If two or three Christians gather in a room, at least one is destined (rightly or wrongly) to say that 'the media ignores us'. This certainly hasn't been true over the past week. Ever since the first tent was pitched outside St Pauls Cathedral, as part of a global 'occupy movement', suddenly church ethics have been at the forefront.
At first nothing happened, then suddenly the church accepted the protest, then decided it would be wise if they moved, then said they would shut if they didn't move. Then St Pauls Cathedral Shut.
The newspapers and media went wild, and somehow the cathedral staggered through (for full coverage of this side of the story see Dave Allen Greens very high quality blog), meeting its legal obligations by holding eucharist behind closed doors.
While St Pauls shut the public out, something bubbled up and suddenly a 'flash evensong' sprung up and christians gathered to worship outside this iconic church. As someone who regularily tweeted with Artsy Honker, the person who organised it, I emailed over some questions to find out more about this surprising, and exciting, move:
Please, tell us a wee bit about yourselfI'm a freelance musician and a church organist; I've lived in various bits of London for the last eleven years and currently live in Leytonstone.
You've somehow started an evensong movement at the Occupy London event. How did that happen?
How did you feel in advance of the first evensong, when did you realise people had come along to take part?
Describe the moment of the worship that night that felt most like true worship to you?
What was the reaction from other occupiers as the service started?
Why is there a need for an act of worship at the site?
The cathedral is a place of public worship, and has been for hundreds of years.
Have you made any moves to encourage members of the St Pauls Clergy to attend/hold similar outdoor services?
|All sorts of people are part of the occupation|
Photo by Flickr user npmeijer
Do you know of any other religious events occurring within the occupation?
Tonight another evensong will happen, how do you decide on the hymns/text?
Social media has been a strong part of creating these small acts, what role do you find it plays in creating and connecting christians around the uk?
|St Pauls, 16 October, still open to the public|
Photo by Flickr user garryknight
What message do you think self-organising worship to occur outside a major cathedral sends to those inside the cathedral:
and those walking by
Again, it's hard to say. But I hope that the message is that Christianity is not just about the cathedral, or any building for that matter -- that we are all, if we choose, part of the church, and we are able to worship God wherever we are or whatever our circumstances.
Finally, if someone wanted to get involved but couldn't tonight, how can they find out more?