Friday, September 27, 2019

Glory Bee!

Sometimes a picture's worth a thousand words, and herein ends this evening's insightful political commentary. Cost? 1 Euro or to you, readers, free.

Moving from secular to, ahem, sacred, the Church of England's venerable Winchester Cathedral, founded in the 7th century A.D., has installed a Giant Bee above its front door.

That's right, a GIANT BEE. Here it is, getting ready to be hoisted up on the church's imposing western front. Attractive, isn't it. "But why," you ask, "this tremendous bee?" 

The Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester explains, "The bee is a great symbol of the beauty and intricate connection of creation," and, "The Giant Bee also symbolises the importance of recycling, incorporating materials that have been thrown away or donated."

Thank God for that. Who knows, perhaps Winchester's Giant Bee will play its part in reversing the CofE's unsettling decline, and it's serious. According to the UK's Guardian, Church of England attendance is at an all time low, with the number of people identifying with the state religion falling from 31% in 2002 to 14% in 2018.

Winchester Cathedral's press office announced its bold bee initiative with the arresting headline "Glory Bee!" Will this curious mix of parochial mawkishness meets green religion-of-the-hive convert the English? And if so, to what, the Bee Goddess?

Don't say Christianity.



Beans said...

What next, a wickerman for the harvest celebration?

gL said...

It's not just the C of E son, The Faith, (or reasonable, sensible, non-corporate versions of it) are in decline everywhere. As people move away from a thing they seem to be finding ever more and more suspicious, absurd and irrelevant, the numbers will continue to dwindle. This doesn't seem to be the case w Mega-Church Christianity and Islam however, something I see as two sides of the same coin. Go figure.

RHT447 said...

"Church of England attendance is at an all time low, with the number of people identifying with the state religion falling from 31% in 2002 to 14% in 2018."

Could that bee the end game? Drive away the old to make room for the new? I mean it's not a golden calf, but what ever works. Right? Know of anyone who has couple of stone tablets we can borrow?

LL said...

Napoleon used the sign of the Bee. Maybe Justin is patterning himself after the French Emperor? I wouldn't rule that out.

Kid said...

That's got to be one thick book up top there.

I wonder if the absolute number of Christians is about the same - probably lower, but as a percentage of the population, England has also been filling up with migrants and not just islamic, but Hindu and Buddhist as there are Lots of Indian there which would drive the percentage lower.

Fredd said...

The Church of England needs to fire their advertising firm immediately. A bee? For God's sake, that's a loser, Pastor.

Now, they should listen to Pious ol' Fredd: goat sacrifices. Everybody loves those, the bloodier the better. Goat sacrifices really packs the pews, it's pure gold, watch those passed offering baskets overflow with gobs of quid, Reverend, you can take that to the bank.

Secondly, it wouldn't hurt to throw in a few more tricks of the trades that have worked for centuries in the Protestant circles: handling of snakes - churchgoers love that. Serpents add a certain spice to every service, believe you me.

Then, maybe some speaking in tongues, and then perhaps ala Benny Hin, some laying on of hands and curing a cripple or two to the amazement of the faithful, a sure fire way of firing up the service, eh Reverend?

Just trying to be of help,

Fredd The Pious

LSP said...

Beans, you took the words right out of my mouth. It's all a larf until you wake up in a wicker man and... it's on fire.

LSP said...

Interesting point, GL. Mainstream denoms in the West are certainly in decline, especially the old protestant variants, but also a Roman Catholicism which has become a dressed up variant of the lib prots. Saying that, evangelical and catholic groups which have held fast to the Faith and practice it with intention and authenticity tend to be doing well. Latin Mass communities, for example.

This stands to reason, people looking for meaning in belief and an experience of the transcendent, of God, are more likely to find it with religious communities that actually believe. Of course that's at a premium with our crew, Anglicans, who often go to church out of custom.

Outside of the West things are different, Orthodoxy's had a remarkable resurgence and churches of all sorts are thriving in Africa, Asia and Latin America. And guess what, Christianity in these instances doesn't act the Quisling to secular culture.

Viz. Mega Church Evangelical and Islam? There's much to be said for an unholy alliance between Calvin and the Prophet. But therein lies a different if related tale.

Forgive the essay!

LSP said...

RHT, you're in psychic communion with Beans, I was going to make that point in the post, right down to the "bee." And exactly, we have to wonder.

LSP said...

Excellent stats point, Kid, and I'm not sure. I do know, though, that immigration's boosted some churches. Nigerians, for example, have rescued a few COE places and Poles haven't hurt the Romans. Still, the majority of the influx is Muslim. Of course there's no law outside of Islam that says Mohammedans can't convert, but they have to have something to convert to and I doubt the GIANT BEE is going to cut it.

Then there's the book. Yes, it's pretty hefty. Imagine it's DC counterpart.

LSP said...

Fredd the Pious, thank you for those great suggestions and yes, there's a real PR firm issue here.

I just don't see the HUGE BEE filling the pews. Sure, it's cute and all, but there's no mass appeal. What if the wicker bee was set on fire, with someone in it?


Kid said...

LSP, The giant bee is not going to cut it, and the current Pope has even less of a chance of converting anyone.

LSP said...

LL, I'm getting concerned. First there was Beans, then RHT, and now you. Yes, I was thinking the Corsican Upstart and Welby too, but didn't write it in.

That's because my mind went to his coronation, Josephine, and Austerlitz and I just couldn't square it with Justsin. Surely his cipher's a MANTIS?

Bathwater said...

I like the giant bee. we don't appreciate them enough!

LSP said...

Bathwater, please don't get me wrong, I love bees.