Friday, June 08, 2007

Millennium Bridge

Another thing I did in London was to walk across the Millennium Bridge, which spans the Thames between St Paul’s Cathedral on the north and the Tate Modern on the south; and to take photos facing in each direction, after Jonny Baker. Jonny had shown the photos he had taken on the bridge when he came to Sheffield for the first Sheffield Blah… recently, and had spoken of how it illustrated the tension he feels in being called to bridge church and culture, mediating a conversation that would be beneficial to both sides.

I had stood outside St Paul’s, but couldn’t bring myself to go in. I just couldn’t hold what I saw with what it means for me to follow Jesus as I see him in the Gospels. Rather, I saw a statement of civic defiance – which, indeed, the un-hit dome of the cathedral potently was during the Luftwaffe bombing of London in the Blitz. On the other hand, I went into the Tate Modern, and found it a strangely empty experience: literally, one hall used for occasional installations was empty, another was closed; symbolically, the building was a void, devoid of ideas (not entirely, obviously). So I walked to The Hayward instead, and found something that resonated with me there…

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