Friday 28 October 2011

God Bless Giles Fraser

Having just listened to Giles Fraser on a Guardian podcast, my heart goes out to him. He has lost not only his job, but his accommodation and the security for himself and his family. As a member of clergy I realise how difficult this is - all our jobs also come with a home and much support from a diocese.

So why was he prepared to give it all away? Ultimately, he knew that once the Church authorities 'green lighted' the police action to evict the protesters, violence is a likely outcome. He preferred a route of negotiation and sanctuary, and the City Corporation and the Mayor of London disagreed.

I was fascinated to hear him say that is was the biblical story that led him to this position. Firstly, he had to preach on the reading from Matthew of 'render unto Caesar', one that ultimately leads you to the conclusion that a person cannot serve both god and mammon (money). Secondly, he could picture the upcoming nativity season with a baby Jesus more likely to be born in the protest camp than the baroque cathedral of St Paul's.

Giles will be a stronger, more public voice than ever before. People will listen more attentively when he appears on Radio 4's 'Thought for the Day'. Thank God for that, as we will need more outspoken voices from the clergy as the moral issues arising from the 'rule by the few' become more and more painful for the ordinary people of the UK. The Church of England needs to speak out on behalf of the wide spectrum of UK citizens, it needs to always remember that we are not here to prop up the rule of the political and financial elites. 


  1. Well said. As others have commented in a similar vein elsewhere, I might not agree with everything he says, but we need the challenge to thought, constantly, less the institution of the church become its own grave.