Showing off? shutting shop? showing up?

by Bishop Alan Wilson

Even amid a forest of high towers, St Paul’s Cathedral remains, architecturally, the heart of the City of London.
It could be a key place for people to confront anxiety and seek a new vision for the future of humanity, money, and power. This process, that is goinog on around the world, has to take in all interested parties — Limiting it to the elite who got us into this mess is insane.

After visiting the OLSX camp yesterday, I have no idea why St Paul’s shut up shop last week. The appearance of a large handful, but still only a handful, of cheap tents fifty yards from the front door would be possible to manage, one would think. If, as Woody Allen suggests, 80% of success is showing up, at least now St Paul’s has reopened it is back in the game.
But what game?

Once upon a time an Urban PCC in theSouth of England was interviewing candidates for the post of Vicar. One willowy Anglo-Catholic youth made a big pitch for a shift up the candle — recalling the grand tradition of Anglo-Catholic slum clergy he said “what this place needs isn’t a leader, but a Priest!” Stirring stuff… until, quarter of an hour later a local bag lady with a skinful of cider but a heart of gold, crashed through the doors crowing, as was her wont, her signature line – “Help! I need a Priest!” Willowy Anglo-Catholic youth disappeared to the Toilet. He did not get the job.

And, as St Paul’s reopens its doors, this tale raises a question for its managers. Can they redeem their initial hysterical over-reaction? Do they want to draw all voices into a vital public debate, or will they clear the site as tactfully and soon as possible, probably in the middle of the night — when Caiaphas and chums used to do their business?
In other words do they have the stomach to engage in the real world at the crest of a tidal race between people, money and power, or are they just overgrown public schoolboys playing indoor games in their own self-important Tourist Disneyland?

Over to them…

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