Melanie Phillips

21 November 2011

The desecration of St Paul's

Published in: Daily Mail

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The Guardian reports today:

'Desecration, defecation and substance abuse are among the issues St Paul's Cathedral has had to cope with because of the protest camp in its churchyard, according to legal documents filed by the City of London Corporation ahead of its attempt to evict activists from the area.'

In a letter to the Corporation a cathedral official, Nicholas Cottam, has reported:

‘“Desecration: graffiti have been scratched and painted on to the great west doors of the cathedral, the chapter house door and most notably a sacrilegious message painted on to the restored pillars of the west portico.

“Human defecation has occurred in the west portico entrance and inside the cathedral on several occasions. Noisy interruption has occurred to spoken and sung Christian services, after repeated requests for quiet. Foul language has frequently been directed at cathedral staff. Noise has frequently carried into the cathedral to the extent that services have been difficult to sustain in any meaningful way.”

‘Cottam added that alcohol “and other stimulants” appeared to “fuel the noise levels day and night”.

The cathedral authorities are thus recording grossly uncivilised, antisocial behaviour which, in their own words, is desecrating the holy space of St Paul’s Cathedral. And yet, as we all know, the same cathedral authorities have refused to take action to end this affront to decency in their own churchyard. They have washed their hands of it and in effect dumped the entire mess into the lap of the City of London Corporation, so that the church can continue to show that its own heart bleeds for the poor.

Not only is this egregious hypocrisy, but it tells us more clearly than ever before that when it comes to defending a civilised society against its wreckers – indeed, when it comes to defending the church itself against sacrilege and desecration – the Church of England will be on the wrong side.

About Melanie

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents.

Read full biography


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Melanie Phillips
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