To comfort the afflicted – will the Church live up to its calling?

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Giles Fraser has undoubtedly redeemed himself since leaving St Paul's. As he says in the Guardian this morning:

The task of the church is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. For far too long the posh bits of the church have comforted the comfortable and allowed those struggling on in poor parishes to comfort the afflicted. The Church of England has never had much stomach for afflicting anyone (except, of course, homosexuals).

With a few tents and shedloads of determination, those who have huddled outside the cathedral in the freezing cold have acted as sentinels for an idea of social justice that can be found on almost every page of the Bible but which the church has too often lost sight of.

Which is why the American author Chris Hedges has posed the challenge thus: "The Occupy movement is the force that will revitalise traditional Christianity or signal its moral, social and political irrelevance."

Well said that man.

Now will the Church and its members realise that their role is a 168 hour a week one, not just a nice warm glow on Sunday morning? That's the challenge for the CoE. It's not the Church on Sunday bit they find hard: it's making their understanding of Church relevant to work on Monday that's the challenge for them. And they're failing still at St Paul's.