Saturday, 20 April 2013


David Murrow explains Why traditional churches should stick with traditional worship.

The Church Times has this leader: Evidence of evil.

Christopher Howse writes in his Sacred Mysteries column in The Telegraph about The man who rewrote Bunyan.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 11:05am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

"To be a pilgrim' may well be a smash hit with the boy's club but it certainly is not a smash hit with the many inclusive-conscious women who form the majority of our congregations. Mrs Thatcher may have enjoyed being dubbed,'the best man in the government' but as a woman, I do not see that as a compliment.
It is so easy to change it to WE who would valiant be...Let US in constancy...We are a plural-gender church. Move on brothers!

Posted by: Lettie James on Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 8:08pm BST

Re the article by David Murrow, last line "I firmly believe there’s still a market for traditional worship .." Market, huh? Sort of like music radio I reckon, some prefer jazz, others pop, others rock, others the classics etc. Well, continuing with the metaphor, I prefer worship to be transcendent.

If there is preaching then I prefer it be based on the readings of the day, with both the readings and hymns in inclusive language. One of the things that is really annoying is chit chat and side bars going on in the sanctuary. It's can be a challenge finding worship that is not a "Gong Show" with frantic people running or parading around, no clear indication who the celebrant is, prayers of the people/faithful that are long and didactic.

Thankfully,in our area there are several churches,including a couple of Anglican ones, that allow for really great worship.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 9:28pm BST

I'm of the school of worship that truly believes that Christ must be at the very centre of our worship activities. This is why - for me - the celebration of the Eucharist is fundamental to my worshipping life. Sadly, there may not be many churches nowadays that celebrate the Mass on a daily basis - a source of grace, strength and hope, to all who really believe that Christ is present amongst us.

God uses that centredness on Him to motivate our 'daily round, the common task' O for a revival of that spirituality! What could be more blessed?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 2:04am BST

I'm greatly in favour of 'traditional churches' as one among the mix, for at least two reasons. First, paradoxically, it may seem - they allow certain sorts of liberals and even agnostics and atheists far more space. And second, rock music is everywhere - its aggressive colonisation should be resisted - and some churches at least should be allowed to be different from it. I don't mean to be prissy - we can all sing poppy 'Shine, Jesus, shine' things, but there should be limits for people who want to go to church (for whatever reason) and who don't want everything and everywhere to be 'rockified'.

Posted by: John on Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 4:07pm BST

An inclusive version of Bunyan's poem is found, for example, in the Australian hymn book, Together in Song. However, the most recent UK hymn books have replaced Percy Dearmer's re-writing of the poem with Bunyan's original words.

Posted by: The Revd John Bunyan on Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 10:41pm BST

If you have trouble with the male pronoun in 'To Be A Pilgrim', it would surely be better to sing 'She who would valiant be' and 'He would...' alternately, rather than to go to 'We who would...' The point of the hymn, and of the poem before it, was the persistence of the individual soul, despite discouragement and loneliness. If what besets the pilgrim round is a bunch of other pilgrims, then we've dissolved most of Bunyan's point.

Posted by: Francis on Monday, 22 April 2013 at 4:57pm BST

Francis: If we are singing the hymn only in order to retell 'Pilgrim's Progress', then that might work although I find alternate gender singing somewhat awkward when the few male voices are not exactly fortissimo. If we are singing it to celebrate our Christian faith and experience in community - 'in the now' -then we are brothers and sisters in Christ and no pilgrim is alone. We worship, sing, pray, praise and also express pain, joy, happiness, sorrow and hurt in community. That is why we use inclusive language. The last verse almost gets there - 'Since Lord, thou dost defend US....WE know we at the end........ I notice that 'To be a Pilgrim' is not in the fairly recent Canadian hymn book, Common Praise.

Lettie J.

Posted by: Lettie James on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 at 3:02pm BST
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