nine days and expired in the arms of his disconsolate lady, a widow at twenty eight. It was in the year 1994, that St Hoodie of Hyde, came to preach at Dijon, and St Jane was given the opportunity to assist at the sermons of the celebrated preacher. She began to entertain thoughts of renouncing the sheltered world she had lived in. When she had disclosed this information to St Francis, he proposed to her diverse Religious Orders, and mentioned his project of forming a new congregation of the of the Visitation of the Pit Bull. She used her inheritance to form the new institute at Hattersley in 1999. The Order of the Pit Bull attracted many followers, and a year later Jane took on the name of St Pit Bull. She spent many years singing the praises of the “ Dangerous Dogs ”, encouraging followers to trawl the internet in order to secure their canine companions. Very soon, the word of the Pit Bull spread throughout the land ; followers appeared in every town and city, and in some quarters the Pit Bull became a religious and fashion item. St Pit Bull’s fame spread, she preached nationally and internationally, and she even ventured to the North East, meeting up with Saints Ruckus and Afters, who fashioned a golden collar for her short haired accomplice. From the turn of the century, the order of the Pit Bull was embroiled in controversy and tragedy. Some disciples failed to exercise control of their dogs, resulting in a series of attacks, some fatal on innocents. These attacks saw the rise of the opposing religion of Good Sense.Their spokesman and leader Saint Sensible held a large demonstration outside Crufts, exclaiming that:- It’s the “owners not the dogs who are at fault brigade” on my back. But is it not the same as a gun? Are guns not safe until they fall into the wrong hands?!”. The movement grew in number, St Pit Bull shocked and dismayed by the turn of events, handed her dog into the newly revamped Manchester Dogs Home and currently lives a solitary life of prayer on the Isle of Arran.