Monday 9 November 2015

SO WHOSE CATHEDRAL IS IT? - Worship Catholic & Protestant contd.

This morning we celebrated the dedication of the Cathedral Church of Rome, St John Lateran. I had just been reading more of Cobbett's 'Rural Rides' and this section seemed especially appropriate for today.
Constable's Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows
Cobbett wrote "  (T)hose that revel in the riches of these endowments... abuse and blackguard those of our forefathers, from whom the endowments came, and who erected the edifice, and carried so far towards the skies that beautiful and matchless spire, of which the present possessors have the impudence to boast, while they represent as ignorant and benighted creatures, those who conceived the grand design, and who executed the scientific and costly work. These fellows... have the audacity, even within the walls of the Cathedrals themselves, to rail against those who founded them; and RENNELL and STURGES, while they were actually, literally  fattening on the spoils of the monastery of St Swithin, at Winchester, were publishing abusive pamphlets against that Catholic religion which had given them their very bread.

St Osmunds Catholic Church, Salisbury
For my part, I could not look up at the spire and the whole of the church at Salisbury, without feeling that we live in degenerate times. Such a thing never could be made now. We feel that, as we look at the building   It really does appear that if our forefathers had not made these buildings, we should have forgotten, before now, what the Christian religion was!"

Since Cobbett's day the Tithe system, which he railed against, has disappeared. Inequalities in stipends have been partly levelled out. But still the Church of England by law established holds on to the spoils of the Reformation, and merrily flogs off parsonages and even churches to enable it to continue to live beyond its means.

From the Church of England Website:

A Christian presence in every community

Around twenty Church of England church buildings are closed for worship each year. The list shown below gives information about buildings that are available for disposal and are being marketed for a suitable alternative use. Some of these are already under offer, but it may be worth registering an interest with the Diocese or Agent concerned in the event that the current proposed use does not proceed.
Further information about the procedures involved may be found on the closed churches pages on this site.
The Church Commissioners give no warranty as to the accuracy of the description of the property in this list.

Addendum: I just came across this in the Commissioners' prospectus for St Peter's Leicester. Suggestions for change of us of the Charnel House are invited  EB

 The churchyard is approx. 0.881 acres (0.356 ha) and includes a separate small mortuary/charnel house.  Suitable for a range of uses