“Jesus made a whip of cords and he drove those who were selling livestock and changers of money out of the temple. He turned over the table of the money changers. He said to those who were selling doves: Take these away from here and do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise.”
When people stand together anything is possible, and who would have thought that the occupation currently taking place outside of St Pauls Cathedral would have generated so much interest, and indeed support in the larger community as a whole, which it has, as people keep asking me about the occupation, and in the face of such hostility from press, media, politicians and misguided leading clergy that run this great landmark of a Cathedral, and I have to say more like an on-going business concern rather than a house of prayer, a house of worship, a place surely to be with ‘God’ first and foremost in proclaiming the Christian gospel in words actions and providing services of Christian worship and praise. And yet to my mind what we have seen on display this last week is a few ‘grandee clerics’ who still think that ‘The Church of England’ is still the Tory party at prayer.
This now can only be seen as very damaging for this state establishment church of which the Queen is still its head and her governments have a big say in the appointment of its leaders, is it any wonder that there is a decline in attendance when such people like those in St Paul’s are running the show. After all there has been a 55% fall in attendance since 1980 and the decline in Church attendance is significantly higher than membership. This tells us that even amongst the membership the Church in general struggles to attract people to services, but will this badly handled situation at St Paul’s drive in yet another nail into its coffin I do wonder?
If the Church of England was the national football team they would have sacked the manager long ago.
Well it wasn’t really my intention originally to attack the church in this post, for there remains, and just like in the Labour Party, still some good people who nonetheless belong and follow the true light of the shepherd, so please except my profound apology if in any way I have caused you offence, and then I say it is not intended or directed at you!
As the blizzard of controversy continued to blow around over the handling of the Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstration and the possible camp eviction in partnership with the City of London Corporation, but now other Christian activists have said it was their duty to stand up for peaceful protest in the absence of support from St Paul's. One Christian protester, Tanya Paton, said: "We represent peace, unity and love.”
Christian groups have now drawn up plans to protect protesters by forming a ring of prayer around the camp outside St Paul's Cathedral, should an attempt be made to forcibly remove them.
Christian groups who have publicly sided with the protesters include one of the oldest Christian charities, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the oldest national student organisation, the Student Christian Movement, Christianity Uncut, the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust and the Christian magazine Third Way. In addition, London Catholic Worker, the Society of Sacramental Socialists and Quaker groups have offered their support.
This is the second Sunday in succession that a post on this blog has taken on a religious theme albeit circuitously connected to Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) protest, but just coming back to what I said at the beginning, this protest has cut through from side to side the real class hostility towards those who object to the growing inequalities that blight and disfigure the lives of millions not just here in Britain but around the world. The protest one of many being staged around the ecosphere of the world has won the support of people from all backgrounds and walks of life who agree that corporate greed and the worship of money has gone on for long enough and that people whoever they are should come first, the clerics at St Paul's would do well to re-read the scriptures, and then try to learn to love their neighbours even while they may live in temporary’ tents.