Sunday 28 July 2019

Games in the Nave

Great wailing and gnashing of teeth (assuming the usual suspects still have teeth, what with all the gnashing they do) over the announcement that Rochester Cathedral is launching a crazy golf course in the nave for the summer holidays. Incidentally, the course only has 17 holes. Boris Johnson promised a "Garden Bridge" hole but it hasn't arrived.

These people have short memories, is all I can say. As it's well known that places of worship have been used for sporting activities since the earliest time. And that's even if we ignore that in the Napoleonic Wars, church towers were used to store weapons ready for if Boney's men arrived on the South Coast. Not a sport. But then what is sport, but a proxy war? And who could angered by choir boys playing leapfrog in the cloisters? Or....
  • Climbing up Salisbury Cathedral spire
  • Badminton and table tennis in modern estate churches, when you've pushed the chairs back.
  • Easter egg hunts in churches all over the country.
  • The time they put an indoor ice rink into Southwark cathedral, the year the Thames failed to freeze over.
  • Vicar-baiting
  • The use of St Paul's as an alternative location when the third day of a particularly important Ashes test was suspended due to smog at The Oval. Although the game ended with a "6 and out" after somebody put the ball through a stained glass window.
  • St Albans Cathedral hosting a cross-country event after heavy rains caused the River Ver to break its banks. 
  • Pinging hazelnuts at Mother Julian's nose.
  • Flooding Glastonbury Abbey for the 2012 Olympic water polo.
  • Bingo!
  • The impromptu "Rollerball" in Westminster Cathedral, after which 6 monks were suspended.
  • The pole vault in Peterborough Cathedral, which had to be stopped after one of the poles got stuck in a heating grate and the vaulter went straight into a pillar.
  • Rugby union at Whipsnade Tree Cathedral.
  • The 200m Umbrage-taking.
  • Racing from Chester.
  • The tradition Trinity Sunday "just a minute" sermon trying to avoid deviation, hesitation or Manicheism. 
  • Fox hunting in Ripon, after the fox went to earth in the crypt.
  • Boxing in churches on Boxing Day throughout the Middle Ages.
  • The "Ely Grand Prix". 
  • Paper darts in the choir

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  1. Indeed. Who could forget the thrilling finish of the Trinity 1974 3.30 from York where Evensong was beaten by a short head by Bishop's Mitre?

  2. As someone in Rochester Diocese, I am outraged that people could be outraged at a Golf Course in the Cathedral Nave?

    The normal sport in the Cathedral that I can attest to is spotting when the microphones stop working and trying to lip sinc what the Bishop or Celebrant is saying. I can recall seeing Bishop Laurie Green (Assistant Bishop in the Diocese) projecting his voice at an LLM Licensing Service as the microphone played up, yet again.

    I have to say, he has good projection.


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