Friday, September 07, 2007

More than a junk store

St Mary The Less, Norwich, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

Daily Mail and Daily Express readers look away now.

The state of the interior of St Mary The Less almost makes me believe in the conspiracy theory of history. This particular church is a solid representation of one of the most glorious revolutions in Norwich's history and is also a beacon of hope for the future of our whole country. I do not understand how we can allow a building like this which should be a place of secular pilgrimage to be treated in this manner.

This church was given to The Strangers, Dutch refugees from religious persecution to be used as their own. If you look at the parish records for the church you find they start off being written in their own language but after a hundred years or so they continue in English. But this was not the subsumation of a smaller culture into a greater one; The Dutch Strangers changed forever the politics, the culture and the economics of the whole of Norfolk.

It was not without it's stresses as can be read here but the history of St Mary The Less proves that multiculturalism works. It has all happened before. Actually the present wave of economic migrants is as nothing when you think that at one point one quarter of the population of Norwich was Dutch and Walloon.

No comments: