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Hymn

 
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diapason8



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 365
Location: West Somerset, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:37 pm    Post subject: Hymn Reply with quote

This was sent to me on the net, some time ago from Fr John Marshall who was curate at St Mary, Redcliffe, Bristol from 1968-71. It is sung to the tune ‘Aurelia’ (the Church’s one foundation) and originally referred to the Church of the Advent on Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts. I've just found it, and thought it may raise a smile. It fits my liturgical leanings only too well!

'Our church is mighty spikey, with smells and bells and chants,
And Palestrina Masses to vex the Protestants.
O happy ones and holy, who fall upon their knees
For Solemn Benediction, and mid-week Rosaries.

Though with a scornful wonder men see our clergy dressed
In rich brocaded vestments, as slowly they process;
Yet saints their watch are keeping, lest souls be set alight
Not by the Holy Ghost, but by incense taking flight.

Now we on earth have union with Lambeth, not with Rome,
Although the wags and cynics may question our true home;
But folk masses and bingo can’t possibly depose
The works of Byrd and Tallis, or Cranmer’s stately prose.

So let the organ thunder, sound fanfares ‘en-chamade’,
Rejoice, for we are treading where many saints have trod;
Let peals ring from the steeple, sing descants to high C,
Just don’t let your elation disrupt the liturgy!'
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jwatkins
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Apr 2002
Posts: 90
Location: Coulsdon, Surrey

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy
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lancecornea



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 526
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bells and Smells for me too!
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Jason Evans



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 5:06 am    Post subject: Re: Hymn Reply with quote

diapason8 wrote:
This was sent to me on the net, some time ago from Fr John Marshall who was curate at St Mary, Redcliffe, Bristol from 1968-71. It is sung to the tune ‘Aurelia’ (the Church’s one foundation) and originally referred to the Church of the Advent on Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts. I've just found it, and thought it may raise a smile. It fits my liturgical leanings only too well.

Beacon Hill, Boston... old money? Church of the Advent... Anglo-Catholic? But I bet Truro Cathedral has that beat. Rome is more reformed than the Cornish churches. Laughing

Cheers, Nigel... great post!
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diapason8



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 365
Location: West Somerset, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cornwall's interesting. I know it well, and hope to retire there in a year or 10! There are definitely some very strong pockets of Anglo-Catholicism, but the Non-Conformist influence is also strong. Wesley did mush preaching there and almost every hamlet has it's Methodist Chapel, although many of them are now, sadly, houses. In the C of E, the Book of Common Prayer is still strong, with most churches having a weekly Matins, something which is virtually extinct in the rest of the country outside the Cathedrals.

Truro Cathedral has a suberb choir - you may have heard them on BBC2's 'Seaside Parish' series. But, liturgically, they are very middle-of-the road: no evidence of incense when I've been there, unfortuntely!

Another problem is the demise of the pipe organ in favour of the electronic. The tiny church at Polperro have taken out a lovely one-manual & pedal organ - which I played only 2-3 years ago - and replaced it with a Hammond-type 'pub' organ. The remains of the pipe organ were thrown outside in the churchyard in the rain when we visited last Spring. The reason, according to the parish magazine, was 'woodworm'. I'm in contact with Lance Foy, who maintains most of the organs in Cornwall, and this is an all-too familiar story.

But there are some good stories, with some chuches raising money to rebuild - and in some cases install new - pipe organs.

In the fullness of time (yes - I was a Civil Servant 25 years ago) I shall place an advert: 'Church organist seeks Cornish appointment in a parish with Anglo-Catholic tradition, decent pipe organ, choir possibilities, affordable cottage with sea views .'

And pray for a miracle!

Nigel
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Jason Evans



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nigel, many thanks for your interesting post. Sorry to be late in getting back to you- I have been occupied by matters a lot less interesting than church!

Several years ago I spent a week in Cornwall studying the churches and I'll offer some general and specific observations.

I had read that Wesley did a fair amount of preaching in Cornwall, yet the "strong pockets" you refer to seemed more Methodist than Anglo-Catholic. As you know, Cornwall was staunchly Royalist during the Civil War and I never got the impression that the Reformation ever gained much momentum in Cornwall. All the churches I visited without exception felt very Roman Catholic.

Truro Cathedral -probably in common with most British cathedrals- may overall be "middle-of-the-road", yet when I visited I caught a service in the parish church within that was extremely Roman. Due to the rail schedule I was not able to stay for CE (imagine- I would have missed Murrill in E!), yet I do have recordings of the choir. It is very fine.

St. Ia in St. Ives had all the "smells" one could wish for and I somewhat surprised the organist by sight-reading a piece he had difficulty practising. But he was the one that told me that Rome was more reformed than his church. Upon entering the church we famously read: Some people will tell you that at the Reformation the Church of England ceased to be Catholic and became Protestant. Do not believe them.

St. Mary's (a church utterly lacking architectural merit) in Penzance seemed to define the mood. The interior was so indistinguishable from RC that I actually had to ask someone if their church was really C of E! Nothing personal, it all somewhat offended my Protestant blood. Further church explorations merely confirmed my initial impression.

Hope this adds to the dialogue. Cheers...
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diapason8



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 365
Location: West Somerset, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just back from choir practice, hence the late reply.

I think that Cornwall has strong pockets of both Methodism and Anglo-Catholicism, but much is still low-church Protestantism. The main church in Falmouth is middle-of-the-road churchmanship (but very high-quality musicianship) and is one of the very few dedicated to Charles 1, Martyr.

The Forward-in-Faith directory shows a number of Anglo-Catholic parishes, but these are primarily those who have passed Resolutions A,B & C (opposing women priests). A number of others are 'Catholic' in practice, but accept the ministry of women (Affirming Catholicism).

Music varies in quality too, with some parishes - even in remote areas - maintaining professional standards. Fowey and St Endellion spring to mind.

The Truro Cathedral choir is amazingly good - and if you watched 'Seaside Parish' you will have seen something of the struggle to maintain it financially. I would imagine that the middle-of-the-road churchmanship there is due to Bishop Bill Ind who is very much a down-to-earth`Evangelical bishop.

Personally, I can't wait to retire there - and hope to get one of the few decent 3-manual organs to play!

Nigel
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Jason Evans



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

diapason8 wrote:
Just back from choir practice, hence the late reply.


Hey Nigel, thanks as always. Just got back from a rather late business party. And shall I even try to make work tomorrow?

Laughed at the choir practise. I once asked a very prominent music director - his name shall not be disclosed! - what he thought of choir practise. He took time out for a moment and slyly said: I'm certain there's something worse than choir practise but I'm quite unable to think of it right now!

I could tell other stories, but I might need to clear them with my lawyer first! Embarassed Embarassed
Cheers, my friend.
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Jason Evans



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, I'll try to get back to you re your other points. Alcohol has affected the brain too much. Twisted Evil
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diapason8



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 365
Location: West Somerset, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the old adage, quoted in an RSCM manual of choir training, that the most difficult thing about taking choir practice is persuading the assembled singers that you are amongst those present.

Nigel
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Jason Evans



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of Somerset, I got stuck in Clevedon some years back. (Long story.) Due to scant Sunday bus service, I couldn't make it in to Bristol for the 10.00 service at the cathedral nor the 11.00 at Redcliffe. So I went to St. Mary Walton in Clevedon.

That was very interesting. The church was quite full... about 75 or 80... I was the youngest one there. But they were so friendly, especially after the service when we enjoyed biscuits and coffee.

Alas, the organ was electronic (the original instrument had been deemed beyond economical repair) and the elderly lady playing it had what might be discreetly described as a hit or miss technique. Her closing voluntary was the middle section of the Bach Fantasy in G and she was nearly finished before I recognized it! Razz
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diapason8



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 365
Location: West Somerset, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pity you couldn't have made All Saints, East Clevedon which has a Father Willis rebuilt by Daniels when Percy Daniel himself was organist of the church. They used to have a decent choir too.

Nigel
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