My handwriting is shockingly poor. It’s an attempt to disguise my bad spelling. In the days when one sent letters, my cousins insisted the only way to decipher the flamboyant script, full of character was a large whisky or preferably several.

‘We believe in one God, Father Almighty, Maker of all things,’ Emperor Constantine mumbled the words under his breath, reading from the document. Here at last was the  Creed. This was the culmination of three centuries of clerical disputation. He had thought they would never agree. He continued reading, ‘and the Holy Goat.’ He stopped, surely that was wrong. He looked across at his scribe, who was nowhere to  be seen. Constantine studied the bishops. They were waiting for him to sign it. Rewriting it would mean more delay.

He longed for the comforts of his palace. Besides, someone was bound to  say it was a sign, and perhaps God did man goats, and another century would pass arguing. He made a decision. He signed it.

Across Christendom worshippers praised, ‘the Maker of all things, visible and invisible, the  Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Goat.’ That is until the shepherds asked, ‘Why not sheep?’

So here they were again back in Nicene working their way through the animal kingdom. In desperation someone shouted, ‘Bugger the animals.’ This was followed by sniggering. ‘We need wine!’ Drunk, they voted first on Holy  Spirits, amending it later (when sober) to Holy  Ghost.