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Hello Tony

 

Is cultural relevance something religion should aspire to, necessarily? I want my church to move me closer to God. I don't want it to move God closer to me.

 

To draw an analogy, what purpose would be served in recrafting Santa Claus in baggy jeans and bling, delivering presents to children from a pimped-up Cadillac?

 

I was invited to a Buddhist meeting by a friend a while back. This particular (large, international) group's mission is to make Buddhism accessible and practical in the modern world. For them, vegetarianism is impractical and the doctrine of karma is too 'difficult' so they avoid both, along with everything else they find to be too awkward. It seemed to me they were left as a group of nice people being nice with each other; and there's nothing wrong with that except that whilst being a bit more culturally relevant, it didn't seem to be Buddhism any more.

 

Tea isn't everyone's cup of tea, but does that mean one should do without the teabag?

 

Best wishes

 

J

 

 

Hi

 

We do need to be careful to separate "doing the best we can for God" from personal likes and dislikes in terms of style of music and worship. God doesn't only like traditional hymns and chant! The church as a whole needs to provide space for people to worship in ways that are culturally relevant. For some that may mean BCP, Anglican chant, etc. for others the Latin Mass, whilst for others, the various manifestations of "Contemporary" worship - and even rap (and yes, it has been done!)

 

All can be done well (but all too often aren't - but that's a different issue).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Is cultural relevance something religion should aspire to, necessarily? I want my church to move me closer to God. I don't want it to move God closer to me.

Which is exactly what Vox was getting at. A reasonable study of the history of Christianity suggests that it has never succeeded in being relevant, for that is not its purpose. It has at times succeeded in building bridges, and in worship this has largely been done by making sure that the cultural element is of the highest quality, regardless of the type or style. A fair measure as to whether the bridge building is successful lies in whether the church is seen as 'our', 'their', or 'my' church instead of God's Church.

 

The biggest enemy here is mediocrity. If we ever become satisfied with mediocrity in worship, then our faith will be mediocre and the God we witness to and address will be the same. Mediocre religion is what gives MM every reason to espouse a position he describes as agnostic. He does, however, need to balance his statement by allowing that much agnosticism is laziness, just as much mediocre religious faith and practice is down to laziness too.

 

In short, worship and practice are both there to bring the world closer to God. If either is second-rate, then the risk is that the God involved will be a second rate creation of our own, not the God who created all things.

 

End of rant!

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Mediocre religion is what gives MM every reason to espouse a position he describes as agnostic. He does, however, need to balance his statement by allowing that much agnosticism is laziness, just as much mediocre religious faith and practice is down to laziness too.

 

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

 

The trouble is Patrick, I find almost ALL religion mediocre: the cross, I suppose, of being brought up in a highly secular, scientific world, in which rational thinking has been uppermost. That doesn't necessarily mean that it rebuffs spirituality, but it does mean that it automatically embraces scepticism.

 

I wouldn't drill a hole without checking at least twice, so why would I blindly follow anything without question?

 

Is there such a thing as Christian Agnosticism, I wonder?

 

I'm just a sad product of the 1960's I suppose; an era which included a number of rather interesting theologians.

 

As for God creating everything,I think that particular question will occupy the minds of the great and the good for a very long time, (whatever a very long time is).

 

MM

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To draw an analogy, what purpose would be served in recrafting Santa Claus in baggy jeans and bling, delivering presents to children from a pimped-up Cadillac?

 

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

 

It's far easier to inform children that Santa died in a terrible sleigh accident.

 

:blink:

 

MM

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Guest Patrick Coleman
===============

 

The trouble is Patrick, I find almost ALL religion mediocre: the cross, I suppose, of being brought up in a highly secular, scientific world, in which rational thinking has been uppermost. That doesn't necessarily mean that it rebuffs spirituality, but it does mean that it automatically embraces scepticism.

Religious faith which is highly rational, automatically embraces scepticism: this sounds like an advert for the best of Christianity!

As for God creating everything,I think that particular question will occupy the minds of the great and the good for a very long time, (whatever a very long time is).

It has, of course, been doing that for as many millennia as have supported conscious thought.

 

You are probably right in thinking that most manifestations of faith in the UK at this time are mediocre, because we have not only abdicated from seeking excellence in the many artistic aspects of worship, we have abdicated from the rigours that set standards for any other form of thought, and are rightly sneered at by those who discern how empty we are becoming of all that has real value.

 

I think (sorry, I actually know) this is what the Pope means by reclaiming our place in the public square - not by right, but by merit.

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Thank you, John and Nachthorn, for your support. Much appreciated. I don't want to get into a theological debate, but suffice it to say that I am perfectly happy to adopt the working assumption that God does exist and to serve Him accordingly, whilst acknowledging the possibility that it just might all be a waste of time. Sometimes it feels more of a waste of time than at others; I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

 

There are still some clergy who support classical music and there are rather more organists still valiantly battling for the cause, sometimes against stiff opposition. I take my hat off to every one of them with all due respect and humility. I no longer have any will to fight battles, to play King Canute, but thank goodness others still have the motivation and vision to take a positive and militant line.

 

I ought to make it clear that in no way am I condoning a view that only professional musical performances are worthy of God. To my mind, "offering God the best of which mankind is capable in the best manner that can be devised" must perforce mean different things in different circumstances. In a church with the means to support professional musicians "the best" would mean exactly that, but it would hardly be practical in an impoverished country village church. It is inevitable that "the best" will often fall short of perfection. I can't see God minding that; the important thing is that every genuine effort has been made and that God's forgiveness of imperfection isn't used as a cop-out. There will be circumstances where "the best" is better delivered by saying rather than singing.

 

As for the issue of cultural relevance, I absolutely agree with Justadad and Patrick, who, I think, are both spot on. As for the claim that God doesn't only like traditional hymns and chant I am tempted to reply, mischievously, "Yes he does!" For all we know, what God really likes is Boethius's musica divina. If you want to object that there's no evidence that musica divina exists, there's an obvious retort to that! Since we don't really know, all we can do is to make sure that we are offering the best. There is always a tendency to make God in our own image. We need to be wary.

 

I do, however, entirely agree with Tony that we need to guard against confusing effort with our likes and dislikes. The popular music brigade probably need to learn this lesson more than anyone else, for much of what they peddle has no other justification. What makes me scream is when someone tries to excuse it by playing the sincerity card. "God doesn't mind; the music is sincere and that's all that's necessary." Sorry, but this betrays exactly the sort of devotional impoverishment decried by Vaughan Williams and I don't buy it at all. I simply reply that sincerity doesn't enter into it and watch everyone gasp in disbelief. The thing is, everything we do in church should be sincere; insincerity has no place. Sincerity is just a starting point. If the church can't rise above that it is really stuck at rock bottom. It should be taken as read and, as such, doesn't even merit mentioning in a church music debate.

 

Deciding what is worthy and what is not does require judgements to be made, but it seems entirely legitimate to me for a musician trained in the critical appreciation of music to make those judgements. I see no justification for someone who knows sod-all about the subject to dictate what is appropriate and what is not.

 

Here endeth the second lesson.

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Guest Patrick Coleman
What makes me scream is when someone tries to excuse it by playing the sincerity card. "God doesn't mind; the music is sincere and that's all that's necessary." Sorry, but this betrays exactly the sort of devotional impoverishment decried by Vaughan Williams and I don't buy it at all. I simply reply that sincerity doesn't enter into it and watch everyone gasp in disbelief. The thing is, everything we do in church should be sincere; insincerity has no place. Sincerity is just a starting point. If the church can't rise above that it is really stuck at rock bottom. It should be taken as read and, as such, doesn't even merit mentioning in a church music debate.

 

Deciding what is worthy and what is not does require judgements to be made, but it seems entirely legitimate to me for a musician trained in the critical appreciation of music to make those judgements. I see no justification for someone who knows sod-all about the subject to dictate what is appropriate and what is not.

 

Here endeth the second lesson.

And a very good lesson it is too. Collaborative ministry has been much talked about, but there isn't a great deal of it seen in action. Whether it's through a worship committee or simply through good communication, the expertise that is present has to be respected and used to achieve the best. I know a fair amount about the type of liturgy we aim at, and a bit about music and organs; my organist knows a bit about liturgy and a lot about music and organs -so we can either work together, puzzle out the best possible solution - or start to overrule each other and end up wth second best one way or another.

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And a very good lesson it is too. Collaborative ministry has been much talked about, but there isn't a great deal of it seen in action. Whether it's through a worship committee or simply through good communication, the expertise that is present has to be respected and used to achieve the best. I know a fair amount about the type of liturgy we aim at, and a bit about music and organs; my organist knows a bit about liturgy and a lot about music and organs -so we can either work together, puzzle out the best possible solution - or start to overrule each other and end up wth second best one way or another.

 

Oh, so good to see that. Thanks Patrick.

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The trouble is that we HAVE become satisfied with mediocrity in worship and, to a large extent, this has been imposed upon us. There is a general misconception about congregation participation. Personally, I see congregational participation as each person doing what they are able to do well and each participant blending and uniting with each other to make a beautiful whole. (St Paul seems to support this view.) Many other people see congregational participation as everybody doing everything, regardless of their ability. We get people singing, playing instruments, reading, serving, ringing bells, flower arranging &c., solely because they think they have a right to be allowed to do it.

 

Lest organists get too pompous about this there are plenty of organists about who are playing traditional hymns every Sunday but are totally incapable of playing them well (or even in time) just as there are plenty of choirs about singing Darke in F and Byrd Ave Verum who have no business doing so. These put worshippers off just as much as guitars and bongo drums put a lot of people off. The important thing is that it should be done well, whatever style or format it takes.

 

This evening SOP came from All Saints Peckham in south London. Not my style of worship but what they did seemed to be well done and it clearly suited that local community and brought people - apparently many people - to God. Although I've never been to a service there, I suspect that part of the appeal of All Souls' Langham Place is that everything they do - including the music - is done to an exceptionally high standard. Yesterday I was at the Annual High Mass and Festival Lunch for the Fraternity of Our Lady de Salve Regina at the (Anglican) St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge. I have known their Rector for over 25 years since he was curate at the parish in which I live. It was very old fashioned, traditional liturgy with humeral veil, maniples, birettas &c., and they have a professional organist and vocal quartet who are all exceptionally good. I sometimes go there on a Sunday morning and they are the most friendly, welcoming church community I know. In Lent/Advent they now even use folded chasubles and broad stoles! Since the present Rector has been there congregations have increased considerably and, one Sunday in August when I attended there were over 60 - including several children - in the building although I don't think anybody at all actually lives in the parish. Surely, both these styles of worship are valid if they are done well AND meet the needs of that particular community. I got shouted down by a couple of liturgical fanatics/nutters on another website a couple of weeks ago because I suggested that Our Lord merely said "Do This"; He didn't give detailed instructions as to how to "Do This" - or even which genders should "Do This" - because, ultimately that doesn't matter. (See the often quoted page 744 of Gregory Dix "The Shape of the Liturgy".)

 

I agree totally that we go to church to worship God and not to be entertained. The idea that the congregation should be entertained and constantly given what they want (they will all want something different anyway) was one of the main reasons I gave up my last regular church job. Actually, I would rather hear Shine Jesus Shine sung really well by a congregation, without a choir, than Darke in F sung by an ill-balanced out-of-tune choir who think they are better than they are, and are doing it to satisfy their own egos.

 

Worship is supposed to draw us to higher things and away from ourselves and the mundane. Worship, like the buildings used for the purpose, is supposed to make us fall on our knees in prayer, thanksgiving and adoration. There are many, very different ways of doing this and what is right for one community will be wrong for another.

 

Malcolm

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Collaborative ministry has been much talked about, but there isn't a great deal of it seen in action.

We could certainly do with more of it. In my current post I have to choose the hymns. It suits me to the extent that it gives me control over the music, but I am very uneasy about having responsibility for the texts, which in my view properly lies with the priest. At least there is a good reason: we are currently in an interregnum and the various visiting priests don't know which hymns we know. I don't think I'm going to get much collaboration out of His New Nibs, who is due shortly, but we'll see.

 

Is cultural relevance something religion should aspire to, necessarily? I want my church to move me closer to God. I don't want it to move God closer to me.

There is a concept of the afterlife I came across when still quite young. I don't know where it came from or where I picked it up, but I doubt it was from the church; it may have been from Christian spiritualists. It holds that one's soul progresses to God through various stages or levels, at each level losing more of its individual identity until, ultimately (seventh heaven?), it becomes totally devoid of "self" and absorbed into the formless, universal intelligence that is love/God. Whether this has any theological basis I don't know, but I rather like it and it seems to be echoed in that hymn that ends "till in the ocean of thy love, we lose ourselves in heaven above." Details apart, it seems entirely logical to me that that love of God should demand denial of self and, at its purest, the utter negation of ego. Is this not what we should be striving to attain? If so, why does the church currently so emphasise our earthly identities?

 

At my current church the sense of Christian community is quite keen with the congregation yakking in the aisles like the Tower of Babel as they greet each other and exchange the weekly gossip before the Sunday Eucharist. This goes on pretty much up to the last minute. They are very much aware of being a Christian family, but I fail to see how they can be preparing effectively for worship.

 

Actually, I would rather hear Shine Jesus Shine sung really well by a congregation, without a choir, than Darke in F sung by an ill-balanced out-of-tune choir who think they are better than they are, and are doing it to satisfy their own egos.

Well, yes, but personally I would prefer to avoid both scenarios.

 

Quite possibly- but whose comfort zone? If the church wants to massage mine, for example, it had better produce rather a lot of renaissance polyphony.

Ah, but we're an elitist minority so we don't count!

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Hello Tony

 

Is cultural relevance something religion should aspire to, necessarily? I want my church to move me closer to God. I don't want it to move God closer to me.

 

To draw an analogy, what purpose would be served in recrafting Santa Claus in baggy jeans and bling, delivering presents to children from a pimped-up Cadillac?

 

I was invited to a Buddhist meeting by a friend a while back. This particular (large, international) group's mission is to make Buddhism accessible and practical in the modern world. For them, vegetarianism is impractical and the doctrine of karma is too 'difficult' so they avoid both, along with everything else they find to be too awkward. It seemed to me they were left as a group of nice people being nice with each other; and there's nothing wrong with that except that whilst being a bit more culturally relevant, it didn't seem to be Buddhism any more.

 

Tea isn't everyone's cup of tea, but does that mean one should do without the teabag?

 

Best wishes

 

J

 

Hi

 

I assume by your comments you imply that worship should never change in style & content? That's a common view - but is fatally flawed - the person saying this usually wants church to be as they remember it. Just think for a moment - the logical conclusion of this line of thought is that we would use either Aramaic or New Testament Greek in our worship, and if we used any music at all, it would be Middle eastern in style - and definitely no organs!

 

The Bible actually says very little about HOW we are to worship - simply that God accepts worship from those who worship Him "in spirit and in truth". That really is the only criteria. It doesn't matter if you or I like or dislike a particular worship style - if it helps others worship God that's fine.

 

I do agree that quality is important - and is all too often neglected in UK churches these days - but that's another argument.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Which is exactly what Vox was getting at. A reasonable study of the history of Christianity suggests that it has never succeeded in being relevant, for that is not its purpose. It has at times succeeded in building bridges, and in worship this has largely been done by making sure that the cultural element is of the highest quality, regardless of the type or style. A fair measure as to whether the bridge building is successful lies in whether the church is seen as 'our', 'their', or 'my' church instead of God's Church.

 

The biggest enemy here is mediocrity. If we ever become satisfied with mediocrity in worship, then our faith will be mediocre and the God we witness to and address will be the same. Mediocre religion is what gives MM every reason to espouse a position he describes as agnostic. He does, however, need to balance his statement by allowing that much agnosticism is laziness, just as much mediocre religious faith and practice is down to laziness too.

 

In short, worship and practice are both there to bring the world closer to God. If either is second-rate, then the risk is that the God involved will be a second rate creation of our own, not the God who created all things.

 

End of rant!

 

Hi

 

Here here!

 

The only observation I would make is that second-rate (in an absolute sense) is sometimes all that can be presented due to lack of funds/skilled people. However - as Paul said to Timothy "Study to show thyself approved of God". As ministers, church musicians, or any other role in the church, we should never be satisfied that our standards are the very best - because they never are. The church has very often failed by not encouraging those who participate in worship not to study and work tom improve. As Patrick says, there is great danger in being satisfied with mediocrity! Someone doing the best they can at this time, and working to improve is one thing. Someone who is happy with their poor, limited standards and has no intention of doing anything about it is quite another.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Deciding what is worthy and what is not does require judgements to be made, but it seems entirely legitimate to me for a musician trained in the critical appreciation of music to make those judgements. I see no justification for someone who knows sod-all about the subject to dictate what is appropriate and what is not.

 

Here endeth the second lesson.

 

Hi

 

But what criteria would you use to judge what's worthy? A classically trained musician will have one view, my Asian Christian friends would probably have another. And to a large degree, theological correctness is as important as musical worth.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I agree with Tony. People like recalling the "good old days" before everything changed. They love to yearn for the days when things were done correctly, but that usually means the point when they personally started going to church. People who complain bitterly about modern liturgy and want to go back to the "old Rites" tend to forget that modern liturgy, by and large, has done just that by going back to the very earliest Rites for their basis. Much as I like the old Preparation at the start of Mass and the Last Gospel at the end, they were later "add ons" which clouded the cohesiveness of the liturgy.

 

The two nutters/fanatics I referred to my earlier post (friends of a mutual friend on Facebook, whom I have now removed from my own list of friends) insisted that liturgy should never change and that God personally and irrefutably commanded that women are pysiologically incapable of celebrating Mass because God said so. (They declined or ignored my request for documentary evidence to support this claim!) Surely, liturgy is a servant rather than a master. Liturgy is a living thing and, like all living things it either changes (perhaps gradually) or it dies.

 

I love going to High Mass occasionally, celebrated according to the old English Missal. It is what I was brought up with when I was a young altar server. I wouldn't now want it every week. My current preference is for the (current) modern Roman Mass celebrated by Anglicans in an Anglican church. We are all different, which is rather the point we have been making, and different tastes, personalities need to be catered for. From the age of 14 onwards (1962) I have tried to avoid services according to the BCP of 1662 but many other people still love it. If the music is Mozart or Vittoria (but not Darke in F) - sung by a professional choir - I am very happy.

 

Let's rejoice in - and cater for - our diversity!

 

Malcolm

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Hi

 

I assume by your comments you imply that worship should never change in style & content? That's a common view - but is fatally flawed - the person saying this usually wants church to be as they remember it. Just think for a moment - the logical conclusion of this line of thought is that we would use either Aramaic or New Testament Greek in our worship, and if we used any music at all, it would be Middle eastern in style - and definitely no organs!

 

The Bible actually says very little about HOW we are to worship - simply that God accepts worship from those who worship Him "in spirit and in truth". That really is the only criteria. It doesn't matter if you or I like or dislike a particular worship style - if it helps others worship God that's fine.

 

I do agree that quality is important - and is all too often neglected in UK churches these days - but that's another argument.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

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

 

 

I’m absolutely with Tony on this, because I regard Christianity as a “thinking,” “reflecting” and “doing” religion. I’m not sure that I even regard it as a “worshipping” religion at all, because worship implies a certain hierarchical constitution, where God is “up there” and we grub around “down here” as best we can. That is not, I suspect, what “communion” is really all about.

 

Much, (if not all), of the religion we see about us, tends to be a stylised expression of that which is hierarchical, in which the perception is that of a spiritual ladder leading to heaven, with a newly baptised infant at the bottom and the prelates at the top; the occasionally spectacular fall from grace a reminder of our human frailty.

 

That is a structure which reflects the dynamics of both the monarchical origins and political constitution of western civilisation, which for the most part, have existed “in communion” with religion, with the odd bloody skirmish from time to time to remind us that “communion” is neither easy nor particularly comfortable. Compromise and diplomacy are what makes “communion” possible; the alternative being conflict and even war.

 

It seems to me that those who require a certain uniformity and conformity in religious observation, are those who are more concerned with hierarchy and politics than with “truth,” whereas Christianity is more about “serving” and “washing feet.”

 

So by all means, let us keep alive the tradition of church music, but we should never pretend that it is the only way to salvation, even if it is the best way.

 

MM

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The biggest enemy here is mediocrity. If we ever become satisfied with mediocrity in worship, then our faith will be mediocre and the God we witness to and address will be the same. Mediocre religion is what gives MM every reason to espouse a position he describes as agnostic. He does, however, need to balance his statement by allowing that much agnosticism is laziness, just as much mediocre religious faith and practice is down to laziness too.

 

I would agree; but all too often we seem to celebrate mediocrity, alongside vulgarity, infidelity, appalling grammar, obscene wealth and the many other trappings of our 21st century culture. :(

 

On a brighter note, I was so interested by the comments on this forum that I dug out an old (1949) edition of The English Hymnal from the organ loft to read Mr R Vaughn Williams preface for myself. There were three statements that I particularly liked:

 

Firstly, RVW suggests that "……………. hymns are essentially for the congregation; the choir have their opportunity elsewhere". He goes on to say "And it may be added that a desire to parade a trained choir often accompanies a debased musical taste."

 

On the subject of choir and congregation singing hymns antiphonally he wrote: "…… the eternal war between choir and congregation, each considering the other an unnecessary appendage to the services of the church, is done away with." :blink:

 

And finally: "The custom in English churches is to sing many hymns much too fast. It is distressing to hear 'Nun Danket' or 'St Anne' raced through at about twice the proper speed. ....... The speed indications should not be judged at the pianoforte"

 

I really enjoyed reading this wonderfully written introduction, and so much of what he wrote is just as relevant today as it was then. RVW undoubtedly had a way with words, and music. :)

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Hi Tony

 

No, you should not assume that at all.

 

I'm implying that change is not always necessarily good, and that the sort of change that turns a church into a social club is not change of which I am in favour, personally. Social clubs do a good job of being social clubs. Churches ought to be something different, surely.

 

If all Anglican, or Christian churches only held 'family friendly' services with children running around yelling, grade two recorder players and fancy dress sermons, I'd probably stop going. That they don't is a blessing but, far from hankering back to good old days, the King James/BCP services I enjoy today are something I have grown into over the last 12 years.

 

Maybe it's a good thing that the church offers a diverse range of different styles of worship to accommodate the variety of its worshippers (though I do note a tendency in many places to hold the BCP services only at the crack of dawn). So long as I have somewhere to worship in peace well, I'm all right. The bigger issue of whether the church is right to dilute its substance to almost homeopathic insignificance in the interests of greater cultural relevance (and more bums on pews) is probably beyond the scope of my meagre intelligence.

 

Best wishes

 

J

 

 

 

Hi

 

I assume by your comments you imply that worship should never change in style & content?

 

SNIP

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi Tony

 

No, you should not assume that at all.

 

I'm implying that change is not always necessarily good, and that the sort of change that turns a church into a social club is not change of which I am in favour, personally. Social clubs do a good job of being social clubs. Churches ought to be something different, surely.

 

If all Anglican, or Christian churches only held 'family friendly' services with children running around yelling, grade two recorder players and fancy dress sermons, I'd probably stop going. That they don't is a blessing but, far from hankering back to good old days, the King James/BCP services I enjoy today are something I have grown into over the last 12 years.

 

Maybe it's a good thing that the church offers a diverse range of different styles of worship to accommodate the variety of its worshippers (though I do note a tendency in many places to hold the BCP services only at the crack of dawn). So long as I have somewhere to worship in peace well, I'm all right. The bigger issue of whether the church is right to dilute its substance to almost homeopathic insignificance in the interests of greater cultural relevance (and more bums on pews) is probably beyond the scope of my meagre intelligence.

 

Best wishes

 

J

 

Hi

 

The problem of people seeing the church as no more than a social club is a very real one - something to do on a Sunday if you've nothing else on - but that's down to lack of teaching. I too have reservations about the conduct of some "family friendly" services. The lack of parental discipline seems to be a growing issue in society. These forms of church seem to appeal to some people - not me! In my first church, for some time we had more children than adults, so "family services" were the norm - but not with children running around yelling and causing a distraction.

 

The issue of cultural relevance is important. Even in the Bible, we see a difference in Paul's approach to a predominantly Jewish/"God fearing" audience, and the secular, pagans of Athens. It shouldn't be about "bums on seats" though - more about building the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I've just returned after playing for morning Eucharist and while turning to the final hymn opened the book on a page which contained a song with the first line of the first two verses something like, "It's big like an elephant" and "It's big like a vintage car" (My Morris Minor is actually quite small :unsure: ). Was I hallucinating? I meant to investigate further but didn't finish the voluntary in time - the happy clappies were beginning to infiltrate for their 10.45 (which the Vicar leaves to a lay-preacher, all credit to her).

 

I can't remember the name of the hymn book but the "old" hymns are fine, albeit simplified on occasions and in lower keys than I'm used to, such as St.Denio on G Maj, but there are some real strange items in there.

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I've just returned after playing for morning Eucharist and while turning to the final hymn opened the book on a page which contained a song with the first line of the first two verses something like, "It's big like an elephant" and "It's big like a vintage car" (My Morris Minor is actually quite small :unsure: ). Was I hallucinating? I meant to investigate further but didn't finish the voluntary in time - the happy clappies were beginning to infiltrate for their 10.45 (which the Vicar leaves to a lay-preacher, all credit to her).

 

I can't remember the name of the hymn book but the "old" hymns are fine, albeit simplified on occasions and in lower keys than I'm used to, such as St.Denio on G Maj, but there are some real strange items in there.

 

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

 

It's a good job Cecil Clutton isn't still with us!

 

Unless you have a very early (1928-34) Morris Minor, your car is not vintage. It is, of course, a classic: a very good classic it has to be said.

 

For those who are not old enough to remember, the late Cecil Clutton was a world authority on clocks, organs and vintage cars and he was also Secretary of the VSCC (Vintage Sports Car Club) for many years. I understand that he had at least one almost priceless racing Delage, which he hill-climbed regularly; I think well into his 80's. Prior to that, he had raced an historic Itala.....a brute of a machine, if ever there was one.

 

The "Vintage" car period was 1919-1930 just for the record.

 

MM

 

PS: Errors corrected and post edited.

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Thanks MM, you are of course, quite right. Albert, my Minor is virtually new having been built in 1969! I bet that I could find a hymn praising the creation of such vehicles if I cared to look. I shan't...

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Thanks MM, you are of course, quite right. Albert, my Minor is virtually new having been built in 1969! I bet that I could find a hymn praising the creation of such vehicles if I cared to look. I shan't...

 

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

 

 

Completely off topic of course, but vintage cars were big for a simple reason.....inefficient engines. To get a lot of power, the engines had to be enormous; hence the size and weight of the vehicles.

 

Back on board, so to speak, Sir George Thalben Ball used to race an ERA at Brooklands, and that probably weighed in at around two tons. No seat belts of course, and just a leather helmet! Sir George and Cecil Clutton were nothing if not brave, but at least they died of natural causes, unlike many of their fellows.

 

I'm sure we could easily adapt Hymn 291 (A&M revised):-

 

Oft in danger, oft in woe,

Onward veterans, onward go;

Check the oil and face the strife,

Leave at home that fuming wife.

 

MM

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DAB (Digital Radio) has been sold to us on the grounds that it provides radio channels for ethnic minorities, alternative music and those with more diverse interests.

 

I wonder; what about a Hymn channel? Or how about an organ and church music channel, to include morning service, choral evensong, and other appropriate material? Then, perhaps on the 5th Sunday of the month, the Happy-Clappies could be allowed some of their own music. :unsure: (No doubt they would want to take it over for themselves.)

 

I may be biased, but I would imagine that such a channel would be far more popular than most people would ever want to admit. Like other classical radio channels, one might not want to listen to it all day every day, but it would be wonderful to have it on hand.

 

If the TV licensing authorities can provide porn channels on Terrestrial television I would have thought that a request for a hymn and church music channel on DAB radio would be entirely justified.

 

No doubt it would need to be funded by advertising, but that itself could create some interesting sponsorship opportunities. :)

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