News, Culture & Society

Churchgoers slam cathedral bosses after they turn medieval nave into a nine-hole CRAZY GOLF course 

A cathedral has been criticised after it turned its nave into a nine-hole course of crazy golf.

Bosses at Rochester Cathedral in Kent want to get more children through the doors and have turned the central aisle into a putting area.

But the idea has been met with horror from parishioners and clergy – including some who were ordained there – who say the Church of England is dumbing down and the course is an ’embarrassing shambles’ and ‘sad and painful.’

Rochester Cathedral bosses have been criticised after they turned its nave into a nine-hole course of crazy golf

Dubbed ‘Kent’s most unusual golf course’, those running the famous Norman building created the course in partnership with the Rochester Bridge Trust, which maintains bridges in the area.

The medieval nave now has nine holes, each one based on a bridge.

It is the latest in a series of Church initiatives at cathedrals, which also include a 40ft helter-skelter in Norwich and a gin and prosecco festival at Peterborough. 

Anglican leaders hope they will appeal to younger people and help congregation numbers, which have plummeted by up to 20 per cent in the past decade. 

The course’s creators say it was built to encourage young people to learn more about the engineering behind bridges and is free of charge.

The Revd. Rachel Phillips, Canon for Mission and Growth at Rochester Cathedral, said: ‘For over 1,400 years, Rochester Cathedral has been a centre of learning for the community.

‘By temporarily installing an educational adventure golf course we aim to continue that mission, giving people the opportunity to learn while they take part in a fun activity, in what for many might be a previously unvisited [sic] building.’

The course is designed and paid for by the Rochester Bridge Trust and constructed by HM Adventure Golf.

The cathedral's bosses want to get more kids through the doors and have turned to central aisle into a putting area

The cathedral’s bosses want to get more kids through the doors and have turned to central aisle into a putting area

Each hole is accompanied by a model of a different type of bridge.

It includes the original Roman bridge at Rochester, and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford, all of which is accompanied by information for further learning.

The cathedral says worship will continue as usual while it is in place with three services a day and other spaces reserved for quiet prayer.

Andrew Freeman, Operations Manager at the Rochester Bridge Trust, added: ‘We are always looking for new ways to engage with young people and inspire them to take an interest in bridges and civil engineering.

‘Joining forces with the cathedral to set up this educational activity within such a stunning setting is the ideal opportunity to reach out to the community and get families and young people thinking about bridges while they have fun.

‘Learning through play is at the heart of many of our educational initiatives, as we introduce new concepts and ideas to young people away from the classroom environment.’

But the idea has been met with horror from parishioners and clergy - including some who were ordained there - who say the Church of England is dumbing down and the course is an 'embarrassing shambles' and 'sad and painful.'

But the idea has been met with horror from parishioners and clergy – including some who were ordained there – who say the Church of England is dumbing down and the course is an ’embarrassing shambles’ and ‘sad and painful.’

Rochester Cathedral was founded in 604 AD, with the present building dating back to 1080.

Author Charles Dickens had wanted to be buried there, but was instead interred at Westminster Abbey. 

Critics on Twitter slammed the golf course.

Angela Morabito Tweeted: ‘Rochester Cathedral was founded in AD 604. It survived the Norman Conquest, 2 fires in the 12th century, and several rounds of pillaging. St. William of Perth is buried there. And now*’ 

Solly Gratia said: ‘Tell me this is a photoshop. TELL ME!!’ 

Fr David Palmer, Catholic Priest in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Tweeted: ‘I was “ordained” as an Anglican in this Cathedral. 

Dubbed 'Kent's most unusual golf course', those running the famous Norman building created the course in partnership with the Rochester Bridge Trust, which maintains bridges in the area. The medieval nave now has nine holes, each one based on a bridge

Dubbed ‘Kent’s most unusual golf course’, those running the famous Norman building created the course in partnership with the Rochester Bridge Trust, which maintains bridges in the area. The medieval nave now has nine holes, each one based on a bridge

Critics on Twitter slammed the golf course. Mark de Vries said: 'Rochester cathedral (Anglican) becomes a minigolf course to 'inspire people to learn about bridges'

Critics on Twitter slammed the golf course. Mark de Vries said: ‘Rochester cathedral (Anglican) becomes a minigolf course to ‘inspire people to learn about bridges’

‘What an embarrassing shambles.’

Simon Godwin said: ‘There’s not even a model windmill to putt through! Total embarrassment!’

Evelyn Nicholson lamented: ‘Gloucester had a skateboarding link and Norwich a helter skelter. 

‘Wonder what the shades of the holy Benedictines who built these places think.’

Padre Sebastian added: ‘Rochester cathedral’s idea of mission.

‘So devoid of theology they have forgotten ‘This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven’. Shame on you.’ 

Fr David Palmer, Catholic Priest in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Tweeted: 'I was 'ordained' as an Anglican in this Cathedral. What an embarrassing shambles'

Fr David Palmer, Catholic Priest in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Tweeted: ‘I was ‘ordained’ as an Anglican in this Cathedral. What an embarrassing shambles’

John Duffield said: ‘Having recently enjoyed a visit to Rochester Cathedral, the 2nd oldest in England after Canterbury, this is embarrassing. Please stop this nonsense.’ 

Catholic Mark de Vries added: ‘Rochester cathedral (Anglican) becomes a minigolf course to ‘inspire people to learn about bridges’

‘Talk about dumbing down the faith (or the study of bridges for that matter).’

Padre Sebastian added: 'Rochester cathedral's idea of mission. 'So devoid of theology they have forgotten "This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven". Shame on you'

Padre Sebastian added: ‘Rochester cathedral’s idea of mission. ‘So devoid of theology they have forgotten ‘This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven’. Shame on you’

Rochester Cathedral has been contacted about the criticism.

The creation of the golf course is the latest in a series of Church initiatives at cathedrals, which also include a 40ft helter-skelter in Norwich and a gin and prosecco festival at Peterborough. 

Anglican leaders hope they will appeal to younger people and help congregation numbers, which have plummeted by up to 20 per cent in the past decade. 

Rochester Cathedral's Twitter account defended against the criticism. They said: 'Worship continues unaffected with at least three services per day and the adventure golf is only taking place in the Nave of the Cathedral, with other spaces available for prayer and quiet as usual'

Rochester Cathedral’s Twitter account defended against the criticism. They said: ‘Worship continues unaffected with at least three services per day and the adventure golf is only taking place in the Nave of the Cathedral, with other spaces available for prayer and quiet as usual’

The Revd. Canon Matthew Rushton, Canon Precentor, at Rochester Cathedral said: ‘The nave of a cathedral has always been a public space, where the sacred and the secular meet. 

‘This year, cathedrals up and down the country are hosting all sorts of activities and events, from huge models of the Earth and the Moon, dinosaurs, and even a helter-skelter. 

‘The adventure golf at Rochester Cathedral is primarily a joint education project with the Rochester Bridge Trust to get young people, with their families, engaged with engineering and bridge building – and it’s fun!

‘Worship in the Cathedral is unaffected. We continue to have at least 3 services a day and people can come in to light a candle, to pray or be quiet in areas of the Cathedral other than the Nave.’

‘Cathedrals are flourishing, with increasing numbers of visitors and worshippers. Cathedrals have the confidence to innovate and put on varied activities and events – and the confidence to share our faith in Jesus Christ.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.