Requiem In Pace…

Passing the cathedral on the last warm evening of autumn I heard the choir practicing. The building towered away into a bright starry sky and the sound of the organ drifted on the breeze, an echo of the ages. A cathedral has stood here in one form or another since the time of Alfred The Great. That night it sounded like a lament for the end of an age, the end of our way of life…

The present structure was built by a conqueror in a time of devout belief in God. Now it sits as a curiosity in a secular age. To me it is a symbol of our history and identity. It has looked down on generations of men like me with our small, deeply personal, concerns and remained magnificent. It has a similar effect on me as staring at the stars; in reminding me of my mortality and impermanence. Now I wonder if indifference and weakness will end its mountainous rule. Religious belief, especially Christian belief, is at an all time low and the people who run the church seem to be more interested in being socialist politicians and social workers than in the God they purport to serve. Their willingness to accept every half-formed fad rather than stick to some of the rockier ways of an honest life might manage yet to destroy what war and fire has failed to dent in a thousand years. It is, I think, an act of faith to believe that it will still be here in another thousand years.

thumbnail Renaissance cover

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