Did you see the Sikhs featured on TV guarding their temple in Neasden against possible looters during the riots this week? The sight of large numbers of men standing in a protective manner with an attitude that quite obviously demonstrated their willingness to defend their house of worship against any invasion quite moved me to consider whether I would be willing to do the same for my church.
In all honesty, I think I would have if there had been a critical mass of Anglicans standing with me. I would not have been foolish enough to do it on my own. I bet many of you would have been willing to do the same too. Why didn't we then? This is an academic question for me because our area was spared the carnage but that is beside the point.
St Mark's in Battersea Rise was looted and the Rector, Rev Paul Perkin, and his son could only watch as looters took everything from the church. The looters piled goods in the garden and waited for cars to turn up into which they loaded what they had stolen. Apparently there were 1,000 looters. I don't think us Anglicans of small congregation churches would have stood a chance.
A situation laid bare. Not only have people lost interest in religion but they have no respect for it either. I may not have an interest in the Jedi Knights order but I would not dream of rampaging through their temple or whatever they call their house of worship. There is a difference. A lack of respect is the nadir of losing interest in religion. It doesn't get any worse.
This is not the Church's fault. Some people just aren't interested and worship materialism instead. I have blamed the church in the past for being too introspective and for focussing too much on gender bias and sexual orientation. I still think these attitudes keep the moderate believer away. However, the immorality of looters of churches isn't the fault of the CoE.