Big new British monument to answered prayers

As Britain races towards secularism faster than the U.S., the faithful are making their last stands. One such stand is this Mobius strip of a memorial slated to be started next spring in Coleshill, near Birmingham. As this article in The Times explains, it’s to be called “The Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer”, and it’s huge. (Of course, an Eternal Wall of Unanswered Prayer would be much, much larger!)

Click to read; it may be paywalled, but judicious inquiry will yield you the document:

Here’s how big it is:

At 169ft tall, the monument will be just a few inches shorter than Nelson’s Column in London but almost three times the height of the Angel of the North, Anthony Gormley’s 66ft-high steel structure in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

 

It’s a big ‘un!  It was envisioned by Richard Gamble, former chaplain of the Leicester City football club, who had a revelation to build it.  He began a crowdfunding campaign had an international competition to design it, and then crowdfunded the construction. It’ll contain a gazillion answered prayers (actually, about a million).

Each brick in the wall will be associated with a Christian prayer and feature a unique code that can be read with a smartphone app. Visitors can use their phones to learn about the prayers individuals feel were answered, as well as the personal stories behind them. For bricks out of reach, the app can zoom in on a map of the monument.

Gamble, 51, and a team of volunteers have been collecting people’s testimonies online since 2018, noticing a surge in messages during the pandemic.

“Until this year it had been a small trickle,” he said. “But then it started accelerating. During lockdown it went mad.”

They need £9.35 million to finish it off, but, you know, God will provide; all you have to do is pray. So far God has prompted the faithful to ante up nearly £6 million. And you can submit answered prayers here.

It’s curious that God decided to answer more prayers during the lockdown (were more people were praying?), but the one prayer he didn’t answer was “God, please make this pandemic disappear.” But of course He works in mysterious ways, and one of those ways is killing off lots of innocent people.

The article gives examples of some of the prayers that will appear on the bricks:

The apparent miracles people have shared range from the dramatic to the mundane.

One person wrote about how their baby daughter had been rushed to hospital with a brain haemorrhage but survived and is now a healthy five-year-old. A doctor told a story about how, after 20 minutes kneeling in prayer, he and his team were sent a delivery of personal protective equipment that had been cancelled. Others also talked about mending difficult relationships and overcoming serious illnesses.

At the other end of the spectrum, one person explained how they had managed to have an “impossible meeting” with a dentist while suffering a swollen gum during lockdown.

“God is sooooooooooo good! He listens to our hearts’ cry,” they wrote.

But God is also sooooooo bad! He’s killed a million people in this pandemic, and he could have stopped it. At any rate, there’s been some discussion about “inclusivity”—not racial inclusivity but religious inclusivity. Not all religions are Christian, so they’ll be an exhibit inside about how adherents to other faiths pray.

I still think the humanists should build an Eternal Wall of Unanswered Prayers nearby, but to make its point it would have to be larger than this one, and that would cost too much.

h/t: Dom, Jez

 

34 Comments

  1. kraeuterbutter
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    The momument costs £9.35 million. The money could also be used to pay for some physicians and nurses and thus help the underfunded British health system. Given the current pandemic and the imminent Brexit, that would be a more sensible expenditure, wouldn’t it?

  2. busterggi
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    A monument to car keys around the world.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    All they need now is some of that miracle water sold on Tee Vee over here and they would really be dangerous.

  4. BJ
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I find it amusing that it’s a Mobius strip. It reminds us that religion is just circular logic, a treadmill you can never leave lest ye be damned by your disobedience.

  5. freiner
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    A monument to twisted, one-sided thinking.

    • jezgrove
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Brilliant!

  6. GBJames
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    A giant Möbius strip pretty well sums up the futility of prayer, IMO.

    • Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Now they should copy Escher’s Ascending and Descending and add pictures of people trudging around it but going nowhere.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Surely it represents how religions can look at both sides of a problem, and shows how parallel lines – as in schismed religions – can never meet.
      (Yes, I do know the geometry of Moebius strips.)

  7. phoffman56
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Maybe I’ll make a prayer that god does the mathematically impossible for me:
    Run your finger around the edge of the Moebius band in the picture, including in your imagination past the bit where it’s hidden behind itself. As many here likely already know, you don’t need to do it twice, like you would producing two closed paths if it were a band (very short large radius cylinder, opposite of a straw). It’s a single closed path, seems to go round twice but not really.

    So there’s apparently no reason why an all powerful god cannot attach a single cap to the whole thing. That is, get a flexible, say large rubber disc, so the radius around the outside circle is exactly the same length as the closed path around this stupid monument. And now this all powerful god merely needs to attach the rubber disc neatly around the outside edge of the monument, that is, around the closed path you ran your finger around. After all, they are both closed paths and have the same length. You now have a very strange sort of enclosure in which the roof and the floor are all really the same (rubber) thing, the brick wall being the band, so you could get in and out easily despite no doors or windows.

    Once god has done that, I guarantee I’ll become a permanent faithful believer and go up on my rooftop every morning for 3 hours to shout out my prayers to he, she or it, as the case may be.

  8. Ken Pidcock
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    One person wrote about how their baby daughter had been rushed to hospital with a brain haemorrhage but survived and is now a healthy five-year-old.

    And the person whose baby daughter was rushed to hospital with a brain haemorrhage but did not survive despite their fervent prayers? Are they to understand that God chose to ignore them?

  9. Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Another brick in the wall.

    • Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      The jokes about this place write themselves, don’t they?

      • Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        The monument to unanswered prayers nearby is Birmingham. I should know: I live there.

        • phoffman56
          Posted September 13, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

          Walsall having the distinction of uniquely being worse. Maybe that’s the holy ghost’s response.

          Was it here where I recently heard the joke about the little boys giving their unfortunate dead cat a proper burial with the incantation:
          “In de name a’ de fader, de son,
          an’ in de hole ‘e goes.” ?

          There ain’t no accounting for humour (nor humor either).

          • Posted September 14, 2020 at 5:00 am | Permalink

            Yes, on the same day sometimes I could work in Walsall & walk in Chipping Campden. How one polity could contain the 2 is a miracle of common values-building.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        One builds on the next one.

  10. mfdempsey1946
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    The real monument should be a gigantic zero, representing the exact number of prayers that have been answered in any way whatsoever down through the eons.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Or an invisible monument, since the science came down on this a decade ago [c.f. Pew reports] and the statistics is that zero intercessory prayers are answered.

      We have literary seen that prayers do nothing.

  11. W.T. Effingham
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Ken Ham and his enabling-handling, co-conspiring cronies are being consulted. Perhaps they should be kept out of the loop.

  12. mike cracraft
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I’m praying that the big G will just go away and leave us all alone. He really is a nasty bastard. I’ll bet he won’t answer this one.

  13. Jimbo
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    “…and God said ‘let there be coronaviruses’…”

  14. Frank Bath
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    A procession of giant ants would be nice.

    • Ken Pidcock
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Excellent call.

  15. TJR
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    “It was envisioned by Richard Gamble, former chaplain of the Leicester City football club, who had a revelation to build it”

    Every Leicester City fan *did* have their prayers answered on May 2nd 2016!

    I remember when Eden Hazard scored that equaliser I just stood stock still and prayed for the final whistle.

    I still can’t really believe it happened.

  16. savage
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    A pity there are no building regulations to get in the way of this hideous monstrosity.

  17. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Oh no, not again – the woke cancelled Moebius!?!

    [ … reads post … ]

    oh, of course. I apologize. The religious made a … yeah.

    [ …. sigh …. ]

    you know, I like this – when the disease of religion is cured, the monument can just be used for something else! I mean, it’s an huge awesome Moebius strip!

    O

    … can’t make a heavy metal “O”…

  18. Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    This gets me so angry… what a waste of land & resources… oh yes, the poor will always be with us… grrr

  19. eric
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    As long as it’s private, architecturally I think it’s pretty. I’d certainly visit it if I were in town. (Though I also like the comment above about it representing twisted, one-sided thinking).

    …and feature a unique code that can be read with a smartphone app.
    Yuck. So much for building it to be timeless. You’re going to build a monument that big, and you’re not going to give visitors the ability to read what’s written on it? Horrible choice.

  20. Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    For a non-existent being, God generates an amazing amount of negative energy.

    • Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps because those who follow god have wreaked such mischief and havoc on mankind. Or are we supposed to shut up while religion poisons everything?

    • GBJames
      Posted September 13, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      God generates nothing. “Negative energy” is generated by human beings deluded into thinking they must behave according to the demands of an imaginary being.

    • Posted September 13, 2020 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      If only humankind could figure out a way to
      generate something(s) creative/useful out of this “negative energy”. We haven’t been very successful in wiping it out.

  21. Posted September 13, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    It seems the ongoing evolution of the scams of religion. GROG


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