Liberal Anglican Christianity at St Pancras

I called at St Pancras Church one evening. The light was fading but I could see some usually statuary on its building and in its grounds. Greek goddesses impassively gazed at me, inspired by Athens’ Parthenon, while some gigantic, bizarre shapes seem to frolic on the grass. There seemed to be little symbolism here connected to the Christian faith, but this may not trouble the congregation, whose website declares it to represent ‘Liberal Anglican Christianity in Central London’. Although their website is not short of spiritual content, unlike many other liberal churches which just appear to be museums, art galleries or self-help workshops, there was little reference to salvation. A little page entitled Our Vision waxes:

In the midst of this uncertainty [referring to Covid 19], the central truths of the gospel do not change. ‘Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.’ (Hebrews 13.8) St Pancras will continue to be a centre for Christian prayer and worship, and a place where faith can be sought and found. We will continue to pray for our community, and to do all we can to be a sign of God’s love for all people. We will continue to work for the Kingdom that Christ proclaimed, with its emphasis on inclusion, freedom and justice.

Yet the gospel of liberalism does change- it squeezes into whichever mould the world throws at it. Inclusion, freedom and justice might have sounded radical two generations back, but now they sound a little bit predictable, tired even. By this I do not mean the world has any less need for them, but rather the churches proudly boasting about them seem a bit cliched. The central truths of the gospel certainly do not change- but ‘liberal Christianity’ discards, hides, conceals and evades them. If I had 15 minutes to live and wondered how to get eternal life, this church is probably not one I should visit.

My own name for this sculpture is 'Liberal Theologians'.