The choir sings its heart out and the invisible congregation comes along each Sunday. So that’s fine then?
That all depends, really. Some problems are becoming apparent: One or two members of the choir aren’t turning up anymore and the occasional glance down the nave into the congregation in the winter months, when the magical curtain of light isn’t filtering your view, shows a thinning out of the audience.
So what can be wrong? The choir still sings its heart out, with the trusted selection of beautiful anthems, hymns and psalms. The calls and responses are still there and the architecture still impresses; in fact it has improved since the new lighting scheme was installed.
Oddly, the Evangelists down the road seem to be pulling them in so you pop over to see what they are doing. They worship in the old community centre. It’s a bit knocked about and the paint is peeling here and there. You step inside and within minutes you realise that it’s ghastly. You hate it. They have guitars, the music is happy-clappy pureed pap. The priest wants to be known as Wayne. They advertise their services on big lurid boards and they all proclaim their faith at the top of their lung and embrace each other for no apparent reason. They are all “brothers and sisters in Christ.”
But worse than that, the choir is just appalling. They try hard, but it is quite obvious that some are completely tone-deaf! How can they lead the congregation in song when they don’t have the simple skills of musicality themselves? But there it is. Every Sunday, their place is packed to the rafters.
You wander back to your place, shaking your head in wonderment. Is this what people really want? You slip comfortably into your surplice and ruff and have another go at the communion wine and start to think things through.