An Anglican cathedral in England has determined the answer to the age-old question of whether God can be found on the golf course? The answer is “Yes!”
It may not actually be in response to those 'faithful' who suggest they can feel just as close to God on the greens on Sunday as they do in the pews, but Rochester Cathedral has set up a mini-golf course in the nave of the building.
A church spokesperson says the idea was to attract more visitors to the church and hopefully they will have a more enjoyable experience. It is a seasonal attraction only, closing in September.
Needless to say, the mini-golf course has caused some controversy within the Church community. Critics have condemned the course as nothing more than a money grab and declaring it a sacrilege against God.
Meanwhile, church officials defend the course saying it is just a “free and educational way to reel in younger crowds and families.”
They also highlight that the golf does not interfere with the regular worship services at the cathedral, nor with those people who wish a place of quiet contemplation.
Rochester Cathedral is not the only one to introduce unusual activities into the Church. Just a couple of hours away in Norwich, the cathedral there is building a 50-foot climbing tower in its nave, so visitors can climb up and get a better look at the architecture.
The present cathedral in Rochester dates back to1080 and requires considerable funds and effort to maintain. But is a nine-hole mini-golf course the way to raise those funds? I'm not sure!
And once the mini-golf course is removed next month, the Rochester Cathedral will be displaying the Knife Angel statue. It's a statue of an angel made up of 100,000 knives confiscated by police.
In the meantime, “Excuse me Vicar, but may we play through?”
Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister who lives in Springhill.