St Paul's Cathedral - Rule One - Don't Close Your Doors!

I'm somewhat disappointed at the lack of foresight by those who closed St Paul's Cathedral, sighting 'health and safety' as the main reason. Due to the protesters on the streets surrounding the Cathedral, there appears to be the possibility of congestion and potential for harassment of worshippers.I assume they fear trouble might start up again as when the riots took hold of London in the Summer. However, I notice that Starbucks are open as is every other business in the area. No one in the surrounding business locality seems to be concerned about this issue. No one has closed their doors except the church. It must look to the outsider that the church is reverting to type, safeguarding its building - concerned about its fabric rather than the faith. The message is loud and clear, "we don't take risks!" Surely this was a wonderful opportunity to minister to people who feel anxious and concerned about their future. Its a strange one Jesus turned the tables over in the Temple because of the corrupt banking practices that were taking place in the sacred grounds of the Temple. Today St Paul's close the doors on people who metaphorically wish to repeat the same exercise without the violence. The people outside the church have got the message, while the people inside the church seem to be perhaps a little afraid of the message. [youtube][/youtube] I couldn't help thinking about the tented village that represented the Church Without Walls Movement within the Church of Scotland, camped at Ingliston a few years ago. What some of us would give to have a few thousand people camped on the doorstep of our churches. What an opportunity to use the church as the place of prayer and reconciliation. Who cares if its a bit messy, life is messy, and the church should be at the centre of the mess. The way of the cross was messy,is messy but the message it brings is always relevant. I wonder what St Paul would say to the protesters? I wonder what Paul would say to the Dean? I wonder if the Dean realises what he is saying to the the public? Under Protest We've closed our doors, because we panicked, We're not used to having a community take residence around our church. We have a ministry to tourists - people on the move. Its less demanding- say a prayer then on your way. You have them for an hour or two at the most. We welcomed protest for an hour or two A day at the most. They made their point Its now time to move on Get back to normal We like tourists Residents are too much work, If we start talking, building a relationship with them We'll never get rid of them. They might want to dwell in the House of the Lord - forever We can't have these people here for Christmas - can we? We're a church besieged by protest. We're being used. Churches shouldn't be used - not like this. We'll lock the doors - hope they go away Like the tourist do.

Posted By: Helmut   On: 22 Nov 2011   At: 6:07am

Jimmy, my caveat sprang from first hand stories told to me when working with some public authority a long time ago.

In the light of recent events, and, thinking of it, old ones as well,

I should modify my caveat: it certainly cuts both ways. We invite travellers (and occupiers as well) because it seems politically correct and opportune at some time, and will kick them quite happily in their posteriors if it fits our purpose.

As they say: it needs five good events to remove one bad one from people’s memories.


Posted By: Jimmy   On: 21 Nov 2011   At: 9:32pm

Thank you for your good work Helmut,

If anyone thought that the heart within a Traveller was any less sinful or any more sinful than the heart within a non-traveller in the sight of God, then they would have need of growing a little in their understanding.

But historically the greatest crimes have been those of the State against it’s people and also crimes enshrined in evil laws. So as Travellers do not want, do not have and perhaps have never had authority over anyone I think they would have a lot of catching up to do to justify a feeling of unease, especially as their greatest crime is having their culture criminalized.

Your industry in finding the links is let down a little by your qualifying caveat.


Posted By: Helmut   On: 31 Oct 2011   At: 1:28pm

As a follow up to Jimmy’s posting, it would appear that everything went ok at Aberdeen in 2010:

I would be the first to admit that travellers come in varieties and can very well understand people feeling uneasy about them.


Posted By: Helmut   On: 31 Oct 2011   At: 12:25pm

I read of Canon Fraser resigning from St Paul’s, I heard on the midnight news that campers were afraid of the church having them forcefully removed.

Also in the news: The German government considers it a minor nuisance that one of its banks got its balance sheets wrong by fifty-five-billion euros!


Posted By: Jimmy   On: 24 Oct 2011   At: 2:45pm

The reality.


Posted By: Andrew   On: 24 Oct 2011   At: 12:10pm

The occupy protesters are quite literally now part of the congregation - because they are congregating just outside the cathedral. It should be the Christian duty of a Church, however lofty or humble to serve its congregation.  Get those doors back open, Dean!


Posted By: Helmut   On: 24 Oct 2011   At: 10:06am

Whereas I take it from recent news that a bank in Hamburg does openly tolerate a tent camp in front of their doors. Campers may actually use the bank’s toilets. Nearby shops are supplying electricity, food, drinks, and the usually very much (and rightly so) criticized Hamburg authorities have so far decided not no ban the camp. Bank employees have been reported to be quietly in support.

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