Saturday, 14 March 2009

Alpha's Nicky Gumbel blasts London diocese

Alpha's Nicky Gumbel is the darling of the London diocese. Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, the Golden Goose of London with all its rich, young and beautiful worshippers in Knightsbridge, Kensington and countless "planted" offshoots, the Bishop of London Richard Chartres is fulsome in his praises of the merits of this evangelical stronghold. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, speaks there often. So what has inspired the star of numerous Alpha videos to weigh in against the diocese? It is, as we report, the proposed sale of St Mark's Mayfair to the developer of Covent Garden's Sanctuary, to be turned into an alternative health centre.

Even though Westminster has turned down Hammer's planning application - the pic here shows campaigners cheering outside after the planners met in December - the diocesan finance committee is expected to press ahead with its plan to sell the Grade-I listed church to Hammer on Monday evening. But the bombshell dropped by Gumbel today, in a letter to Archdeacon of Charing Cross Dr William Jacob, is that he was offered the church to house his abundant flock, and said 'yes'. If anyone can afford to restore this redundant wreck to its own and God's glory, it has to be HTB. But it seems like this is one battle in their spiritual war the evangelicals are not going to win. Read Nicky's letter in full, below, and the original missive that prompted it, Dr Jacob's own letter to Lady Sainsbury, a local resident and evangelical Christian backing the campaign to save St Mark's. Read more
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