Investment bankers and God don’t have a great history. Lloyd Blankfein was much maligned after famously claiming to be doing God’s work in a Sunday Times article of 2009.
eFinancialCareers points out that the Bible famously says rich men have as much chance of getting to heaven as camels have of squeezing through the eyes of needles.
And more recently, Justin Welby, Archbishop of the Church of England and a member of the U.K’s Banking Standards Commission, has declared both that bankers have an unethical culture of entitlement and that they have lost their sense of spiritual perspective.
In this context, you might thing that St. Margaret Lothbury – a church opposite the Bank of England in the City of London – would be bereft of a congregation. Not at all, said rector Jeremy Crossley. 'We have around 100 regular attendees who come here on a Wednesday lunchtime,” he told us. “They all work within the Square Mile. We’ve always had people from every aspect of the financial services industry coming to church'.
On the Thursday we attended St. Margaret Lothbury for an organ recital, bankers weren’t much in evidence, however. With the exception of one devout financier in a suit and tie, who spent the entire event praying (or sleeping) and slipped away before the end, most of the attendees appeared retired or out of work. 'I only come for the music', confessed one man when we asked whether he attended the church regularly.
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image: © theowl84