There have been heartening developments in the stand off between Bath’s busking community and the Abbey. There has been a hugely welcome outbreak of dialogue and mutual respect. Bath Abbey and the buskers have released a joint statement.
We hope that this is the beginning of a beautiful and redemptive relationship between the two communities, united in appreciation for the wonderful city of Bath. I have had some choice words for Rev Edward Mason but he is to be hugely commended for being willing to sit down with buskers and work towards a generous and open-hearted compromise. Let’s hope that this spirit of co-operation now extends to the leadership of the council who earlier this week had signalled an intention to introduce harsh new restrictions on the busking community. We hope this will now prove to be unnecessary. Instead, with buskers, the Abbey and the council working together for the common good, busking in Bath and the rich cultural life of the Abbey can be safeguarded for years to come.
Joint statement from Bath Abbey and street musicians (25 September 2014)
In light of recent events and the consequent media interest, Bath Abbey Rector Edward Mason and colleague Claire Robson met with street musicians Jack Morgan and Ben Powell today.
The meeting provided an opportunity to share how distressing the last few days have been for both the Abbey and the street musicians.
Apologies were given and received and both parties explored how they can work together towards resolving this issue.
Both agreed that the Abbey’s first concern continues to be the needs of the people who enter this holy place.
Both recognised the contribution street musicians make to the life of the city.
Both recognised the need for a workable system that allows street performance to flourish while respecting those who live and work in the city.
The meeting concluded warmly with a mutual determination to draw a line under the past and foster good relationships in the future.