Climbing to God
Maybe and Rose are sick of their lives in the tiny Yorkshire village of Oxgodby. More to the point, they are sick of the men in their lives, Alf and Alf. At Mabel's behest, they've decided to visit God, whom they believe resides six miles above earth in a small box. The women are adherents of the Muggletonian faith, which holds that women can be returned to life on earth as men. Mabel and Rose both have their own reasons for wanting to make the change. The play opens just after they've begun their ascent.
Text of Climbing to God
A small Protestant Christian sect, the Muggletonians were founded in 1651, when Lodowick Muggleton and a tailor-colleague announced they were the last prophets, as foretold in The Book of Revelation. Among other beliefs, the Muggletonians held that God had appeared directly on Earth once as Jesus Christ, and now He could care less about everyday events on this benighted planet. In fact, God apparently wasn't planning to make another appearance until it was time to bring the world to an end. In the meantime He was living in a small box six miles above Earth.
Devout Muggletonian women like Mabel and Rose could be reborn as men, which author J.L. Carr said contributed greatly to the sect's attraction for the fairer sex. Muggletonians didn't have church services, but would meet in pubs for socializing, endearing the faith to many men.
Lodowick(e) Muggleton. Perhaps proof that one need not be Godlike in appearance to found a religion.
I would not have discovered the eccentric sect known as the Muggletonians were it not for J.L. Carr. The author of the Booker-nominated novel A Month in the Country, Carr also self-published a series of small books, wonderful curiosities of facts and foolishness. A brief teaser of information on Lodowick, the sect's eponymous founder, can be found in Carr's Welbourn's Dictionary of Prelates, Parsons... (The full title is almost longer than the book itself.) For more information on Carr and his books, visit the publishing house he founded and which is now operated by his descendants.
Climbing to God is dedicated to J.L. Carr.