Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, has suggested churches with low attendance could be turned into gyms, restaurants and multi-faith centres.So we can all worship at the altars of fitness, consumerism and ‘diversity’ instead, Andy?
But I suspect there’s an ulterior motive behind this statement. And so it seems:
He used the example of the recent multi-million pound renovation of All Souls Church in Bolton, an Anglican church which has "found a new multi-faith, multi-racial community to serve."Ahh, space for ‘community education’, eh…? Yes, I bet people were just clamouring for that…
"The CCT came up with a brilliant solution. The community did not need a museum piece but they did need somewhere to meet. They needed a gym, a health centre, space for community education and space for inter-faith learning."
He also used an example of a former church, St Peter's in Liverpool, which had been turned into a themed restaurant and bar called Alma De Cuba in 2005.Ummm…OK, I’ll leave that one alone, I think!
"My mum said the last time she set foot in the building was 40 years ago for confession," (Ed: Is Andy Burnham 40 years old? If so, I see why she’d need to…) he said, adding "Not everyone will be happy with that transformation. Part of me was uneasy but to her credit, my mum, a good Scouse Catholic, shrugged and raised a glass."
So, how is the CoE taking this assault? As expected, it’s rolling over without a murmur:
A Church of England spokesman said Mr Burnham's suggestion would only apply to a minority of its 10,000 churches now deemed redundant - about 30 a year.Heh. Who wants to place a bet on when we’ll see the first ‘redundant’ mosque turned into a nightclub?
Yeah, thought so….