Name: The Church of England.
Age: 482 years (approx).
Appearance: Elderly, dwindling.
Poor old Church of England. It must be hard being the least cool people on the planet. Don’t you believe it! That C of E gang, they’re cool all right. They’ve got a YouTube channel.
How many subscribers? 1,348.
I see. And they’re into fashion!
No, don’t, please … Oh yes! To mark London Fashion Week, the C of E has made a film about Christians and God in the fashion industry.
They don’t have to do this. It’s already done. They’ve interviewed a vicar and two people who work in fashion.
Any of them famous models or designers? Not exactly. Simon Ward used to work in Selfridges menswear department and has been a fashion industry administrator for the past 35 years.
Is he the enfant terrible of fashion industry administration? I don’t think so.
What does he say? “A lot of people would ask the question: ‘What does God make of this industry?’”
Is he sure? Maybe 1,348 people would. What’s Ward’s answer? “God is really interested.”
Is this a wind-up? Nope. “If we look at the beginning of the Bible, God created. He’s a god of creativity.”
Isn’t he the God of everything? And so also the God of un-creativity? Ah but: “What did He do first? He created the seasons. So I think the fact that fashion changes a lot reflects God’s heart.”
What? That’s not even true! He started with “the heavens and the earth”. Then it’s “light”. Then “day” and “night”… Stop quibbling. The other person interviewed is Chrissie Abbott.
And what does she do? Apart from organising a prayer group, that’s troublingly vague. “Working for international fashion/luxury brands, winning the loyalty of VIPs worldwide,” apparently. Anyway, she says: “Lots of people look at us and think: ‘How can God be in the fashion industry?’”
Again, I’m not sure that a lot of people either look at her or think that. But you can see what she’s driving at, right? Besides being cool, fashion is associated with sweatshops, anorexia, ego mania and conspicuous consumption. So maybe the industry does need better ethics.
Maybe. What does the video say God would think of the many gay people who work in fashion? Oh, um. It doesn’t say.
Do say: “We put the I CAN into Anglicanism!”
Don’t say: “Church of England, don’t ever change.”