St James’s Church Piccadilly
Hosts RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, PREACH!
The parish church of St James’s Piccadilly hosted RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, PREACH!, at a show on 4 March.
Publicity for the event was rather clear. On the parish website (www.sjp.org.uk), the following was on the front page.
“PREACH! is a new drag night for London’s West End, in the unique setting of St James’s Church Piccadilly. St James’s is widely known for its pioneering welcome of LGBTQAI+ communities and other marginalised people and groups. As part of its mission to celebrate artistry and ingenuity in every walk of life, for the first time in its 340 year history, St James’s will welcome drag icons from around the world to perform beneath its ornate gold ceiling, showcasing some of the biggest names in the art of drag, as well as fresh talent.
“PREACH! events typically include live song using our famous Fazioli grand piano, lip syncs galore and hilarious comedy routines, plus dancing-in-the-aisles, singalongs, mocktails and cocktails- all under the roof of this historic Grade I listed church.”
Featured performers were listed by stage names and the publicity called the event a “double-headline”.
It would seem that there was obvious and serious conflict with Canon F 16 of the Canons of the Church of England.
“F 16 Of plays, concerts, and exhibitions of films and pictures in churches
“1. When any church or chapel is to be used for a play, concert, or exhibition of films or pictures, the minister shall take care that the words, music, and pictures are such as befit the House of God, are consonant with sound doctrine, and make for the edifying of the people.”
The Bishop of London’s office has yet to reply to a query by the English Churchman as to how the event was in conformity with Canon F 16.
The Rector is Lucy Winkett. She has been at the parish since 2010.