Thursday, January 17, 2013
A Hampstead minister confided in Heathman that he has sinned – he has stolen from the Bishop of London’s toilet.
But fear not, it was only an idea for his own church’s loo.
Ewan King was invited to the Rt Rev Richard Chartres’s house near St Paul’s Cathedral to discuss an intellectual project.
When the Heath Street Baptist Church minister went to use the loo he saw a framed picture of a toilet in Africa above the cistern.
Mr Chartres had twinned his holy latrine with one in Africa to support a charity which is trying to improve sanitation and hygiene in communities.
Seizing on the idea, Mr King decided to draw on the history of his own congregation and twinned one of the church’s loos with an outhouse in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Grade II-listed church has long had links with what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, with missionaries often paying visits to the country.
Among them was Sir Clement Chesterman who overhauled the country’s health system and helped set up Congolese National Health Service.
Mr King, a jazz musician in his spare time, said: “I popped to the loo and I saw he had a twinned toilet and I was keen to establish a link with the Democratic Republic of Congo because of the history we have with the country.
“It’s one of a number of things I picked up in the Bishop of London’s toilet.”