For almost 1,000 years, Lincoln Cathedral has been a sanctuary of peace and spiritual contemplation for the inhabitants of the historic county town.
But the tranquility of the medieval streets surrounding the cathedral is being shattered by binge drinking yobs, who shout obscenities and indulge in “vulgar” behaviour on Friday and Saturday nights, according to a senior churchman.
Canon Alan Nugent, the subdean of Lincoln Cathedral, said the “crude” lifestyle of loutish drinkers had replaced Christian values as the defining influence on modern Britain.
He said he was particularly troubled by the spectacle of inebriated young women who “demean themselves” in public…
“By contrast you can sit in an Italian city of an evening with no fear of drunken yobs.”
Canon Nugent dismissed the suggestion that the English have adopted vulgarity as an “ideology”.
“I suspect the reason is much simpler,” he said. “Christianity no longer has significant influence on the way people behave.
“The deliberate attempt to remove the Christian faith from the national life – or at least seriously to marginalise it – which I have witnessed time and again during the period of my ministry, has succeeded.
“In its place a style of society – very crude, very unattractive – has emerged, which demonstrates itself so often in vulgar behaviour.”
There are occasional moments when I think the conservative scribes of the 4th Estate as managed in the UK really are poking fun at the most out-of-date members of their clan. This article, after all, is one long, strung-out straight line begging for a smartass retort, sentence after sentence.
It is an achievement for someone attired in holy gown to recognize there could be something approaching cause-and-effect relationships in society and behavior – not that the Canon has much of it straight – having the courage to step away from the tried and true condemnation of sinners who simply haven’t had enough of some holy book beaten sufficiently over youthful knobs.
Life is more complex than that – and blaming someone else for your organizational irrelevance isn’t especially productive.