When I was preparing for ordination and studying theology at Trinity College, Bristol, a couple of friends set up a new society that met a number of times until enthusiasm ran out.

Although the teaching was mostly great, and the theology, etc. was engaging, no course can cover everything. Some of us were interested in stuff that couldn’t be covered by the curriculum. And it was to provide a forum for discussion of such themes that we set up the Eutychus Society.

Eutychus was the young man in Acts 20 who fell asleep while listening to the apostle Paul who, the text says, “talked still longer”. He fell out of the window and died. The joke was that he was bored with Pauline theology, and so were we. Well, the last bit wasn’t true (of course), but we did want to fill some gaps.

The society met once a month (I think) in the evening. It was formal. One of us would present a paper, there would then be a break, and then there would be a discussion. I would then type up the text of the paper on my new Amstrad word processor (Locoscript, if anyone remembers that), and I would then edit the ‘journal’ – including the discussion – and it would be distributed. And that’s where it got weird.

We decided to call the journal ‘The Window’. Our logo, front and centre on the front cover, was an open window. We felt we needed a Latin motto to complete our credibility. The problem was that none of us had learned any Latin. So, as the resident linguist, I made one up: “Nils fallem ex fenestra” – Let us not fall out of the window”.

It was a joke, OK? It was several months in before a tutor who did know Latin spotted it and was not happy. So he put it into correct Latin (which I have now forgotten) and the society didn’t last too much longer.

I still have a copy of one of the journals somewhere. I did a paper on ‘Babel re-visited: the use and abuse of language by Christians’. It was partly lighthearted; but, it’s serious questions still haunt me today.