We’re off to England tomorrow, for a week’s vacation, and as we’ll be in London on Sunday morning, with an important brunch commitment that prevents us from attending Divine Liturgy at the Russian Cathedral (not much change out of 3 hours), I thought I’d look for somewhere else to worship.
We’ll be just across the river from a whole bunch of wonderful Wren churches but because they’re in the City they’re all Monday to Friday parishes with nothing doing on Sundays. A very sensible alternative seemed to be Southwark Cathedral, the site of one of London’d oldest churches, if not the oldest, and conveniently close to where we’re staying.
The cathedral’s website made my heart sink, not least because of all the window-dressing I had to wade through to find the schedule of services. Southwark Cathedral offers conference facilities, lectures, concerts, exhibitions, courses, and, weirdest of all, catered private dining. No mention yet of biblical re-enactment weekends or face painting for the kiddies but perhaps it’s just a matter of time.
It has become a venue. It offers experiences. And, well, honestly, all I wanted was somewhere beautiful and uplifting where I could get down on my knees.
The website also says that the congregation reflects the age, sex (it actually says ‘gender’ but I can’t bring myself to use that idiotic, modern misappropriation), sexual orientation and status diversities of London’s population. Which pretty much covers it. So you can be sure I’ll be there, with my mental clipboard, to make sure all the quota boxes are indeed ticked. I expect to see crabbed age and youth, male, female and undecideds, ebony and ivory, confirmed bachelors, bull dykes, toffs, chavs and drug barons dripping with bling.
Quite how prayerful I will be is another matter.
Back next week, folks. Pax vobiscum.