Three Toots on a tin whistle

I used to work in Oxford street. There, as you journeyed to work each day, you would find a black man sprawled out on the pavement, probably in his late twenties, playing three toots on a tin whistle incessantly, with no attempt at sounding at all musical and passers-by would throw coins on his body as he had no kind of collecting tin or begging bowl on his person. (Incidentally, a sight that could never be seen on the streets of London pre-Thatcher - we have so much to thank her for).

When we go home after work, we have other concerns of course, and forget about such incidents, but what actually happens to these people? They do not stop existing just because we have put our books to one side for the day.

As for this particular person, I forgot all about him when I changed jobs and started working in another location. However, I did happen to come across him inadvertently again, in the Orthodox Georgian Christian church, the only one specifically for Georgians in London, situated in the most unlikely of locations, in Stamford Hill - an Orthodox Jewish enclave.

The monk told me the whistler  could be found there regularly and would sit alone in one the pews at the back, rocking gently from side to side. When asked why, Father Dorote shrugged his shoulders and replied I suppose it's because he feels comfortable here. Here, despite Jesus's willingness to accept everyone non-judgemental , being a church where priests beat gays with wooden crosses, in which racism is rife, and whose policy is to actively discourage its followers from trying to establish any bridge to the outside world, a church in whose midst can be found good priests like Mama Dorote - whose love spreads to everyone, but who do not have the courage to stand up against its leadership, so obviously corrupt through and through.

And so another glimmer of light at the end of a tunnel blown out, and with it the hope of the church of having any real future, a church with priests like Dorote but at the same time with priests who beat demonstrating gays with wooden crosses, a church intent on destroying itself.