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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Members of our congregation: Part 2

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.

26 comments:

  1. Could it be because your balls have dropped ?

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  2. Nothing that two bricks can't sort out, OM...

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  3. I think that I get what you in a very round about way are getting at?!

    Do the new boys have more style over substance? Preaching from up high without having a clue what they are talking about?

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  4. and the "plain English" council of great britain are scratching there heads brother.
    I follow your blog (and others)....and????

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  5. I'm worried that Alan is about to tell us he's retiring the blog :(

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  6. I can’t sing Al but i try my best. The hymn sheets sometimes get lost but i try and paint new colours every little while and hope that the congregation likes it and comes along.
    Sometimes they read but do not sing, sometimes they enter only to walk away.
    Lifes hard and collection box is looking sad. Maybe there will be a new spring soon with enlightenment.

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  7. Ooh James. That's a bit early to say that! Part 3 will, I hope pull it all together.

    (Sneak preview... the total congregation is massive and the Evangelists can teach everyone a thing or two!)

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  8. Lilo: Wotcha Pete! :-)
    Stay with this one...

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  9. Tookie: 'Fraid not. I'm still 'ere! :-) More to come in "Part 3"

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  10. AlanR: Yours is one of the few voices that can do a decent descant. :-)

    Always worth staying in for. No gimmicky guitars there, Sir!

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  11. Phew I was a bit worried there.... this convert to the church is a lot happier that the minister is going to be around preaching to the acolytes and the free. :)

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  12. I’ve been wondering where this series of posts might be going?
    It doesn’t have anything to do with a visit from the BBC does it?

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  13. Geoff: The BBC? It's amazing what a crazed mind can conjure... I veer from being wonderfully supportive of the "BBC at its best" and "those barmy bastards at the BBC". No, I don't think they will be visiting too shortly...

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  14. Felicity: "Pert 3"? Shurely shome mishtake there...
    :-)

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  15. when the preacher of the new evangelism sports a cuben fibre mitre, what's not to praise?
    HALLELUJAH BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

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  16. When I was just a lad I ate some lovely mushrooms, and if I can find some more I sm hoping to ve able to tune into these postings.
    MAN!

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  17. The Church of England have always been a bit light on hysteria. Holding your hands up to the ceiling and waving them about doesn't necessarily bring down the Spirit, although it may feel like it at the time.
    Its showbiz, Alan. Showbiz...

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  18. Tut tut Father Sloman...jealous of the evangelists?

    I've always been proud that you never resorted to endless sermons on lightweight cassocks and burning times of church candles. Epistles such as these have only appeared on your blog when the items have been donated by pious benefactors as they go out (the) doors.

    I suppose I was lucky...I've only ever had the first couple of rows filled since I began the mission. But...given that the misguided souls turn up incredibly regularly whenever I deign to spout forth, I feel the Gospel according to the sainted Fatdog must continue. I could never live with myself should these poor, weak, creatures be tempted into the mortal sins of greed and envy so clearly promoted on those "other" sites.

    Come Father Sloman let us pray for the souls of those bloggers who have yet to find wisdom (if not a congregation) and give thanks that we have real parishioners who never fail to turn up to listen to our sermons (no matter how s***e they are)

    And always remember the teachings of the Book of Father Ted, the verse where Mrs Doyle very politely asks Father Jack whether or not he would like a cup of tea. For so it is written:

    "What would you say to a cup (Father Jack)?

    "Feck off cup!"

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  19. Father Ken: Jealousy is a sin. That is also written. It was not a feeling of jealousy that prompted a trip to the Evangelist Community Hall; it was one of research.

    Yours must rate as the comment of the year. The pews were rolling here.
    :-)

    PS. I have always found the Fatdog's sermons worth staying awake for.

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  20. Have you been on "that forum" again, Alan? :-)



    p.s. Word = "glugist"

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  21. Stef: I took a peek, purely for research, you understand... After sitting silently at the back, watching and listening to the various gospels and sermons, I left, perhaps a wiser chap.

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  22. @Tis a broad church there, Alan. Sinners and saints, princes and paupers, learners and learned. Think of yourself as a missionary rather than as an infidel.

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  23. Intriguing! More than curious to see how this esolves itself in part 3 ...

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