Religion

Secular socialist views ...

Can Prayer Cure Cancer?

After visiting the hospital yesterday to get my oedema looked at, I sat for a while in the small church of St. Bartholomew-the-Less, conveniently located on the way out of the hospital on the way to the bus stop. I am not a religious person, and I can not even claim that it was an oasis of calm, as the sound of construction work blasted past the big wooden doors and bellowed around the nave. But I fancied a ponder on matters theological.

Barts-the-Less is a chapel of ease, meaning a church building that is accessible to parishioners who can not make it to the proper parish church (in this case, St. Bartholomew-the-Great). The clients and residents of Bart's hospital, and their visitors, surely qualify. For clarity, there was one St. Bartholomew, who had one great church and one lesser one; rather than two St. Bartholomews, one greater in some important respect than his lesser namesake.

It is, as are most places of worship, rather beautiful - unusually light due to its strikingly large windows, and its walls adorned with resolute plaques memorialising some of the Bart's hospital staff through the centuries who saved many lives and then lost their own. I sat on the crimson cushion on the wooden pew. The only other person there was, I think, praying.

Wondering Eyes

When places of worship
​          become places of wonder
Bright-eyed guides
          will tell wide-eyed visitors
You won't believe
          what people used to believe
And then, with downcast eyes
          they will add
And you'll never believe
          what some of them did
          in the name of what they believed

This I Know

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
And if it's there in black and white
Then heaven knows it must be right
But if this weren't the only book
That I so literally took
Then dragons fly and this I know
For JK Rowling told me so.

While Bishops Washed Their Frocks

Shortly before Christmas 2012, the Church of Engalnd voted not to allow women to become bishops. The decision to allow women bishops - with some qualification - was taken around two years later.
To the tune of While Shepherd's Watched Their Flocks ...

While bishops washed their frocks by night
All seated on the ground
An edict from the Synod came down
"It's still just men allowed"

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