Occupy London reps visit St Peter's Church, Bethnal Green
On Sunday 27 November, Tanya and Mark, representatives from Occupy London’s Multifaith and Belief working group, went to speak to the congregation of St Peter’s Church in Bethnal Green as part of an ongoing invitation from the Church to the camp.
The Revd Angus Richie and Revd Adam Atkinson facilitated this as a friendly interview in the church, with the congregation present during their 11am service.
Before the interview, as a Christian first not an Occupier, Tanya read a passage of text from the bible, that illustrated how tents and God have a long history, and encouraged people to be supportive of the Occupiers in tents at the Cathedral. The passage was as follows:
Exodus 33: 7 – 11
“Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “Tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the Tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the Tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the Tent. As Moses went into the Tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the Tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the Tent.”
After this text was read, the Revd Adam interviewed Tanya about the Occupy movement and what it was trying to achieve and how dialogue and discussion in wider society on the issues raised could be addressed. It was also mentioned that the example of the interview taking place that day, and suggestions that churches have a role to play in facilitating the space for people in their communities to hold such discussions.
As had taken place on Friday the 25th, at St Peter’s De Beauvoir church in Hackney, in which a debate took place on “How Can Local People Respond to the Financial Crisis?” This too is part of the Multifaith and Belief working with churches on their initiatives to widen discussion on the issues raised by Occupy London.
After the interview and service concluded at St Peter’s in Bethnal Green, Tanya and Mark conversed with various people from the congregation and were encouraged that there is a lot of support for the Occupy movement as a whole.