UK cathedral’s indoor fairground ride is ‘poison’ to the soul

UK cathedral’s indoor fairground ride is ‘poison’ to the soul August 10, 2019

DR Gavin Ashenden, former Chaplain to the Queen, blew a gasket last month after Rochester Cathedral gave its medieval nave over to a nine-hole golf course.

He said:

The C of E has become a branch of the leisure and entertainment industry. Since they no longer know what a cathedral is, or what it is for, it is indeed time for them to return them to the [Catholic] Church that conceived, built and knows how to honour and use them.

Dr Ashenden and the controversial helter skelter. Images via YouTube.

His fury was compounded when Norwich Cathedral this week unveiled a 55ft fairground ride.

Ashenden, Missionary Bishop for the Christian Episcopal Church, said the clergy at Norwich Cathedral had been “unprofessional” and were :

Making a mistake about what a cathedral is good for.

He said there was no evidence that tourists become Christians and:

Just to put in entertainment is naff. For such a place, steeped in mystery and marvel to buy in to sensory pleasure and distraction, is to poison the very medicine it offers the human soul.

In this report, he was quoted as saying:

There’s a sliding scale between mockery and blasphemy. It’s a mockery because it’s treating God like a tourist attraction, instead of as the creator of the universe who is going to hold us accountable for our ethical failures. It becomes blasphemy at the point where the cathedrals represent a long line of belief – much of which is martyred belief. People have paid with their lives to believe in Christ and a cathedral is the corporeal embodiment of Christ.

Canon librarian at Norwich Cathedral, Doctor Peter Doll said ahead of helter skelter’s installation:

Over the centuries they (cathedrals) have always rebuilt and adapted and use different means to reach out to new audiences so that they remain relevant to the life of the world around them.

We’re not doing it just as a gimmick to get people into the cathedral. We want to use it to give people an opportunity to engage with this wonderful building they have and the story that it has to tell which is the story of salvation.

And in the case of our Cathedral, our most notable place where the story is told is in the roof bosses of the nave, which are gloriously painted 15th century carvings that tell the whole story of salvation from Creation to the Last Judgment in wonderfully lively details.
Unfortunately, they’re very high and hard for people to get access to so we want to use a helter skelter to get them close to some of the bosses but to use other means – an app that we have, which has the bosses on them – to help them to learn about the story that the bosses have to tell.


Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • barriejohn

    It’s a “sliding scale” all right!

    Are they going round in circles, or on a slippery downward slope? Who can tell?

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Well, &#8203if &#8203they &#8203offered &#8203free &#8203beer &#8203& &#8203hookers &#8203they &#8203MIGHT &#8203get &#8203me &#8203to &#8203show &#8203up..

  • Broga

    What about, “You get the first contact with your chosen saint for free. After that get your wallet out as it will cost you.”

  • kaydenpat

    I assume that these churches are desperately trying to make money so they’ll do whatever it takes to do so.

  • Jim Jones

    Obviously that will work where everything else has failed. /s

  • John Thunderer

    Is this the modern day equivalent of the Tower of Babel?
    The clerics all seem to be talking with different tongues !!

  • George Broadhead

    This is the Church desperately trying to reverse its steady decline as clearly shown in the annual British Social Attitude Surveys.

  • s clark

    there is nothing worse than going into a godless cold building and seeing men in silly hats and dresses pretending “god is here” in false paeity. sure these godless cold buildings may be exquisitetley crafted by guilt and the false belief that by devoting one’s life to the building of such extravagance it will bribe an imaginary super hero into giving an imaginary needed salvation……being saved from what? bumming bigotry bible bashing bulls hit. frock lifting fraudsters perpetuating a myth about a benevolent god if you give him money..your labour…oh and did i mention money???

    why the need for exquisitetley carved stories adorning the insides of such monuments to stupidity, when the bible is suposed to be the only story they follow??? if you’ve seen one dirty filthy den of iniquity you have seen em all….they are littered all over the now dying christian world and they are still waiting for their imaginary super hero to come back for them. turn them into something usefull…. a factory, pest extermination center, cement works, tannery, chicken ranch…..make them pay taxes like everyone else….the tax take would eliminate poverty and homelessness completely.
    and as for blasphemy….that is the dumbest and lamest argument for godless buildings i have ever heard. and we listen to this dr gavin ashondem former chaplain to the queen (like that’s anything great or inteligent) peace on you.

  • Michael Neville

    Just as a nit-pick, the word you so exquisitely try to spell is “exquisitely”.

    EDIT TO ADD Free spell checkers are available on the internet. You might consider installing one and using it.

  • s clark

    thanks brother ..that’s the one. sorry for my poor spilling

  • Matt G

    Well, buddy, you are between a rock and a hard place. People are no longer buying what you have to offer, so that’s a loss of revenue, influence, etc. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and your measures, so far, are mini golf and Ferris wheels. You have a better idea?

  • Zetopan

    I wonder if that is part of the reason why there are as of right now over 45,000 Christian sects and that number is increasing daily?

  • 1859

    So where’s the fun in religion? There aint none. This report does show just how desperate they are to halt their impending death as an institution. Better to close up shop. Many churches have been converted into successful pubs.

  • Marc Weeks

    Why invite people to use the Lord’s name in vain?, which is bound to happen playing putt-putt.

  • Barry Duke

    What “Lord”? And what do you mean “in vain?”. These terms mean nothing to me.

  • Marc Weeks

    Really? Try Google.

  • Ignorant Amos

    Looking forward to my local church converting to a Holy Ghost Train.

  • epeeist

    Looking forward to my local church converting to a Holy Ghost Train.

    Perhaps they could use this building as a station.

    Oh, and I hadn’t realised this was available