In the Square

‘One of the clergy at St Paul’s said that he found Jesus in the Occupy encampment. Do you expect to find Jesus here?’

As an opening question from a reporter from The Times as I arrived at the Occupy camp in St Andrews Square in Edinburgh .. it seemed challenging enough to be going on with. To which I responded that I expected to find Jesus in every place of suffering and poverty – indeed with the late Bishop David Shepherd I believe that the Gospel has a ‘bias to the poor’. But I also expect to find Jesus among bankers of good will and integrity .. among financiers and politicians who are desperately trying to rescue a failing financial system .. After all Jesus called Matthew the Tax-Collector

I’ve been wanting to visit for some time and I was glad to do so today. They are a community – attempting to function without leaders. They have a cause but they don’t see themselves as strategists – they are there and they intend to stay there, letting their presence and perseverence speak for itself.

And of course the really interesting thing is the speed with which the conversation turns to what the Bible says or doesn’t say about their issues. In that sense it is humbling to be with them because they expect so much from those who claim to stand for something better – and the question about whether or not Jesus was there was maybe not so wide of the mark.


  1. A thousand pities the said reporter did not see fit to put that nuanced response into his eventual report.

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