Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Passion Series - St. Paul's Cathedral

For all my life, being brought up in the Anglican Church and very deep into it in Nigeria, two things have been my utmost wishes. So I always thought and hope I will get them solved before I answer the inevitable call of nature to leave this world.

On the 22nd May 2004, I stepped into the Cathedral Church of Christ in Canterbury exactly 8 days after arriving London. It was like a new birth, the history in front of me had more psychological and spiritual meaning than the dates on them. And so, one of my longings about the Anglican Church was fulfilled, but not the main.

The day following my arrival to the UK, I was inches near to my most important desire in life then. It is not only a wish I had due to being an Anglican, it was some passion on the overall. Her shear size is always magnificent to me; her standing very unique. Though not the official headquarters of the church, St. Paul’s signifies every breath of such prestige dominating a city I have come to love and not only welcoming to those whose faith it was built but a centre for total spiritual opportunity to all. Yet, funny enough, as wanting as I have sought to step onto its floors, it didn’t happen.

Well, in life, it is a known fact that important things are not regarded if they come so close under our nose. And so as I settle down in London, being bus rides away from my lifetime wish, I forgot how much I loved and had wished to be in her terrace. But not until July 6th 2005. 14 months living within reach.

Stepping into St. Paul’s Cathedral for the first time on that day, I could not but felt all I had missed this past 14 months. Its pictures and life image had always been extra-ordinary, but what I felt standing inside this wonderful masterpiece cannot be translated into words. But that was it. I felt happy. After the lecture that took me there, listening to Kofi Annan, Gordon Brown, etc, I felt that St. Paul’s is not only a Christian Church but a Spiritual Shrine where the God who is the head of all religion can be felt in His different forms.

I think it was a good thing to be there that day seeing the many scarved faces of Muslim females, hatted head of their Christian counterparts, and people of various religions sitting together as one and listening. I felt and thought; this is what heaven will be like.

But the joy of that day was threatened by the bombs of the following. Yet, St. Paul’s remained a wonderful piece of unity of the world, an icon of Anglicanism, and a Shrine to all who draw near thereof.

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