CV NEWS FEED // The historic Anglican Cathedral in Canterbury held a 90s-themed disco party on Thursday and Friday that brought more than 1,500 young revelers per night, despite the strong opposition of devout Christians.
According to the BBC, the massive party was “part of a series of silent discos taking place in cathedrals and historic buildings around the UK and Europe.”
“A Canterbury Cathedral spokesperson confirmed that alcohol would be on sale at the event,” the BBC reported.
A silent disco is an event in which people dance to music that is played through wireless headphones rather than traditional speakers.
Justifying the event, which received significant pushback from practicing Anglicans, The Very Rev. Dr. David Monteith, Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, told ITV News that “whilst dancing of all different kinds has happened in the Cathedral over the centuries – and The Bible memorably celebrates the gift of dancing with King David dancing before the Lord – there are many different views on the secular and the sacred.”
On Thursday, February 8 and Friday, February 9, clubbers took to the nave of the iconic church where St. Thomas Becket was martyred for his fidelity to the Christian faith over worldly powers. They danced to music by entertainers such as the Vengaboys, Britney Spears, the Spice Girls, and Eminem.
“Our 90s-themed silent disco is appropriate to and respectful of the Cathedral – it is categorically not a ‘rave in the nave’ – but I appreciate that some will never agree that dancing and pop music have a place within cathedrals,” Monteith said.
Pushback against the event from alarmed Christians included a petition on Change.org, which gathered 1,800 signatures.
Cajetan Skowronski, a devout Anglican, organized the petition. In it, he noted that the cathedral is:
– The most important Christian church in England.
– The site of the martyrdom and relics of Saint Thomas Becket.
– The repository for the mortal remains of kings, princes and bishops.
– The destination of millions of pilgrims for centuries, past, present and future.
– The inspiration for our greatest early work of literature.
– And most importantly, the epicenter of countless prayers and sacraments – the House of God.
According to Skowronski, the alcohol-fueled event
will not bring young people closer to Christ, rather it will send the message that Christ and his church, and all the truth, beauty and goodness it has to offer, are unimportant – that entertainment deserves our attention more than God, that Christians do not take their faith or their holy places seriously.
Speaking to Premier Christians News, Skowronski argued that “the nave is only a few steps away from where St. Thomas Becket was martyred trying to preserve the sanctity of the cathedral of the church against secular forces.”
“So the place that his brains were spilled out onto the flagstones is going to be the same place that someone spills an over-priced rum and coke tonight,” he added. “It’s a very sad state of affairs to be in and we’re making a stand at Canterbury Cathedral, because it is the mother church for Anglicans, but also very important for all Christians.”
According to Premier Christian News, “silent discos at other Anglican cathedrals are taking place later this month, during the Lenten season, including in Guildford, Ely and Chelmsford.”
“Cathedrals across the country have also been diversifying in order to bring people through their doors, including at Norwich Cathedral which installed a full-size helter-skelter to attract children and young people,” the outlet reported.