Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sing we a song of high revolt!

Here is my online friend Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, talking (for himself and unofficially) about recent events at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

The basic story is that the #OccupyLSX (London Stock Exchange) were prevented from occupying Paternoster Square (where the LSX actually is) and so ended up at St. Paul's Cathedral. When the police were about to run them off, the Canon Chancellor of the Cathedral, Giles Fraser, shooed the police instead. In response, the Dean and Chapter (ie, Giles's boss and colleagues) proceeded to have a week or more of hissy fits. Giles has resigned and the Dean and Chapter have managed to embarrass the bejeezly crap out of the Church of England. Or, as the Guardian tellingly put it:
This rather messy and absurd situation has handed the dean and chapter of St Paul's a truly historic opportunity to discredit Christianity in this country. They seem determined to take it.
In any event, here's Bishop Alan.

I am reminded of an old hymn, sometimes sung to the tune of The Red Flag. (Unable to find a YouTube.)

Sing we a song of high revolt!
Make great the Lord, his name exult!
Sing we the song that Mary sang
of God at war with human wrong.
Sing we of him who deeply cares
and still with us our burden bears.
He who with strength the proud disowns;
brings down the mighty from their thrones.

By him the poor are lifted up.
He satisfies with bread and cup
the hungry folk of many lands.
The rich are left with empty hands.
He calls us to revolt and fight
with him for what is just and right;
to sing and live Magnificat
in crowded street or council flat.


Alan said...

Sad isn't it? It's a great opportunity (as the Bishop so eloquently puts it) for us to prove to the world once again that ALL are welcome and the world needs what we have. Thanks for posting Malcolm. It is important for me to see the real people of vision that still populate or churches. These people help me to remember why I am a Christian.

Rob-bear said...

Well, this is one minister (United Church of Canada) who is on the ground with Occupy Saskatoon. Every day. Since the planning began.
If we Christians are going to live the gospel, we need to be where the action (as in "need") is. This pastor, having been put put to pasture (65 years), is having lots of fun doing ministry in a different place/context. And nudging "church folk" along in the process, as I did after worship this morning.
Not that we all have to be here, as there are lots of places in which we Christians can make a difference. But some of us need to be "on the ground," and others need to consciously identify with what's happening "on the ground."

theiconoclast said...

Yes, it is sad, sad that one lonely Bishop and not scores of clergymen of every rank, went down to the barricades; sad that Church leaders are so silent. What saddens me the most, however, is how fearful the clergy is. Even the brave (no sarcasm meant) Bishop of Buckingham feels he must dance around every question and then finally say that of course he is only expressing his personal view! Good grief, he should say that he speaks for the Church, the real Church which is not an organization but a supernatural entity that desperately needs its people to speak up for it.