Rev John Papworth was 90 today.
Archive for November, 2011
Whereas Occupy London has accomplished the beginning of a great moral awakening in our land;
Whereas the Church has declared itself an ally of the people in the people’s quest to make their land more just;
Whereas the people of the camp are weary and need not face the long winter alone;
Whereas this movement is in its tender infancy and may be the work of decades;
Whereas this movement must next be strengthened by all who would lend their strength, whether those people are willing to camp or not;
Whereas the voice of all of the people of Great Britain must be heard in our great moral reform;
Whereas spirits are low and times are hard and the raising of our spirits and of our joy in our families and our relationships is a necessary step on this journey;
Whereas we have much to learn from each other and our history and heritage;
Whereas the people of Great Britain in order to go forward should stand proud in their heritage and their grand history of reformers;
Whereas a public forum throughout all of Great Britain, throughout all of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, is greatly to be desired by everyone who seeks to support this change;
AND FINALLY, whereas this is a land with a rich history of festivals:
THERE IS PROPOSED a Winter Carnival
There is proposed a great Winter Carnival, where we recognize the incredible victory of the camp in awakening our very souls and stirring passion and debate. After a New Year’s Celebration in London to rival all New Year’s, the vision is that some part of the camps would disperse, retaining a presence in St. Paul’s as they see fit. But those who would could travel the length and breadth of Great Britain, sleeping in the Cathedrals, meeting with local supporters, marching through the dark streets in candelight, spreading the word, speaking and listening about how the people can work together to bring about a better life for our children.
I propose that such a Winter Carnival can be created by each Cathedral or place as they see fit. I propose that it be financed by the Church. I propose that at the carnival, all interested parties, including people of the churches and the Occupy movements, people from political parties and interest groups and grass roots organizations, would come and talk about how to make change for the better the first priority of everyone in Great Britain.
Winter Carnival could have multiple components.
Let’s start with something very fun and uplifting. Let’s open the Cathedrals to the camp and children and have history teachers explain the martyrs, and the historical role of the Church in securing greater liberty for the people. Let us hear the stories of the wars. Let us remember our own past together.
Let the Occupation march with the Church and all who would from the Cathedrals to the buildings of the government, and stand together in support of each other in our mutual quest to reform a government out of control. Let us march by candlelight to our public buildings and reclaim them as our own.
Let’s have a carnival of ideas and public forums. Let us meet and inspire each other. And gently and with great love the Occupation can survive the winter. Even the bankers need to learn they have nothing to fear from us.
Winter Carnival Component Ideas
1. Some proportion of the camp tour the UK, going Cathedral to Cathedral, starting in the New Year being part of local Winter Carnivals, creating a touring Occupation where they could stay in each Cathedral and meet with people of the churches and local people. I see this as marching forth after a great initial victory. We must be mindful of how we unfold, and I think it would be useful to stand back and ponder these things in our hearts and with our neighbours. This serves the need I see for the UK Occupation to have the time and space and rest to take the next step. This also would serve the need of strengthening support for the Occupation through people of faith – essentially relying on the Church for financial support for the tour. (It would make sense for Ken Costa and St. Paul’s Institute to join this tour, at least for selected dates, for town hall meetings about Costa’s mandate)
2. Winter Carnival itself would take shape as an organically local event, organized by whomever stepped forward to do so, but hosted by the Church. It could be a conference, a festival, or a party. It could be all three. Some places may have many Christians. Some places may have many activists. Some places like Cambridge have think tanks and societies and groups. Local political parties would be welcome. There could be music and food and debate and lectures.
3. Debate: I do not think that it needs to be debated that our government is dysfunctional or our economic policies immoral. I think a useful debate to have at everyone’s Winter Carnival is what the moral principles of a just government and economic system should be. Let the church and the Occupation support each other thinking about that this winter.
4. This is a victory celebration, a party thrown by our allies, a beginning of a true grass roots building of a transformation of our society. This is a chance to reclaim back our own lives and our own land and to give ourselves the voice we should have in our government that seems to have been taken away.
5. Although this proposal makes use of the Church as an ally, it is not meant in any way to contradict Point Two of the initial statement: “We are of all ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, generations, sexualities dis/abilities and faiths.” This is not about making people Christian or not Christian, this is about atheists and theists both working together here on earth to curb a government filled with injustice.
6. This proposal does assume that in order to fulfill Point 7 of the Initial Statement (“We want structural change towards authentic global equality.”), we must first take the logs out of our own eyes before we take the speck out of our neighbour’s. We must make structural changes toward authentic equality here in our own land first before the change can be global.