Southwark Cathedral criticised for hosting scantily clad London Fashion Week show described as ‘antithesis of Christian gospel’

Southwark Cathedral criticised for hosting scantily clad London Fashion Week show described as 'antithesis of Christian gospel'

Southwark Cathedral has been accused of promoting the “antithesis of the Christian gospel” by allowing its nave to be used as a catwalk to sell clothes. 
British designer Julien MacDonald brought his collection to the place of worship on Monday night as part of London Fashion Week, turning the aisle into a parade of scantily dressed models. 
It was described by the 48-year-old British designer as a “celebration of women” and attracted celebrity guests including the actor Ed Westwick and socialite Lady Victoria Hervey. 
However, a leading Anglican clergyman has questioned whether the cathedral should be “giving a platform” to an event which promotes “a narcissistic self-referential display for the very rich”.
High-profile catwalk shows are big money-spinners for fashion houses which build the reputation of designers and cement their links with wealthy and influential customers. 
Last night, Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden, the former chaplain to the Queen, urged the diocese “think twice” about whether its holy buildings were being used in a manner fitting for a faith that renounces materialism.  
The grade-listed south London church, which has stood since the 12th century, is available for hire for “special events”, from formal dinners to drama and musical productions.
The cathedral has charged money for the use of its buildings since 2000, using the money to help fund the upkeep of the building and costs of worship, as well as ensuring it stays open to the public free of charge.
It comes at a time when church leaders across  the country are attempting to combat shrinking congregations with increasingly inventive methods to stump up cash. 
Earlier this year, Norwich Cathedral installed a 55-ft helter skelter, available for just £2 a ride, while Rochester Cathedral opened a crazy golf course in its 11th-century building. 

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