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Guest Barry Oakley

I just thought readers of this forum might be interested in the following which appeared in today's Church of England Newspaper.

 

"A vicar who tried to modernise his church’s services has been defended by his bishop after more than 60 worshippers quit in protest at the move.

 

"The Rev Derek Price, vicar of St Paul’s, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, has replaced the traditional service with a more charismatic approach with gospel-style singing and hand-clapping. He has replaced the organ with a CD player, provoking accusations from some of his congregation of neglecting the organist, choir and youth orchestra.

 

"Worshippers at the Victorian Gothic-style church have also expressed alarm that Mr Price, previously a development officer with a DIY chain, plans to replace pews with flexible seating.

 

"Parishioners have complained that Mr Price wishes to alter anything that bear the hallmarks of tradition. Amongst other notable incidents, earlier this year the vicar’s wife, Deborah reportedly danced bare-foot around the coffin at a funeral with the bereaved family’s approval.

 

"However, Mr Price’s modern approach has been defended by the Diocese of Carlisle. Richard Pratt, a Diocesan spokesman, said that their research revealed that as many people had joined as had left St Paul’s because of the changes.

 

“Sometimes a church may believe it right to move in a particular direction, which may involve taking risks and perhaps unsettling or upsetting some,” he said. He insisted that removing the pews would bring in more people for “a much wider range of activities and styles of worship.”

 

"The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev Graham Dow, was unequivocal in his backing for Mr Price: “Derek is seeking to shape a church in the generations ahead. This is bound to be a difficult exercise, but Derek and St Paul’s have my full support.”

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Well....

 

-Or it is already quite old-fashioned indeed (the kind of Delirium tremens

we had in Belgium in the seventies, with guitars for the Mass and other

abominations);

 

-Or this is a case more of british humor. (I hope so!)

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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At a wedding in my church last year the couple chose to have a CD recording piped over the loudspeakers during the signing of the registers rather than having live organ music from yours truely.

 

This caused me some confusion - I didn't know whether to be offended that they didn't want my playing or please that I got the same fee for less work than usual!

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I just thought readers of this forum might be interested in the following which appeared in today's Church of England Newspaper.

 

"A vicar who tried to modernise his church’s services has been defended by his bishop after more than 60 worshippers quit in protest at the move.

 

"The Rev Derek Price, vicar of St Paul’s, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, has replaced the traditional service with a more charismatic approach with gospel-style singing and hand-clapping. He has replaced the organ with a CD player, provoking accusations from some of his congregation of neglecting the organist, choir and youth orchestra.

 

"Worshippers at the Victorian Gothic-style church have also expressed alarm that Mr Price, previously a development officer with a DIY chain, plans to replace pews with flexible seating.

 

"Parishioners have complained that Mr Price wishes to alter anything that bear the hallmarks of tradition. Amongst other notable incidents, earlier this year the vicar’s wife, Deborah reportedly danced bare-foot around the coffin at a funeral with the bereaved family’s approval.

 

"However, Mr Price’s modern approach has been defended by the Diocese of Carlisle. Richard Pratt, a Diocesan spokesman, said that their research revealed that as many people had joined as had left St Paul’s because of the changes.

 

“Sometimes a church may believe it right to move in a particular direction, which may involve taking risks and perhaps unsettling or upsetting some,” he said. He insisted that removing the pews would bring in more people for “a much wider range of activities and styles of worship.”

 

I agree that change in worship is necessary - there has been constant change over the past 2,000 years - even in some degree in the most traditional of churches! However, change can be handled more diplomatically - and in my experience, it's better to start where the people are! Certainly there's no reason to dispose of a perfectly useable organ, just because it doesn't suit the incumbent's tastes! And if he has an choir, organist and youth orchestra, why use canned music (which is very difficult to sing to).

 

I see similar things happening in Baptist churches only too frequently. Contemporary worship music has its place - but not to the exclusion of everything else - and there is still a place for a well-played organ in the musical line up.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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<At a wedding in my church last year the couple chose to have a CD recording piped over the loudspeakers during the signing of the registers rather than having live organ music from yours truely>.

 

The same seems to be true for church funerals. Requests for music on CD are no longer the preserve of the crematorium.

 

One can't object, I suppose, to the Fauré Requiem, but Phil Collins? Or, worst of all, Hello Dolly? ("you're looking swell Dolly, you're looking great Dolly - it's nice to have you back where you belong") - oh dear!

 

I do my best to play something reflective and liturgically appropriate beforehand, and something positive and uplifting after to mark the next stage in the spiritual journey etc, but I sometimes wonder why I bother: perhaps I should just play the hymns and take the money.

 

Even then, the choice of hymns can be equally inappropriate - Jerusalem and I vow to thee, my country, for example. For many people under 50 these are the only two hymns they know and quite often they don't bother to sing.

 

JS

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I don't do a lot of funerals as I have another 9-5 job, but I couldn't agree more about the choice of innapropriate hymns - especially at weddings. Three of the most frequently requested, each of which seem to me to have no suitability at all,

are Jerusalem, Lord of the dance, and Dear Lord and Father of mankind.

 

Now I like all of these as much as the next man, who could not like Repton?, but "they whipped and they stripped and they hung him high" do seem rather dark thoughts for a wedding, and as for "Breath through the heats of our desire etc...."

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Yeah, right mate. We all believe you.

 

Pratt by name, pratt by nature.

 

Dave

 

 

 

"However, Mr Price’s modern approach has been defended by the Diocese of Carlisle. Richard Pratt, a Diocesan spokesman, said that their research revealed that as many people had joined as had left St Paul’s because of the changes.....“

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Well....

 

Obviously, any church that would be "upgrated" (?) into

a dancing might well attract some people more than

a "normal" one...But then?

Faith and marketing go togheter like a Dulciana would with

Drums and electrocuted guitars ( :P apologies, I meant "electric")

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Guest Roffensis
I don't do a lot of funerals as I have another 9-5 job, but I couldn't agree more about the choice of innapropriate hymns - especially at weddings. Three of the most frequently requested, each of which seem to me to have no suitability at all,

are Jerusalem, Lord of the dance, and Dear Lord and Father of mankind.

 

Now I like all of these as much as the next man, who could not like Repton?, but "they whipped and they stripped and they hung him high" do seem rather dark thoughts for a wedding, and as for "Breath through the heats of our desire etc...."

 

 

Of course that "Repton" so called "hymn"...... :P:P "Dear Lord....." is actually the latter six verses of Whittiers "Brewing Of Soma", which, if read for all twelve verses gives a very different picture. Basically it is this, a load of Priests get a bit plastered, and have to relieve themselves. And then it is reconsumed. :P You get the drift!!! All together now for verse 7....."Dear Lord and Father of mankind forgive our foolish ways"...and....recloath us etc etc......it's true, and is ideal for nice bedtime reading. A friend did a talk on it when the vicar asked him to share with the congregation his favourite hymn.........

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Is that really true Richard, or are you just getting more outlandish for the fun of it?

 

I'll share with you a true experience of mine from a wedding at my church (see how posessive we organists are) last Saturday. We have in the parish a retired priest who in my opinion has become one egg short of a dozen (any other organists familiar with the wonderful Queen "I'm going slightly mad"?), and the aforementioned rev. was taking the service.

 

The second hymn chosen by the dewy-eyed pair was "Guide me O thou great redeemer", second line somewhat unfortunately "pilgrim through this barren land". So our wonderful loopy priest announced the hymn choosing to read out the first two line of words as above. He then turned to the bride and said, fully audibly over the radio mike of course, "not too barren I hope".

 

Wonderful. Its thing like this that really make your day.

 

Incidentally (bear in mind its late and the bottle's been open a while now), that reminds me of when I was a boy in the choir at Tetbury, and we had a musically ignorant curate who we liked to goad, so we altered the music list from "Lo, starled chiefs" by William Crotch, to read "Lo, startled chefs" by Dr. Crottle. Come the announcement of the anthem at evensong there was a long pause. I think it was finally announced as "Lo, Startled Chiefs" by Dr. Crottle, so I suppose that was 2-1 to us.

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Well, it is good to read about the bizarre things colleagues have to put up with - I think that I have got off fairly lightly, so far.

 

However, later to-day (it is now 00h25) I have to play for a funeral BUT - there will be a CD of a Meatloaf track in the middle of the service - for reflection...

 

REFLECTION??!!

 

In addition, as the cortège leaves the church, another Meatloaf track will be featured. I am assuming that neither track will be the well-known Meatloaf anthem Bat out of Hell...

 

Incidentally, I still think that the most suitable hymn for a wedding is No. 3 in The English Hymnal.... wish someone would choose it .... :P

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Oh. Lord, that's bad.

 

"Wrestling Jacob" remains a prime choce for weddings in my book.

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Oh. Lord, that's bad.

 

"Wrestling Jacob" remains a prime choce for weddings in my book.

 

I have also had to play Fight the Good Fight. God - do these people not think?!

 

Ah well, it can only get worse.

 

I suspect that one of my pupils is the world's only surviving brain donor, so, in about fifteen years' time I expect that I will have to play Cock of the North or something even worse at that wedding....

 

:P:P:P:P

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Is that really true Richard, or are you just getting more outlandish for the fun of it?

 

.......We have in the parish a retired priest who in my opinion has become one egg short of a dozen......

 

Wonderful. Its thing like this that really make your day.

 

 

==============================

 

 

Well, I think I can bring "The house of Mander" down with some of the things I have heard in church.

 

There was the RC priest who announced a second-collection with the following:-

 

"Now to-day is Palm Sunday, and that's why we've given you all palms. Now see here, we're only a small parish, and these things are expensive, so to cover the cost, we're going to have a second-collection, 'COS I DON'T WANT YOU TO GET THE IMPRESSION THAT THESE THINGS JUST GROW ON TREES!"

 

The very same, delightfully dotty Irish Priest, had the "Sisters of Mercy" making an appeal for "War on want" and the needs of the third-world. When they had finished, he said, "Now were going to have a second-collection this morning, and I want you all to dig deep. You can be sure that every penny we collect will go to aid the third-world-war!!"

 

But the utlimate accolade must go the the Methodist Minister, who really was several yokes short of an omelette, and completely out of touch with ordinary folk and the phrases they use.

 

Having got to the bit where he spoke about marriage, the collection plate and litter outside the door, he said the following, in a voice which had a built-in echo and a bleat:-

 

At this point in the proceedings, I would like to be the first to congratulate Ian and Susan upon becoming man and wife, and whilst I don't propose to give a sermon, I think a few words are in order for the happy couple. I always think that love and marriage are rather like a coal-fire; the flames of which grow dull until we are left with the mere glowing embers. I'm sure that all of you here to-day, who are married, will agree with me when I say, that it requires a good poke every so often to revive the flames of love."

 

I swear, I could not even see the stops, let alone play "Jesu Joy" during the signing of the register!

 

MM

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I have witnessed, at Steeple Ashton, the vicar ask; Tammy-Wynette, do you take Dwain to be your lawful wedded wife? Unfortunately, he realised and corrected it, and not a moment too soon judging by the size of her...

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I have witnessed, at Steeple Ashton, the vicar ask; Tammy-Wynette, do you take Dwain to be your lawful wedded wife?  Unfortunately, he realised and corrected it, and not a moment too soon judging by the size of her...

 

 

How did the Bryceson cope with Stand by your Man.... then which I am supposing was the requested exit music? :P

AJJ

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The second hymn chosen by the dewy-eyed pair was "Guide me O thou great redeemer", second line somewhat unfortunately "pilgrim through this barren land".
One of my brothers-in-law chose this for his wedding - and him a clergyman too. Nobody thought much of it until we got to the last verse, when everyone remembered that his beloved's maiden name was Jordan. He swears he chose it on purpose.

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Guest Andrew Butler

Our previous RC priest was once talking in his homily about how people coped with disability, and mentioned a young deaf woman in his previous parish who "slept with a vibrator under her pillow" to wake her up in the morning!

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Guest Roffensis

One church I used to play at ripped all the pews out bar four, which looked, consequently, more like sheep pens. They then had to add cheesy chairs for two rows at the back....all this to swell the congregation...but it had the reverse effect. The old choir stalls were sawn up to make a nice wooden floor for "sacred dance"....ie some old women flouncing around with bits of cloth supposed to look like the resurrection. :lol: The enormous space at the back of the church was stuffed full of carpet, and looked hideous. Meanwhile poor Father Willis sat at the east end watching all this..... the organ is still going, but some captain or other plays swing style music on it, you know, like "oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, how good is the Lord"......lovely......needless to say this church had a thriving choir, and a wonderful tradition up to then. Following the time I built up a new choir, the vicar from hell came, after 18 months interegnum, and thanks to him and his delightful wife, both choir, and myself were sacked. He wanted to know why the kids were there, and whether Jesus wanted it. On another occaision they were all busy round there praying for the radiators, that's when not telling me I had a devil sitting on my shoulder. :lol: In the fact the guy who told me this was a visiting "minster" (self appointed in the finest evo tradition). Now they have chorus warm ups and some old women jig about to party jingles. As I said, lovely, and the thin end of the wedge. Perhaps the finest comment I received was "if you get those boys chanting psalms, I'm leaving. I can't stand all those squeeky voices" to which I replied politely (as I always was) "ask yourself why you came in the first place". No, take no rubbish off clergy or anyone, they know exactly what they are doing, and quite often it is all about power. :lol::lol::lol:

R

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Guest Roffensis
I always prefer Behold the bridegroom cometh....

 

I was only referring to certain clergy I might add, no offence to Tony who is clearly of the good sort!

R :lol:

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