To set some background, I am currently deputising at a small parish church in a village near my usual church because the the organist is incapacitated for several weeks. The service times are fortunately fine to allow for travel between the two.
The hymns have been picked for the next 3 months and I was given a list at the beginning of last week for the coming period. I have never played "Shine, Jesus Shine" and vowed many years ago that I wouldn't unless under great duress, say if required for a funeral, so was less than chuffed to find that it was scheduled for the end of yesterday morning's service. The hymn book used is that huge orange tome, "Complete Anglican Hymns Old & New" which I was "amused" to see has hymns about elephants and smelly feet. Hmmm.
Anyway, I decided to try to avoid S, J S and so picked a more traditional alternative, turned up a few minutes early and spoke to the churchwarden. His relief to my suggestion was palpable and he almost ran to the numbers box to change the boards. The choir were also delighted as, as one of them said, "It's just embarrassing to sing". They said that as I'm currently their organist I should feel free to change anything I wish except the mass setting as everyone likes and knows it.
My wife said that I was wrong to change the hymn as it showed arrogance and elitism on my part but I feel that it was justified as the choir and congregation were pleased to not sing it. Had they asked to play it rather than make a change I would, of course, had acceded.