Wednesday, 23 September 2015

St Paul's Cathedral


I am determined to be quite the tourist on this visit to London cos even though I lived here for a long time, I have managed to ignore some iconic places that must surely be worth a visit. And thanks to Brissie Carol I have a book full of lesser known places to navigate as well, so I expect to wear a bit of a hole in my feet and put my metal knees to good use.
So yesterday I took off to town to have a gander at some legal action at The Old Bailey, and that is a story in itself, but afterwards, as I was so close and I had never been there before, I thought I'd pop into St Paul's for a bit of absolution and to see if it looked like it did when Princess Di got married.

There are plenty of stairs to get to the front door and the red carpet of course was gone, but up I trudged cos I figured it'd be pretty and perhaps atmospheric and maybe even eventful if the lightning attacking atheists is true. There was a long line of people which sort of surprised me, cos the building looked voluminous on the tellie and Di's dress was pretty flash and fitted in so I guessed there had to be plenty of room for everyone to fit in, even if people were stopping every once in a while for a little chat to gods.

But as it turned out the line up was so everyone could part with their cash to get closer to god. Ho bloody hum. And not just a little donation in the tiny brown envelope of my childhood, no, the entry fee was 18 POUNDS. Now that's a lot of wonga!

For 18 quid I could buy 4 pints at the pub, or 2 fair bottles of Sav Blanc. For 18 quid I could go to the pictures 1 and a half times, so about 3 hours of viewing pleasure. 18 quid pays for 12 bus rides of unlimited distance and a shed load of good chocolate. Yep it's a lot of cash. And there was a long line up of folk ready and willing to part with it.

But not me.

There was a little codicil on the pricing banner, that invited prayers in free of charge, but I had a look at the space of offer for them and really it would have crushed Di's dress.

I couldn't in all consciousness feign a religious intent just to get a free look see and anyway it didn't seem like I was gonna get in to where I wanted to go even if I did leave my integrity at the door.

So I took a picture of the banner which outlines all the conditions of entry as well as perhaps exchanging blessing for bucks from the dead. Yeh I wasn't supposed to take any photos although I didn't see any signs about that. I did see the box office set up in the middle of the church and I was reminded of the Old Testament story about when Jesus went spare about the traders in the church and wondered how this could be seen as any different - just saying.

It's a pretty big building and no doubt requires a great deal of maintenance and all that has to be paid for somehow. I just can't reconcile the cash grab by the church.

Have you visited St Paul's?
When have you parted with cash just for a little look - see?


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