Wigan – God of Pi and Pie

Wigan, the deity of Pie and Pi, is without pier amongst the gods. He, and his divine consort Ashet exist in a pattypantheon of their own. Beloved by mathematicians, bakers and gourmets alike, who see him as the sauce of all goodness (mint sauce to be precise). He is the only god who has managed to calculate the circumference, surface area and volume of the celestial spheres. His followers have no time for other religions, they believe that only their god is pukka. They believe that Wigan created the first man from pastry dough, and then crafted the first woman from one of the man’s kidneys. Later in the tale, the woman is tempted to eat the Apple Pie of Knowledge by a serpent. This is known as the Snake and Kidney theory of creation.

The cult of Wigan is divided into two sects. The high church for the upper crust, and the low church (affectionately known as Greggs) for everyone else. What all followers of Wigan agree on is their violent opposition to anyone calling some stew with a little puff pastry hat a “pie”. According to them, this dish should more correctly be called an “Anathema”. They also strive to reject and thwart the upstart false idol “Tau” at every turn. (Tau thinks he’s twice as good as the God of Pi).

The priesthood of Wigan are renowned for their great pie-ety. A neophyte must study baking and mathematics for many years before being accepted into this circle. Their final assessment hinges on writing a scholarly paper about pies with sweet fillings, known as a “dessertation”. Many lay folk think that someone must be irrational to want to train as a priest of Wigan. In truth, they are just really turned on by geometry or, as the Wiganites describe, it “pisexual”. The priesthood are led by a triumvirate, currently these leaders are Sir Cumference (also known as Number 3), Ms Di Ameter (Number 1) and Mr Ray Deus (Number 4). They are the three significant figures of the faith. Other important figures in the cult are Pontius Pielot (whose job it is to make sure worshippers wash their hands before breaking a crust together), Magnum Pi (who is their head of temple security or “crustodian”), the Pied Piper (head of music) and Crustifex Maximus (the chef de cuisine). In their quest to push the boundaries of human knowledge, the priesthood of Wigan divided the circumference of the moon by its diameter, and the circumference of the earth by its diameter. They were disappointed to discover that there was absolutely no difference between Earth Pi and Moon Pi.

Circus clowns are considered to be paladins of the faith, and a custard pie fight is a holy war. Many famous painters have been inspired to depict the devastation that ensues. So at least it puts t’art on t’walls.

The temple of Wigan is similar in shape to the Royal Albert Hall. Unlike the Albert Hall, an elegant ceramic chimney pot rises from the centre of its roof which is styled to look like a singing bird. When the priests are baking, the smoke of their ovens rises from its upstretched beak. The architecture is decorated throughout with little fleur de lys motifs. As you enter you will see a sign by the door that says, “No Pies Are Left in This Temple Overnight”. Once inside you will see that the interior is dominated by a large statue of Wigan which urinates hot, rich gravy. This holy work of art is known as the “Mannequin Pi”. In front of this fountain stands the altar. A two legged stone table, with one leg straight and the other elegantly curved. If you plan to visit the temple, be advised that all worshippers are required to leave an offering on the altar in a small disposable foil tray. You are also strongly advised to wear a wipe clean hat as the temple is also home to Wigan’s flock of four and twenty sacred blackbirds.

The great festival of Wigan is celebrated on the 14th of March every year. This involves a rite where many pies are brought forth to be shared by the congregation. Before they are eaten, the officiating priest chops 1 and 1/3 of the pies into square chunks (in other words, 4/3 Pie are cubed). This is all done to the accompaniment of a choir singing the holy number (a performance which never ends). The ritual ends with the priest declaring, “Rejoice! Crust is risen! Go in mushy peas.”

Happy Pi Day everyone!

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