Thursday, 21 June 2007

Don't Even Think Of It

Not that you were about to .. However, ahead of the legislation that requires us, along with all other enclosed public spaces, to display no smoking signs, I had yesterday to put these up in the Cathedral.

I had spoken with Anglican Deans about their protest at the requirement for these sings to be displayed in Cathedrals (and indeed all Churches), but the Government is unyeilding. Under pressure from the Church Commissioners it has, however, promised a review within three years.


The fact that nobody thinks of smoking in the Cathedral (or at least, not until these signs went up) bears little weight. Once again, the dull hand of bureaucracy reaches into the life of the Cathedral.

10 comments:

Mark said...

We've had a smoking ban up here for ages, and if there have been notices up in Churches and Cathedrals, I can't say I've noticed them--mind you, that could be because they're everywhere else.

Andrew said...

Is censing considered smoking?

Anyway, great job in putting up those signs discreetly.

Ivo said...

Does that include the use of incense during Mass or the burning of candles? (LOL)

John the organist said...

The same thing at the library - it has always been a No smoking zone!

st columba said...

Perhaps there might be an artistic way of presenting those stupid signs. A mosaic? How dreadful.

andrew said...

When I used to live in Germany, my German friends used to say, enviously, that Britain was the country with the greatest amount of freedom, individually and corporately, in Europe. (Which was brought home to me one Sunday when I was lounging around at home and an official Poo-Bar came round and informed me that I had not swept my pavement, I had not had my chimneys checked and that I was in contravention of an act for mowing my lawn earlier because on Sundays, between 2 and 6pm, the babies in Germany MUST SLEEP! I had, you understand, no chimneys as I lived in a BauHaus and the nearest children were, hopefully a long way away as I lived in the grounds of a Lutheran Monastery, but that was irrelevent, it seemed...)

But I digress (and the beer was nice, so I stayed, and it was worth it all to watch the parish priest doing his impression of the Assumption each year while shouting 'fart, fart' well, actually 'fahrt', but the impression is the same to a course Englander. They did, though, live very restrictive lives both politicially and socially, religiously even and we were seen as a beacon of liberty and freedom which worked because, deep down, we Btitishers are a pretty orderly bunch. The present government seem to have hijacked that goodwill to impose some of the most restrictive laws, by stealth, in Europe, often under the excuse of ,anti terror' laws. As if a law will stop terrorists, any more than it would have stopped Hitler.

These signs are indicative of a government who can cover up the shooting of an innocent man on the tube and lie about the causes of war, as well as the effects of war.
It is, in short, enough to make me want to start smoking again and I would, if it wasnt for the fact that it will contribute to Brown's swag bag.

Ok, so i'm a grump, but where is a Socialist Christian with a taste for good wine supposed to live these days? Are there any orders of monks who would have me I wonder, but then it's only a matter of time before armed traffic wardens storm monastries and convents searching for illegaly taxed cars............

matthew said...

Presumably once the review comes, they will discover no-one has been smoking in chhurches and decide that requiring the posters to be displayed has been an overwhelming success!

Anonymous said...

Are they also up in the sacristy (as a place of work)to deter you all from having a quick one before Mass to calm your nerves...?

Catherine said...

Should we make a stand against time-and-money-wasting, pointless and officious laws? It reminds me that at my convent boarding school I and those of my friends with expatriate parents delighted in being told by the nuns that smuggling was not necessarily a sin, so long as you didn't lie about it. There were several stories of nuns getting through customs without paying duty on a suitcase full of whiskey for the priest because the officials thought they were having their leg pulled when they declared it. Such days of innocence...

Anonymous said...

At my favourite church in England, the Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in Manchester, it is a not unfrequent sight to see a splendidly portly man of the street, lying on a pew at the back of the church smoking his pipe. Since I think he only does this when the great doors are open (the doors through which passers by can see straight down the nave to the altar and often the exposed Sacrament), it doesn't make the place too smokey. As far as I know, the priest has always turned a blind eye to this, and I like to think that this particular tramp has found a church where he feels at home.