Express & Star

Peter Rhodes on gay marriage, online scams and praying for an MoT pass

To clarify the Church of England's stance on gay marriage. It is this: We will not allow gay weddings but we will allow gay weddings.

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Tom Hollander in Rev

Or to put it another way, bishops are still holding out against gay weddings. However (there is always a however), the road is clear for churches to hold a celebration to sanctify civil marriages.

If you wonder how this will work in practice, the excellent comedy series Rev (BBC1) explains all. Adam (Tom Hollander), the long-suffering vicar, tries hard to stick to the Church's rules, upsets everybody and ends up conducting a blessing which is, in effect, a gay marriage. And that's what will happen in the CofE. As so often, in time life will imitate art.

In the meantime, godlessness is on the march in the shape of the Department of Transport's plan to increase the gap between MoT tests from one year to two. The argument is that cars are more reliable than ever and many tests are not necessary.

Maybe so. But the annual ritual of the MoT test is the one day of the year when atheists and believers alike drop their cars off at the garage and spend the day in silent prayer. And when the good news comes – hallelujah.

Online fraudsters are said to buy and sell “sucker lists” of people who are easily conned. I suspect I am on one. You may recall some weeks ago I fell for a “your BT bill is ready” scam, clicked on to a link and had my email-contact list filched.

A few days ago, something similar arrived, allegedly from TV Licensing. This time I did not click, partly because the sender's address looked dodgy but mainly because the licence message ended: “You can renew it quickly and easily online – but please make sure you do it before midnight.” Golden rule of online security: If they try to rush you into something, it's a racket. Even we suckers know that.

On the issue of blocking motorways, a reader writes: “One of the foundations of a democracy is the right to peaceful protest.” Agreed. But if you create a rush-hour roadblock and reduce thousands of drivers to seething, impotent rage, in what sense is that peaceful?