Saturday, 24 December 2016

Opinion - Christmas Eve 2016

Linda Woodhead Journal of the British Academy The rise of ‘no religion’ in Britain: The emergence of a new cultural majority
[the text of a lecture delivered in January 2016]

Brian Zahnd Missio Alliance My Problem With the Bible

Alex Taylor, Children’s Ministry Trainer for the Diocese of London The worst Christmas song

Andrew Lightbown Mary & Elizabeth: Renewal & Reform

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Christmas highlights pressures on C of E’s stretched rural clergy

Andrew Dunning British Library Medieval manuscripts blog The Medieval Origins of the Christmas Carol

Ian Paul Psephizo Should clergy have Christmas day off?

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 24 December 2016 at 11:00am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion
Comments

A joyful Christmas to all who visit this site.

Even the curmudgeonly Alex Taylor. I'll try not to rise to the bait, that would be unseasonal. But finding its rather snide sentiments about "Bolton..." (Heaven forfend!) etc, under a Diocesan website banner(!) is something to call out right away. Perhaps churchy types in London might ponder how that looks up here in the boondocks of the North.

Away in a Manger. If you find it mawkish, try it to a different tune. There's a really beautiful one, from Normandy I believe. But the "bog-standard" version has the merit of being one of the few worship songs that many churchgoers can sing from memory, without a song sheet, in the dark. Pretty handy at a Christingle service! And being something known "by heart", other things can attach to well worn words. If those words are too twee (do you mean "liked by older or very young or less well educated people"?) teach the people better words if you must. Or just explore what attaches to the words.

Posted by: ExRevd on Sunday, 25 December 2016 at 12:09am GMT

Interesting that Alex Taylor's list includes both Away in a Manger, with its line "The little Lord Jesus no crying he makes", and Once in Royal, with the line "Tears and smiles like us he knew". They can't both be right - i think I'll go with Once in Royal.
The top of my list would be "The little drummer boy". I once saw a great "Farside" card that showed the classic manger scene, with a door opened at the back and an angry innkeeper in pajamas saying: "Look, I don't mind the camel, and I can cope with the shepherds and all these sheep; even the angels are OK if you like that sort of music, but that Par-up-a-bum-bum stops right now!"

Posted by: Edward Prebble on Sunday, 25 December 2016 at 12:52am GMT

It does seem odd that the Children's Ministry Trainer for the Diocese of London seems determined to give the impression that he doesn't much care for children.

Posted by: rjb on Sunday, 25 December 2016 at 2:26pm GMT

It's the tune to AIAM that has me reaching for the sick-bag, the US tune, by one James R Murray, 1887, is much sturdier. I agree about OIRDC, I refuse to sing the third verse. The author had presumably never read or heard of the infant gospel of Thomas, where Jesus' behaviour is anything but 'mild and obedient.'

Posted by: stephen morgan on Wednesday, 28 December 2016 at 10:50am GMT

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Rich does not just mean wealthy. It's a statement about opportunity. Those who have been given more opportunities to serve are expected to do more. It's an understanding which seems to be lacking in Ian Paul's piece.

Posted by: Kate on Wednesday, 28 December 2016 at 1:52pm GMT

Kate I'm not sure I get your comment on Ian Paul's piece. But I grew up in a vicarage where I now consider the expectations of service (some self imposed by my parents) were a form of exploitation. But the whole point about the camel going through the eye of a needle of course is that is actually impossible.

Posted by: David Runcorn on Friday, 30 December 2016 at 8:31am GMT

I found Mr. Paul's singling out of Canon Tilby's marital status and comment on her children, unhelpful and tasteless.

(I do realise middle class marriage and reproduction seem central to Evangelicalism these days).

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 30 December 2016 at 6:51pm GMT
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