The St Pauls protest – Churches fail, Christianity does not

When the Anglican Church moved to bar protesters from St Paul’s Cathedral in London the Wellington City Missioner, Susan Blaikie, was reported as saying says “Folk at the Newtown Drop In Centre say they are dismayed”.

“Almost with one voice they expressed their dismay at St Paul’s closing their doors. But they, like a lot of folk, believe the church has failed where Christianity has not. Their response doesn’t surprise me; over the ten years since becoming a priest I’ve heard many people state their discomfort towards the church yet profess allegiance towards Christianity.”

The “folk” at the Drop In Centre, and the City Missioner must therefore be encouraged by the lastest turn of events. The City of London Corporation Spokesperson Stuart Fraser has announced  ‘The church has changed its standpoint and announced it is suspending legal action on its land.’

“Given that change, we’ve pressed the ‘pause’ button overnight on legal action affecting the highways – in order to support the cathedral as an important national institution and give time for reflection.”

“We want to leave more space for a resolution of this difficult issue – while at the same time not backing away from our responsibilities as a Highway Authority”

Guardian editorial says “Most churches are a bit of both, and the temptation to identify with the bricks and mortar is particularly strong when they are as glorious as at St Paul’s. The cathedral’s move to threaten eviction on health and safety grounds certainly suggested it was leaning that way.

But after three resignations …  the contrary view has prevailed. The church has rightly decided to grapple with the question of the demonstration from the perspective of a moral community as opposed to that of a property management company.”


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