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I was hauled into a meeting to be told be an eminent clergyman that "I needed to be more amateur in my job".

N

 

 

And that attitude to worship, friends, is why organists like me give up, why choirs - the best mission tool the church has - disintegrate and why congregations stop going to church. The standards of liturgy and music to be found in the vast majority of churches - certainly Anglican ones - is frankly appalling and such standards would not be tolderated elsewhere.

 

I am currently so very fortunate; I go to weekday Low Masses at an Anglican church in Brighton where everything is done extremely well and I go (in the congregation) for sung services, mainly High Mass, at a London church where I also now ocasionally deputise on the organ. At the latter the music and liturgy could not be any more old fashioned and traditional yet, for a parish in which nobody has lived for probably 70 years now, it gets on average at least 50 people on a Sunday morning and these include people of all ages, types and genders. You might be surprised at how many young people, from age 1 upwards, enjoy this very formal and beautiful old fashioned liturgy, with professional choir, every week. Try it if you're ever in London on a Sunday and not otherwise occupied - 11 am High Mass (Last Gospel, Asperges, the lot!) at St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge, in Lower Thames Street. And at no church will you find a better welcome; if you don't stay to the free wine and light eats in the crypt afterwards we'll all be most offended.

 

The point about St Magnus is that there is beautiful, dignified and old-fashioned liturgy and music, as well as very good preaching, and the bit where everyone is matey, genuinely friendly and welcoming, and a good social time is had by all, comes afterwards in the crypt or, if it's a BBQ, out in the attractive private courtyard. The two sides of church life complement each other but they don't interfere with each other. That, surely, is at is should be.

 

Malcolm

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I was hauled into a meeting to be told be an eminent clergyman that "I needed to be more amateur in my job".

N

 

 

What a disgrace! - who do they think they are? What is it about the clergy, sorry - some members of the clergy, that makes them think they are an authority on everything?

 

This is precisely the reason why, Sunday after Sunday, I sit in the pews - as do hundreds of musicians who just can't be bothered with the aggro!! - either that or they just don't go!!

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I was hauled into a meeting to be told be an eminent clergyman that "I needed to be more amateur in my job".

N

 

My guess is that "You need to be more amateur in your job" translates roughly to: "I need you to be more amateur in your job so I can handle you."

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I was hauled into a meeting to be told be an eminent clergyman that "I needed to be more amateur in my job".

N

Perhaps that was an invitation to play a lot of wrong notes - but would he have noticed the difference?

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Perhaps that was an invitation to play a lot of wrong notes - but would he have noticed the difference?

 

I always played my wrong notes with the utmost of conviction. I mean every accident!

N

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Perhaps that was an invitation to play a lot of wrong notes - but would he have noticed the difference?

 

When I posted that comment it must have been an unconscious quote from "Organ-isms", Jenny Setchell's book.

 

'the Vicar told the organist: "The trouble with you is you are a perfectionist - your music is too good. How do you think it makes the man in the pew feel?" '

 

The organist joked about making some mistakes, and the Vicar replied, "Well, yes, actually, that would help. Yes, a good idea - play some wrong notes."

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