I have watched aghast at the furore caused by St Paul’s Cathedral’s representatives and their spiteful attempts to undermine the efforts of the Occupy the London Stock Exchange Movement. This is clearly a vindictive initiative at the behest of the capitalist robber barons which the Church of England traditionally represents. On its website, St Paul’s shamelessly celebrates a host of corporate partners which include
Lloyds Banking Group
Fidelity Investment Managers
CMS Cameron McKenna
London Stock Exchange
Sarasin & Partners
The Rev Bob Marshall claims that the closure, self imposed, costs around £20,000 a day which, roughly calculated, means that the C of E has a little number going on here that is making itself approximately £7 million+ a year. No surprise to see the Church with its nose in the trough. As of the end of 2007 total assets managed by the Church Commissioner amounted to nearly £6 billion including stock market and other investments . these defenders of the poor and our self appointed ‘moral compass ‘ are winning the Euro millions just from income. In addition the Church Commissioners own 112,000 acres of agricultural land in England and Scotland and historically much of the land has been used for new out-of-town developments. So not only do the Church Commissioners receive rental income from their agricultural portfolio but they have benefited enormously from the growing number of planning applications and out-of-town developments. In short, the Church is stinking rich and doing nothing to take its share of the burden. Not content with profiteering, foreign exchange speculation and hedge fund involvement it now seeks to undermine a peaceful protest against the vile excesses of the City.With a compliant, right wing media they have been wringing their hands and bleating for the last week. Apparently, the presence of the protest is seriously compromising their ability to sell cheap tat to overseas tourists, half of whom probably think that they are in Paris anyway. Tourists who have paid the best part of £40 for a familty ticket by the way.If their were a God, there isn’t, what would he/she make of all this. I rather suspect that the said deity would be somewhat disconcerted by the strange priorities of a church which only came into existence because Henry VIII had a hard on for Anne Boleyn and she was an old fashioned girl. Remember that next time they are getting all pious and theatrical. The Church of England was born from a monarch’s need to shag his favourite bit of court fluff. How dare they seek to take the moral high ground as they slope arms for the indefensible.Have a look at the trustees and the people who sit on the Cathedral Committee. Don’t be naive enough to expect to see a band of cheery, hands on givers. You will find, amongst others, a former CBIPresident and current Rolls Royce executive who is also a non executive director of Centrica. That would be Centrica which worms its way into public services, slashes jobs and pockets tax payers cash. She shares the decanter with a former Met Commissioner and the Chief Risks Officer of Lloyds TSB. Thieves in the Temple indeed.
The Church represents the ruling classes and it always will. It loves pomp and ceremony, power and inflence, self interest and telling poor people to stop complaining. Perhaps the Cathedral would be better served in displaying some contrition and sacrificing itself as a penance for its victims. Deconsecrate it and make it a shelter/support facility for the 1000s and 1000s of people who have suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse at its hands.
There is a trend towards secularism in this country. Even the old Nazi who visited from Rome recently admitted that. The power of the churches in this country is now massively disproportionate to its wealth, privileges and influence. They would do well to keep the eclesiastic gob shut before taking sides against the people lest those people start asking some very searching questions.