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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

Religion in the UK: Diversity, Trends and Decline

"Religion in the United Kingdom: Diversity, Trends and Decline" by Vexen Crabtree (2007)

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the demolition of churches and cathedrals

Dear Sir,

Although your essay was informative, I felt I must speak out
about your comments about the demolition of religious
buildings as "anachronistic structures". Of course the
religious climate in Britain is undergoing great change,
but churches and cathedrals are beautiful and historically
important buildings -as important as any of the very
carefully restored houses and palaces of the National Trust
(most of which were built with dirty money). Look at the religious
arrogance and cultural philistinism which led the Taliban
to demolish the ancient Buddha figures in Afghanistan,
and the US Army to drive over the ruins of the city of Babylon
with tanks and use bricks from the archaelogical site in sandbags
in Iraq.If churches and cathedrals are no longer in use
as Christian places of worship, then out of respect to the past and
reverence for what remains some of the only attractive architecture
in the UK, these buildings should, as you also say, rightly
be converted into spaces which will be fully in use. A church
in Cheshire is now a packed Mosque, one in Oxford a bar, restaurant,
gallery space and venue, another in Sussex an Arts centre.
This, and not demolition shows foresight and cultural regeneration.

Lucy Williams

Re: the demolition of churches and cathedrals

Although there are indeed many religious places of historical worth, most of them are not so and Church building continued at a rate of thousands per year way past the heydey of attendance. These thousands were mostly standard, formulaic, almost completely stoic, with little significance.

I personally I always inclined towards re-use, rather than destruction, as you kindly point out.

... and yeah I agree that the National Trust much of the time has put money and time into some really quite shallow ideas! But that's a completely different topic.

Hey Lucy; are you L.W. of G.C.C.? If not then smile in the knowledge that you share a name with a nice friend of mine :-) If so, then... hiya... based on the "Dear Sir" address at the beginning of your response, I'm inclined to think that you've missed out (until now) on what a coincidence this is!

Re: the demolition of churches and cathedrals

Very helpful paper - told me just what I needed to know. Have you thought about the difference between the USA and the UK? Why is the rest of the West secularising and the USA leading the world for ghastly charismatic Xtian warmongers? I think Australia is following the USA pattern and NZ (home of the Jedi Knight concept i believe) is even higher on the secular scale.
Cheers and thanks

Re: the demolition of churches and cathedrals

Sorry the above wasn't supposed to be in the demolition of churches strand.

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