Dear St George – here’s 3 dragons I’d like slaying

Today is St George’s Day. Cue articles about how we know almost nothing about St George and bewilderment as to how he became patron saint of England.

Instead of that, here’s a few dragons that I like to see expertly slayed in our own day.

1 – Foodbanks in the UK.

When I went to the USA a few years ago on sabbatical I was filled with both admiration and horror at the amount of food that the churches were giving away in foodbank operations. Wonder at the sheer commitment and horror at the need. I proudly said that this kind of thing would never become a reality in the UK as we had a good social security system in place and if anyone ever tried to change that then the population would rise up against whoever was being so foolish. Sadly I was wrong – I came back to foodbank Britain not the Britain I’d left some months before. It isn’t nationalism or unionism that will stop foodbanks either. To kill this dragon we need a St George to rise up in the political world and bring an end to benefit sanctions and and ensure the timely processing of benefit claims.

2  – Xenophobia, anglophobia, islamophobia, anti-Semitism etc

The dragon of racism is stalking us again. Oh for a St George who could kill it once and for all instead of merely maiming it. People are just people.

It is difficult to believe that we are now having to tackle a real threat from the political right to the progress that we had made in freeing Europe from the tyranny of war. It is equally hard to believe that Jewish communities in the UK complain about insecurity. It grieves me greatly that my Muslim neighbours are often presumed to be complicit in terror.

3 – Same-sex marriage

This was a baby dragon that we adopted as a pet but the truth is, it has now grown up and become a little frightening. Whereas once same-sex marriage was a rallying cry for the cause, now the very words are being used against those who want equality, particularly in the church. We don’t want same-sex marriage in church, we want marriage to be open to straight couples and same-sex couples alike. One institution, one blessing, one God, one sacrament. It is time for same-sex marriage to die.


  1. Jane Mason says

    These are really the most important dragons of our time. From your words to God’s ear…..and then a military order to St George. Amen.

  2. Stephen Harte says

    well said – during the campaign I made sure i never asked for “same-sex marriage” or (worse still) “gay marriage” but rather “equal marriage”.

    unfortunately, the law does differentiate. Before marriage equality, no minister of religion was required to marry anyone (there were CofS ministers who would not marry those “living in sin” and the Catholics wouldn’t marry those who didn’t promise to have kids and bring them up catholic). Suddenly though we needed a special subdivision for marriages involving a same-sex couple to protect clergy who for some reason feared they would be forced to marry such couples despite never being forced to marry ANY couple.

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