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Michelin Stars For Vicars?

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I didn’t watch it.  As soon as I saw the program synopsis I decided to watch something else instead. Hurray for the Simpson’s.    :blink:

B****R!! I should have gone over to C4 :unsure:

 

I haven't watched Songs of Praise for years but watched it for the first time last week. It was devoted entirely to Katherine Jenkins, who made very pleasant watching and is actually a properly trained musician with a professional outlook. Such a nice girl, too. I guessed I was hoping for more of the same this week... :(

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It all depends on what times it’s on, if I’m looking after my daughter, if I go to (sing) evensong and what style of music they look at.

 

:unsure:

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It wasn't the first church I'd come across where the most important person in the parish was the vicar's wife! But it was certainly the vicar who picked the hymns - and even the tunes on occasion (memorably once stopping a procession in mid aisle to order me - with a very bad grace - to play a different tune because he didn't like the one we were singing!)

 

 

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

 

 

 

Oh yes! That happened to me once!

 

I simply waited until the responses, drew the Vrks Harmonics and gave the bugger bottom G.

 

He didn't do it again.....ever!

 

:unsure:

 

MM

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Guest Lee Blick

An interesting article about a cleric apparently trying to 'big himself up' on the Mystery Worshipper section of the Ship of Fools site. It makes for amusing reading and of course the editors of this site are not pulling any of their punches, as usual. :lol:

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An interesting article about a cleric apparently trying to 'big himself up' on the Mystery Worshipper section of the Ship of Fools site.  It makes for amusing reading and of course the editors of this site are not pulling any of their punches, as usual.  :lol:

 

I'm not surprised his parishioners hate him if he speaks to them the same way he used to post on SoF before being kicked. Michelin raspberries would be more appropriate in his case, I think. What an utter pratt!

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I didn’t watch it.  As soon as I saw the program synopsis I decided to watch something else instead. Hurray for the Simpson’s.    :lol:

 

Getting back to the original email - how about this for a candidate for the worst opener of all (this was Ash Wednesday); choir process in, nice gentle organ music, moment of silence, then the Vicar says "Hi Folks, welcome to Lent".....

I have since resigned from that church!

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Getting back to the original email - how about this for a candidate for the worst opener of all (this was Ash Wednesday); choir process in, nice gentle organ music, moment of silence, then the Vicar says "Hi Folks, welcome to Lent".....

I have since resigned from that church!

 

The other week we had a very well read Gospel - lots of drama and gravitas. So I plump for a big fanfare (pcnd, look away now) - tubas and full organ, finishing on a massive chord with everything out (but released just before the wind died!). The vicar says - "Oooh, I'm not sure how to follow that". One of my more sarcastic choir gents mutters "Sit down and shut up then."

 

I dunno - I've gone to the trouble of trying to build up a sense of occasion that fits with the mood of the service, and it gets totally trashed by a comment like that. I'm sure the frustration goes both ways, though...

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Getting back to the original email - how about this for a candidate for the worst opener of all (this was Ash Wednesday); choir process in, nice gentle organ music, moment of silence, then the Vicar says "Hi Folks, welcome to Lent".....

At the opposite extreme there once was an organ scholar at Windsor who, after an Evensong during Holy Week, improvised the choir out to a rumba. Apparently the clergy were not amused.

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Bad Clergy... gah how familiar

 

The previous incumbent at my church was a smashing fellow, there for over 15 years, very high church and you didn't get an opinion. Not that anyone wanted an opinion, he was nearly always spot on (though the choir music could be 'what it wanted so long as it was appropriate)

 

This new 'gentleman' we have, has been here for four years. We still, in a fairly heathenous town of 12,000-ish maintain a boys and mens choir that sings evensong every week (either as boys, men or boys + men)

 

However he has decided he doesn't want this anymore and we should 'try new things.' So he's trying to form a mixed choir made up of choirboys families and a few old dears who are all over 75... he'll drive them all off.

 

The hymns are worked out at the start of the boys practice based on 'what we havent had recently.' Needless to say, this hasn't stopped us having 'all for Jesus' every month at least for the last two years, sometimes more.

He still hasn't got the hint despite using a diffrent tune each month.

 

Also encourages happyclappy as well. and you can't have a go at him, as everyone of the choirmen has done. It's all the choirmasters fault (im ass.organist) for putting them up to it.

 

Vicars eh?

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Bad Clergy... gah how familiar

 

The previous incumbent at my church was a smashing fellow, there for over 15 years, very high church and you didn't get an opinion. Not that anyone wanted an opinion, he was nearly always spot on (though the choir music could be 'what it wanted so long as it was appropriate)

 

This new 'gentleman' we have, has been here for four years. We still, in a fairly heathenous town of 12,000-ish maintain a boys and mens choir that sings evensong every week (either as boys, men or boys + men)

 

However he has decided he doesn't want this anymore and we should 'try new things.' So he's trying to form a mixed choir made up of choirboys families and a few old dears who are all over 75... he'll drive them all off.

 

The hymns are worked out at the start of the boys practice based on 'what we havent had recently.' Needless to say, this hasn't stopped us having 'all for Jesus' every month at least for the last two years, sometimes more.

He still hasn't got the hint despite using a diffrent tune each month.

 

Also encourages happyclappy as well. and you can't have a go at him, as everyone of the choirmen has done. It's all the choirmasters fault (im ass.organist) for putting them up to it.

 

Vicars eh?

 

Why do vicars feel the need to change things at a new parish? A good friend of mine was asked to leave (repeatedly) by the then new vicar, because the vicar saw him as an obstacle in his path for “reforming” the church. Out went Matins, in came “All age/family services”; out went one third of the congregation, in came NOBODY. The vicar was happy though.

 

:P

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Why do vicars feel the need to change things at a new parish?

Dare I suggest: for the same reason that many organists do - because they know best?! There. That's probably upset everybody. :P In my view a wise man - whether of the cloth or the slit-sleeved surplice - treads softly and very slowly with a sensitiveness to what will work and what won't. Very often the deepest damage is done by a new broom sweeping clean.

 

Not that I think even the softest and slowest approach would have kept me on board...

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Dare I suggest: for the same reason that many organists do - because they know best?! There. That's probably upset everybody.  :P  In my view a wise man - whether of the cloth or the slit-sleeved surplice - treads softly and very slowly with a sensitiveness to what will work and what won't. Very often the deepest damage is done by a new broom sweeping clean.

 

Not that I think even the softest and slowest approach would have kept me on board...

 

A former vicar boss of mine, when quizzed how he was getting on a year into the new parish, said "Oh, just watching". 2 years on... "Still watching".

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A former vicar boss of mine, when quizzed how he was getting on a year into the new parish, said "Oh, just watching". 2 years on... "Still watching".

Ahhh... the Anglican hornet's nest.... how easy it is to put one's foot in it. PCCs say they want a priest with leadership qualities, but really they don't. What they want is someone who they can lead by the nose into doing the impossible for the ungrateful. I reckon that many clergy wouldn't put their proverbial foot into the hornet's nest if those responsible for appointments would simply tell the truth. We are a happy congregation. If you don't like what we do, then DON'T COME HERE(!!!!) should be what they say. Instead, very frequently new clergy are faced with what is essentially a pack of lies.

 

When I sent off for the Application Form to be Precentor at Chester, I was surprised to see a question, "What is your vision for the music of the cathedral??" Hmm... I was suspicious of that question (not without good cause), since I thought that it is the job of the Director of Music to have vision for the music --- not the Precentor.... (so was the form telling another lie?) On the strength of that Application Form, I did not apply for the job. (Hornet's nest if ever there was one!) :P

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We are a happy congregation. If you don't like what we do, then DON'T COME HERE(!!!!) should be what they say. Instead, very frequently new clergy are faced with what is essentially a pack of lies.

Strange. I wonder why. I've never sat on a PCC though - it probably shows! What certainly does tend to happen that the arrival of a new priest becomes a signal to a smouldering but previously firmly repressed element in the congregation to try to bend the ear of the new incumbent to their way of thinking.

 

When I sent off for the Application Form to be Precentor at Chester, I was surprised to see a question, "What is your vision for the music of the cathedral??" Hmm... I was suspicious of that question (not without good cause), since I thought that it is the job of the Director of Music to have vision for the music --- not the Precentor.... (so was the form telling another lie?)  On the strength of that Application Form, I did not apply for the job. (Hornet's nest if ever there was one!) :P

As you don't need me to tell you, historically the Precentor was the man in charge of the music. I don't know whether that is still nominally the case everywhere today. Where it is, although I would not want a Precentor to be meddling with the detail of the DoM's running of the business, I would at least hope that (s)he had some over-arching strategic vision for the institution's music. Then there's the theological side of music. I'm quite sure that not all DoMs are going to be top authorities on that. (No slur intended here on Chelmsford, about which I know nothing.)

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Ahhh... the Anglican hornet's nest.... how easy it is to put one's foot in it. PCCs say they want a priest with leadership qualities, but really they don't. What they want is someone who they can lead by the nose into doing the impossible for the ungrateful. I reckon that many clergy wouldn't put their proverbial foot into the hornet's nest if those responsible for appointments would simply tell the truth. We are a happy congregation. If you don't like what we do, then DON'T COME HERE(!!!!) should be what they say. Instead, very frequently new clergy are faced with what is essentially a pack of lies.

 

 

Hi

 

I had the same issues with the previous Baptist church where I was minister - the congregation said they needed to change - but the reality was that they wanted everything to stay the same, but more people to come in, as long as they were people like them!

 

Here is the total opposite - I have changed things - but only because it's happened naturally, and with the full support of the church and for good reasons - so it's not always a battle.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Lee Blick
We are a happy congregation. If you don't like what we do, then DON'T COME HERE(!!!!)

 

Sometimes adopting that sort of attitude can be counter-productive with the church becoming a club for like-minded people moving in ever-decreasing circles.

 

Perhaps in the situations where new priests are attempting to clear away organists and choirs, should not organisations such as the RCO and the RSCM step in to support and advocate on behalf of these musicians? I would be more likely to become a member of them if there was that sort of support.

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Instead, very frequently new clergy are faced with what is essentially a pack of lies.

 

 

Perhaps clergy have been misinformed during the appointment process, but there are ways of dealing things and ways of dealing with things. The church is the people; drive the people away and the church will crumble.

 

:P

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Sometimes adopting that sort of attitude can be counter-productive with the church becoming a club for like-minded people moving in ever-decreasing circles.

 

Perhaps in the situations where new priests are attempting to clear away organists and choirs, should not organisations such as the RCO and the RSCM step in to support and advocate on behalf of these musicians?  I would be more likely to become a member of them if there was that sort of support.

 

I don't think the points that were made above were about clergy versus organist, but more about the fact that when interviewing clergy, almost every parish says "We want to change and grow", but then when the newly appointed person does want to implement "change and grow", the same people who did the interview then turn nasty and dig their heels in.

 

Personally, I'm all for churches changing and re-inventing themselves. What we see at the moment in many Anglican churches is that the congregations are getting older and older and smaller and smaller. At some point someone has to take the brave step (like the new Archbishop of York) of saying "You old folk aren't what we're about any more". That's not to say that they aren't valued and should be driven away, but there's no point in continuing to run the church into the ground to keep a bunch of people who are not going to be with us much longer happy. Brutal, but the reality is that if we keep aiming our worship at the older generation, then we will be left with empty buildings. Many places try a middle ground, but that doesn't really please anybody.

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I think one of the problems is that as we grow old, what we want from a church changes. Whilst it is essential to attract the younger generations to church, it is also important to realise that not all folk want praise songs. All ready the psalms are an unknown for many churchgoers.

 

:P

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The idea of attracting the young is fine, but the problem is how.

 

I am speaking of the RC church, but protestant friends tell me that they have the same problem. The young do not seem to be attracted by the "music group" style of worship which seems to many to be based on 1960s pop. Contemporary pop idiom does not carry religious sentiments at all well, and young people often agree with this view. They are content with traditional church music, which they sum up with the sentiment "at least you know you're in church".

 

The catholic chaplaincies at Oxford and Cambridge, which thirty years ago were guitar dominated, now have organs, gregorian chant and polyphony. However, local parishes are dominated by people who pushed guitars to the front in their youth, are now in their sixties, who will not accept that the music which attracted them in their youth no longer attracts young people.

 

I always try to ask the children what they like in church music, and the answer seems to be not much, but it does have to be loud. They do like "Woodlands" and "Cwm Rhondda." Does anyone know of anything else ten year olds actually admit to liking?

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Returning to the Chester Precentor job.... there was an invite to go to meet with the Dean on an "informal basis", which I did. I questioned this matter of vision and the music to find out precisely what the question meant. He observed that there were two/three choirs - the main one of boys/girls and men and the Voluntary Choir which is essentially equivalent to a Parish Church choir. The Cathedral Choir sing Evensong at 3pm and the Voluntary Choir sing... ermm.... Evensong at 6pm. Giving that example the Dean asked if there was a need to sing Evensong twice on a Sunday. Perhaps one could think of an alternative Sunday Evening Service for the Voluntary Choir.

(It was at that point that I heard an echo of the angry buzzing of hornets :lol: ).

 

The guy who got the job did in fact introduce youth services, taize stuff, etc etc, and guess what?? The Voluntary Choir members were hurt when they were told that their well-attended evensong would no longer be the norm...

 

But ....

 

I am thankful to say that they were not hurt by me!

 

Dr Francis Jackson once told me that the big problem with the Church these days is the attitude that exists of "if it works.... change it!"

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
The idea of attracting the young is fine, but the problem is how.

 

I am speaking of the RC church, but protestant friends tell me that they have the same problem. The young do not seem to be attracted by the "music group" style of worship which seems to many to be based on 1960s pop. Contemporary pop idiom does not carry religious sentiments at all well, and young people often agree with this view. They are content with traditional church music, which they sum up with the sentiment "at least you know you're in church".

 

The catholic chaplaincies at Oxford and Cambridge, which thirty years ago were guitar dominated, now have organs, gregorian chant and polyphony. However, local parishes are dominated by people who pushed guitars to the front in their youth, are now in their sixties, who will not accept that the music which attracted them in their youth no longer attracts young people.

 

I always try to ask the children what they like in church music, and the answer seems to be not much, but it does have to be loud. They do like "Woodlands" and "Cwm Rhondda." Does anyone know of anything else ten year olds actually admit to liking?

 

 

A very interesting post, thankyou!

Since you ask, the sort of stuff my choir kids like (in particular) is the music with Latin texts! We don't do much, but 'it's special' - it's clearly a notch above everything else they come across in daily life.

Actually, they seem to like virtually everything we do at choir. When having to learn a third set of responses (Byrd this time) the Head Chorister moaned a bit, couldn't see the point of yet another set. Now they're learned, everyone seems happy.

 

People like what they know. Kids are like people. Give them something familiar and they absolutely tear into it! Unlike adults, they don't question it much first. Now the Faure Requiem (for instance) once learned, they'll sing any of it at any time - can't get enough. Good taste.

 

Not very long ago I was in a very low-church, evangelical set-up - not entirely my thing. We had a flourishing choir and a questionnaire was given to the church children generally. Amongst others, the question was asked 'which is your favourite service?'. Everyone (apart from my wife and I) were surprised and a little thrown when the answer came back 'Mattins'!. We used to sing it only once a month. The reasons those kids liked Mattins were

1. It's brisk - no long silences, plenty to do.

2. Once the anthem's done, the kids can go to their Sunday School groups and don't have to come back in. Perfect.

Needless to say, this was not the choice of service anyone wanted to hear!

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