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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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A parish without residents or Sunday services provokes envy in other clergy and puzzlement in lay people. Why should such a parish survive? In fact the churches of the City of London have been subject to repeated review in recent decades. Indeed, after the war a combination of lack of nerve and money, together with Modernist objections, meant that St Mary-le-Bow was nearly not rebuilt. Thankfully, wiser counsels prevailed.
A church such as St Mary-le-Bow has constantly to reinvent itself to reflect the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the culture in which it is embedded. It has to look smart because its constituency ? the financial world of the City ? is used to style almost as much as substance. It needs to direct its sense of the Gospel to those matters that help Christians to make connections between their faith and their work. And for the non-religious, St Mary-le-Bow must continue to assert that the flourishing life of the City of London requires pause, reflection and comment as much as relentless trade and entrepreneurial decision-making.
At St Mary-le-Bow there is today a community of worshippers who offer support and witness to one another, but equally prominent is a desire to minister effectively to institutions ? often the ancient and modern livery companies ? and to contribute to public debate. There is much that Christian wisdom has to say about fair trade, the environment, ethical investment and corporate social responsibility. St Mary-le-Bow encourages public debate from two pulpits ? a liturgical novelty in the postwar church and a tradition of dialogue which goes back to the 1960s, when the then rector wanted the church, innovatively, to communicate its message on the world's own terms. Since the events of September 2001 in New York, there is today more then ever a powerful need for places where reasonable religion and open debate are espoused; after all, religion can now rock the markets.
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Previous entry (below): Historic Preservation Commission postpones decision on St. John’s Church
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