Sunday, 1 May 2011

That's another reason why I have no respect for the CofE!

I have just seen a few minutes footage of a BBC programme called The Antiques Roadshow. It is a sort of up market television valuation house for odd bits and pieces of porcelain or furniture,  that have lain neglected in the attic for eons and are now, hopefully, in the eyes of the owner, are worth a few thousand quid.

It's Christ's house, not Christies!
It's all innocent stuff, mildly entertaining and usually, innocuous. However, tonight I was jolted from my post supper reverie by the commentator explaining that the show was coming from Winchester Cathedral. Sure enough, the valuation experts were lined up along the wall on their individual display stands in what is a beautiful Cathedral and what was once a Catholic Church where bread and wine was transformed several times daily into the Body and Blood of Christ.
How dare the Church of England in all its crass ignorance, use such a beautiful and holy place for such mean and mercenary aims.
The crowds milled aimlessly around, ignoring the fact that they were milling in the longest nave in Britain or is that Europe? Anyway, it's very long and should not be used for such mundane purposes.

It reminded me of an incident in Westminster Cathedral when the late Cardinal Hume had put into motion the brilliant idea (groan) of holding a flower festival in the central nave, a very Anglican thing to do for a start.
A late friend and stout Catholic, Stella Hook happened to visit when all was fuss and chrysanthemums and she stood, appalled at the carpet of flower petals strewn along the nave. Just then she realised that the man next to her was no other than the late Cardinal (then still very much alive), turned to him and said:
"You've turned the House of God into a florist's shop!"
She never recorded the Cardinal's reply.
Arundel Cathedral - another "florist's shop"


  1. Arundel Cathedral's carpet of flowers is to honour the Blessed Sacrament. What's wrong with that?

  2. Elizabeth....Benediction has been a pretty effective form of worship of the Blessed Sacrament over very many years. Much preferable in my book.

  3. The nave of a Cathedral was in "the old days" ie pre 1500's a public space for many uses ,no pews and open access, the chancel and side chapels, choir etc are seperate because the main public area would have been quite a busy space.
    Just because you dont like something doesnt make it wrong you know.Surely Cardinal Hume was a good judge of what is allowed?

  4. I recall Corpus Christi processions in my youth when the Blessed Sacrament was carried over such a decorated carpet of flowers. That is altogether different from a "Flower Festival"

  5. I love flower festivals they are (or should be) as devout an offering to God as any picture or mosaic in the great basilicas,we who cannot paint that well may be able to arrange flowers!Each bloom has a meaning and all the work in a great display is a work of love and raises the heart to heaven.