March 1st, 2012

Song: Telling Canterbury Tales

Trawling the net for update and comment in the last two days following the removal of the St Paul's Occupy camp, I found that the good Reverend Fraser had not been silent. St Paul's itself had released a brief statement, visible on its website, on which I shall not directly comment here. I wondered what the leader of the Church, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, had to say, and looked for his website.

There was no mention on the blog there of the events which had taken place on the steps of the C of E's foremost cathederal, not a word. 

Instead, there was a sermon on lent.

I felt... and feel, that this was a sad omission on his part, and did not display the leadership one might have wished for - especially as his predecessor, Dr Carey, has been vocal on such subjects himself in recent days.

Rowan Williams, you may or may not be a good man, a Christian, and a caring soul; why are you silent when you should have spoken? Did you even know what was happening in your name?


Pilgrims all gathered from far and afield, let me tell you my Canterbury tale...

Tell me, Archbishop, you’re comfortable here

Does the populace ever get frighteningly near?

Are your windows well-soundproofed so all you can hear

Is your voice, telling Canterbury tales...?

So tell me,

What’s the church for with its buildings and treasures?

For visits by those with the means and the leisure

To purchase a guidebook and stroll at their pleasure

While listening to Canterbury’s tales.

Didn’t your man say some things about the poor

Isn’t that what your faith is about, anymore?

Here’s a vast institution, what lies at the core?

Are you telling me Canterbury tales?  


If the pilgrims rode past your cathedral today

And they wondered whose homes have been tidied away

Would you know? Would you care? Tell me, what would you say?

I’ve no faith in your Canterbury tales...

Tell the Knight and the Franklin, the Monk and the Squire

Tell the Clerk and the Cook and the Reeve and the Friar

That compassion and hope have joined love on the pyre

There’s no justice in Canterbury tales.

            St Thomas a Becket, St David of Kelly, we pray you forgive us our sins

            Jean-Charles de Menezes, & Blessed Ian Tomlinson, when does the rising begin?

            When does the rising begin?

Pilgrims all gathered from far and afield, let me tell you my Canterbury tale...

Now the Archbishop’s writing a sermon on Lent

The Physician and Parson are riding to Kent

There was sanctuary once, I don’t know where that went

But it’s not in these Canterbury tales...

And the Man of Law’s busy, and the Miller’s downed tools

And the Merchant’s convinced that we’re everyone’s fools

And the Pardoner’s sorry... but these are the rules...

And they’re all telling Canterbury tales.

They’re telling us Canterbury tales

I’ve no faith in these Canterbury tales

We deserve better than Canterbury tales

I’ve had enough of these Canterbury tales!


Words & music by & © Talis Kimberley 29th February 2012

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