Father Simon Grigg became rather excited when introducing the service.
'It's going to be that sort of an afternoon' he said,
referring to the choir who sang 'Bread of Heaven' with a coda
'You can buy your bread from Tesco, Morrisons and Asda too'.
What he meant was that it wasn't going to be a very religious service,
more a celebrity pantomime.
Comedy actor, author, poet and raconteur,
Spinetti 'professed to be an atheist', the vicar said, 'Well he knows better now !
He disliked organised religion so we have put on some disorganised religion.
He said he didn't like memorial services so we are celebrating his life'.
He then mentioned Victor's partner, Graham Curnow.
'Yes, we celebrate such relationships in this church', he said,
apologising for those silly churches that weren't so broad minded.
'And now, if it's in your tradition, I invite you to join me in prayer.
Have a wonderful afternoon, welcome and enjoy.'
Comedian Rob Brydon was first up with a joke about how Spinetti never wore a watch.
How did he tell the time, Brydon had asked.
'The time is now and I am here, in it,' Spinetti replied.
Barry Cryer read from James Graham's Albert's Boy, in which Spinetti played Einstein :
'We all get our chance to carry the baton. But we're all in the same race.
All heading in the same direction'
Finally the vicar returned with his blessing,
saying he had never heard so many F-words in a church service and that it was
'the greatest concentration of talent he had ever seen in his church.'
Spinetti had once said that if you're going to drop a name, make sure it bounces.
'I'm going to be dropping names for a very long time,' concluded Father Grigg.
This is an abridged version of the much longer review that appeared in the December 2012 edition of The Oldie