Skip to main content
Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alexander Andrews/Unsplash)

'The Very Opposite of Holy': Critics Slam 'Profane' Silent Disco at Canterbury Cathedral

Share This article

Earlier this month, the Church of England held a "silent disco" in Canterbury Cathedral, advertised to young people as the "Rave in the Nave."

A "silent disco" or a "silent rave" is an event where people dance to music they listen to on wireless headphones and alcohol is served. The Nave is the main body of the cathedral where Anglicans have gathered to worship for centuries. 

The Nave was transformed into a disco for the sold-out two-night, four-session event estimated to have drawn a crowd of 3,000, dancing to the music of Brittney Spears, the Vengaboys, All Saints, and Eminem. 

Church leaders said they need to reach out to younger people and find ways of raising the "large sums" the Cathedral requires to survive, according to The Daily Mail

David Monteith, the dean of the cathedral said in a statement the event would be "appropriate and respectful" and that "cathedrals have always been part of community life in a way much wider than their prime focus as centres of Christian worship and mission."

"Whilst dancing of all different kinds has happened in the Cathedral over the centuries - and The Bible memorably celebrates the gift of dancing with King David dancing before the Lord (2 Samuel 6) - there are many different views on the secular and the sacred," Monteith continued. 

"Our 90s-themed silent disco will be appropriate to and respectful of the Cathedral - it is categorically not a 'rave in the nave' - but I appreciate that some will never agree that dancing and pop music have a place within cathedrals," he said. 

Canterbury Cathedral holds several public events to draw in the local community. It was founded in 597 A.D. and is a world heritage site. 

***Please sign up for CBN Newsletters and download the CBN News app to ensure you keep receiving the latest news.***

slider img 2However, protesters said the event was anything but holy. One protestor Tom Alberto told The Daily Mail, "Saint Augustine landed here almost 1,500 years ago, it's going to see a rave inside there tonight," he continued. "Alcohol is going to be served and music - it's the very opposite of holy."

"It's profane it is going to be played and, frankly, I was quite horrified to see the Church of England, the dean of the cathedral, and the Archbishop were giving the okay on this," he said. 

It also led a group of Christians to launch a petition drive to convince the Anglican bishops to stop hosting such events. Organizers said the petition received more than 1,600 signatures. They warned more discos are scheduled at 13 other cathedrals in the U.K. 

In a message to Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, petition organizer Dr. Cajetan Skowronski told The Guardian, "It will not bring young people closer to Christ, rather it will send the message that Christ and his church, and all the truth, beauty and goodness it has to offer, are unimportant. That entertainment deserves our attention more than God. That Christians do not take their faith or their holy places seriously … Make the cathedral a house of prayer once more."

The event held at Canterbury is part of a series of silent discos taking place in cathedrals and historic buildings around the UK and Europe, according to the outlet.

In a post to X, Kathy Gyngell, the editor of the website Conservative Woman UK, wrote: "The Church of England, which is hemorrhaging attendees at such a rate that it is prophesied it will have disappeared by 2060, needs to find ways of attracting people back to the pews. But a silent disco inside Canterbury Cathedral - is that appropriate?"

Doctrinal Changes

In recent years, the Church of England has made several doctrinal changes pitting the escalating global LGBT sexual agenda against the teachings of biblical morality. It has led to friction between the church's leaders and members.  

As we reported in February 2023, the church announced it was considering the idea of using alternative language instead of referring to God in the masculine gender.

Then in November 2023, The General Synod, the ruling body of the church ruled it would soon test special services of prayer and dedication asking for God's blessing on homosexual couples. 

Belief in the Christian God Has Plummeted 

In the U.K. and in Europe, young believers are no longer a common commodity. 

"In Britain, something like seventy or seventy-five percent of British under 30 say they have no religion," says theologian Stephen Bullivant, author of Mass Exodus.

And Bullivant has more bad news: Europe's move away from Christianity is accelerating.  

"People often ask me, especially the Catholic church, 'What can we do to kind of bring everyone back?" Bullivant says, "And half-serious, I always say, 'Well, invest in time machine technology.'"

As CBN News has reported, Europe today has more empty church buildings than it knows what to do with because Europe is, by and large, no longer Christian. Some say these church buildings are the remnants of a "lost civilization." Christian civilization. It was once at the very heart of Europe's life and culture. Those days are over.

Some examples include Martyr's Free Church in Edinburgh, Scotland. It got turned into "Frankenstein," a bar that describes itself as a family-friendly venue but also a place for stag parties bar top dancers, and monsters. 

St Paul's Church in Bristol, England is now a school for circus performers. And in Llanera, Spain, the Church of Santa Barbara is now "Kaos Temple," a skateboard park. 

Share This article

About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of