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Catholics are getting into shopping on Sundays


In the past ten years the percentage of Dutch Christians who shop on their prescribed day of rest has risen, FOK reports.

In 2000, almost 39 % of the Roman Catholics shopped on Sundays, in 2010 that was more than 50 %. Sabbath shoppers among the members of the Dutch Reformed Church made up 21 % a decade ago, and are now up to 25 %. The numbers for the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (yes, there is a difference) are 12 % and 16 % respectively.

While looking for an illustration I was suddenly reminded of the opening words of Gerald Stanley Lee’s Crowds (1912):

The best picture I know of my religion is Ludgate Hill as one sees it going down the foot of Fleet Street. It would seem to many perhaps like a rather strange half-heathen altar, but it has in it the three things with which I worship most my Maker in this present world—the three things which it would be the breath of religion to me to offer to a God together—Cathedrals, Crowds, and Machines.

With the railway bridge reaching over, all the little still locomotives in the din whispering across the street; with the wide black crowd streaming up and streaming down, and the big, faraway, other-worldly church above, I am strangely glad. It is like having a picture of one’s whole world taken up deftly, and done in miniature and hung up for one against the sky—the white steam which is the breath of modern life, the vast hurrying of our feet, and that Great Finger pointing toward heaven day and night for us all….


I never tire of watching the drays, the horses, the streaming taxis, all these little, fearful, gliding crowds of men and women, when a little space of street is left, flowing swiftly, flowing like globules, like mercury, between the cabs.

But most of all I like looking up at that vast second story of the street, coming in over one like waves, like seas—all these happy, curious tops of ‘buses; these dear, funny, way-up people on benches; these world-worshippers, sight-worshippers, and Americans—all these little scurrying congregations, hundreds of them, rolling past.

(Photo by Garry Knight, some rights reserved)

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