It wasn’t long after I moved to London that I was stopped in the street by a happy-faced woman asking me if I would like to support a cause her local church was about to devote its energies too. I asked what it was. “We’re going to Belfast. What the people of Northern Ireland need is Jesus in their lives,” came the reply. Because everyone with a passing knowledge of Ulster agrees on one thing: what the place needs is another church or two to really spice things up.
But the life lesson I took away with me is that some people have such unshakeable faith that they literally cannot see what they are doing marks them out as being nutty as a fruitcake. I also learnt this lesson by being next to an exploding bus on 7 July 2005 but that was substantially less amusing.
And so we come to the street preachers of old London town (and plenty of other places to be fair). My favourite (the guy at Oxford Circus who asked repeatedly if you were a sinner or a winner (until Westminster Council moved him on)) has long since gone and I never had a camera when he was about anyway – but this guy seems to be cut from the same cloth. Standing on Leicester Square, clutching a bible and unheard by everyone who walked by he nevertheless gave forth with vigour and randomly quoted passages that may or may not have proved his point.
I may have to start seeking such folk out. They’re remarkably photogenic. It’s only a shame there’s no real crowd, disinterested or otherwise, here.
But for faith made rock you probably can’t do much better than this message on Waterloo road. Go forth indeed.