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Source: (consider it) Thread: She sacked the choir!
bib
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# 13074

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There is a town in my state where a new minister has been appointed by the bishop-(no congregational consultation). Everyone was shocked and amazed when the minister's first action was to sack the choir. Apparently she doesn't like church music and intends instead to use recorded 'happy clappy' stuff and told the loyal choir members that she didn't care what they thought or did. She suggested that they could sit in the church, suck it up and learn to sing modern stuff. I have the feeling that she will soon have an empty church. Has anyone else had such an upsetting experience?

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Posts: 1262 | From: Australia | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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Certainly, but do you really want to hear all our war stories? Still, this sucks, and I'm praying.

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Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19891 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Lyda*Rose

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# 4544

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I'd probably leave. Not just because I would have been in the choir and I like church music, but because nothing good can come of a priest who isn't prepared to both talk and listen before making her mark. [Disappointed] [brick wall]

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simontoad
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# 18096

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I don't mind happy clappers, as long as they hap and clap elsewhere.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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I will say, though, that in my experience there is always more to the story than is generally known when something this unreasonable gets into the news. And very often it is something that can't be talked about for reasons of liability or confidentiality. People can be dipshits, but not usually to the degree shown in your story--if that's really all there is to it. (The bishop's lack of consultation is a great big red flag here.)

(Remind me not to tell you about the time we were forced to "fire" the choir for a season...) [Eek!]

[ 27. April 2017, 04:38: Message edited by: Lamb Chopped ]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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bib
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# 13074

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Yes, the lack of consultation really concerns me. I think that certain people are on big power trips. The choir member who told me about all this is very distressed and may try to find another church, but would need to travel quite a distance to the next town. It all seems so unnecessary.

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"My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring"

Posts: 1262 | From: Australia | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
ExclamationMark
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Bigger picture: just why was the minister selected by the bishop? What's been going on?
Posts: 3679 | From: A new Jerusalem | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
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.. I heard tell of a minister who worked patiently for months with a (very bad) choir, who were detracting from sung worship. Unfortunately, he was unable to obtain any mutual understanding with them. One Saturday night, in desperation and despair, he took a chain saw to the choir pews ... he didn't last, of course. But nor did the choir nor the congregation.

But seriously, regardless of "back story", this particular case looks like high-hand and insensitive leadership. The trigger issue may have been the choir, but the real problem is the authoritarian approach. This kind of "my way or the highway" leadership normally results in the minister having to take the highway, sooner or later. But it's always damaging.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Nothing much to add really ... but a question.

Assuming (and it's a big assume!) that the Minister was appointed "over the heads" of the church with no consultation, was it with the Bishop's express remit to "change" or "modernise" things? Or even with the desire to get rid of entrenched individuals who (in the Bishop's view) were hindering the church's mission?

This sort of thiningk simply does not fit within my way of doing church, but is such a "top-down" approach normative in some denominations?

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Schroedinger's cat

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So, trying to read between the lines here, I suspect the bishop had got fed up of the obstructive church wardens and others who were refusing to take anyone who didn't have a good appreciation of choral music and would guarantee to keep the choir going whatever.

Maybe they had rejected several quality candidates who were "not quite the person we are looking for" (i.e. not our old vicar). And the Bishop needed someone in place, so appointed. I was in a church where the bishop threatened to do so (for reasons that only he and a few others knew, as it happened).

The fact that they have changed the style of music is bad. I think the new minister is probably trying to implement a change plan devised by the bishop, or at least trying to please him (which is not unreasonable). And doing so early is a good move (making radical changes is always best done early). But it seems he is rather bull-in-china-chop.

And how do the congregation members view it all? Maybe it is they who want these changes, but have always been afraid to say so?

I think there is always far more to these stories than we hear. And yes, some people have done things badly and wrong. But I am not yet clear who and how many.

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mr cheesy
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Maybe you all know something that I don't, but is it absolutely clear we're talking about an Anglican church here?

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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bib
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We are talking about the Anglican church and a new bishop with decidedly low church leanings.

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"My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring"

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mr cheesy
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OK, thanks. Just thought maybe we ought to clear that up before we get too carried away with the outrage.

Please continue being outraged everyone.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Gamaliel
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It is in Australia, mr cheesy ...

They do things differently there.

They are upside down ...

But it could be some other kind of church that has bishops.

The terms 'minister' and 'bishop' may denote a very low-church Anglican setting but there could be other churches it applies to.

As others have said, I'd like to know more about the context and back-story before reaching any firm conclusions on this one. Yes, episcopal settings can be more 'top-down' than congregational ones, but I've never heard of Anglican bishops appointing clergy and plonking them in place without any say-so from the parishioners/congregation in some form or other ...

But then, perhaps my experience/exposure to the Anglican way of doing things is limited.

The only church settings where I've known this sort of thing go on are what used to be known as 'house-churches' or new churches, the UK restorationist scene ... the 'apostles' (bishops to you and me) there used to put elders and pastors in place without any consultation with the congregation whatsoever.

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Posts: 15317 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
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Whoops, cross-posted ...

So it is an Anglican setting ...

Well, it is Tasmania and it is Aussie Anglicans we're talking about ...

[Roll Eyes]

From the continent that brought you Sydney ...

Welcome to the new face of world-wide Anglicanism and it's not pretty ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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Gamaliel
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Perhaps 20 years ago now, a low-church vicar here introduced more 'contemporary worship' and the choir immediately debunked to a medieval parish church a few miles out into the countryside - thereby boosting its regular congregation.

People still talk about it today. It's muttered about as if it was Krystalnacht ...

A few months ago, the vicar (who no longer has a parish but still does clergy-person duties around the diocese) was in the back of a car driven by a friend of mine. They were taking some old ladies to a service somewhere or other. Unaware that this was the vicar who had done the dastardly deed which led to the choir's migration, they began saying how dreadful it all was ...

All these years later.

The poor chap sat there and said nothing.

Perhaps it served him right. Mwa ha ha ha ...

Now his Purgatory begins ...

To be fair, he didn't sack or oust them, they walked by their own volition - thereby leaving the town a veritable desert when it comes to decent and seemly ecclesial music ... [Razz]

No, actually, that's not strictly true. They have a choir at the liberal catholic but (tell it not in Gath) they aren't particularly good ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

From the continent that brought you Sydney ...

Sydney Anglicanism makes a lot of noise - but on a national level it doesn't have the outsize influence you might assume from the messaging they put out.
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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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The combination of a bishop and a minister like that doesn't bode well, unless they get a dynamic team to assist them in putting together a congregation that wants to worship as they desire.

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Gee D
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# 13815

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Gamaliel, your posts make it absolutely clear that you know nothing of Anglicanism in Australia, nothing at all.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Gamaliel
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Well, I was a £10 Pom in Australia many, many years ago ... but you are right, I know very little about Australian Anglicanism - other than what I've picked up from Aussie's who have been visiting over here.

I was teasing but I do apologise if I've caused offence.

FWIW my impression of Australian Anglicanism is that it is pretty mixed and as broad a church as Anglicanism is almost everywhere else.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Anglican_Brat
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In Anglican polity, the canonical authority to appoint clergy vests with the Bishop. The interesting thing when looking at different Anglican provinces is how that rule is interpreted in light of the fact that many parishes have a substantive role in selecting their parish priest.

In Canada, traditionally, the parish selection committee receives the applications, interviews the candidates, and submits two or three names to the Bishop. The Bishop then picks the successful one. It's designed to balance the need for the parish to have involvement in who their parish priest should be and the canonical rule that ultimately all clergy are responsible to the Bishop. But this process does not prevent the Bishop from making a direct appointment.

During a conference in the United States, I was struck by the phrase made by some TEC clergy of the parish priest being "called by the congregation." That would strike some Canadian Anglican clergy as "creeping congregationalism". It's weird, because on most issues, TEC would be seen as relatively high church in the communion, but on the issue of congregational-bishop relations, TEC would be considered low church, in the sense of having substantively powerful congregations who manage to get their way.

Ideally, the Bishop and the parish should work in collaboration, in a spirit of mutual respect and recognition.

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mr cheesy
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I have no idea how the Australian thing works, but I do know that there are some very small Anglican diocese around where the Bishop still appoints and tells the priests how to run their church. If you are a bishop of a very small number of churches (bizarrely it is possible to be a bishop with less churches than some priests in Wales and England!) then I can totally believe how this can happen.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Pigwidgeon

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# 10192

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Americans had a Revolution to have some autonomy and democracy (simplifying things a huge amount). In some ways that affects much of what we do, even in the Episcopal Church.

We have just started our "search" process (though the actual search won't start for another year). The Vestry has met with the Canon to the Ordinary and the Bishop recently for guidance in the process. They have guidelines for us, and also resources to offer. Once we start the search for candidates, there will be input from the Bishop. We will make a decision, but the Bishop will have to give his approval. (The Rector who is now retiring was the second choice of the Vestry and Search Committee. The Bishop at the time did not give his approval to the first choice -- I don't know why.)

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Tubbs

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My understanding is that Anglican churches choose their own Ministers but if this isn’t done within a reasonable time, the Bishop does it for them. This tended to concentrate the church’s mind as Bishop’s appointees were seen as a bad thing. Either someone on the up, someone difficult to place or a trouble-shooter.

There’s probably more to this story than you’ve heard. There usually is. Most ministers wouldn’t go in and sack the choir in their first week. And most ministers wouldn’t want to use pre-recorded music if there are musicians available.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Gamaliel
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Yes, I think Tubbs is right - but then mr cheesy's point about small dioceses with a handful of churches kicks in ...

I'm not sure that would apply to Australia, though. There might be some enormous distances involved but I'd be surprised if Australian bishops had a handful of churches apiece ...

@Pidwidgeon, sorry I couldn't resist ... no, you had a rebellion not a Revolution ... (I'll get my coat) ...

But yes, I take your point. What I've found with TEC clergy - particularly online but some in real life - is that they can be bewilderingly Monarchist and 'reactionary' on the one hand - yet also fiercely protective of particular 'inalienable rights' and those truths which the US Declaration of Independence declared to be 'self evident ...'

From this side of the Pond it can look a bit schizophrenic - but then the Anglican Communion as a whole is schizophrenic ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
My understanding is that Anglican churches choose their own Ministers but if this isn’t done within a reasonable time, the Bishop does it for them. This tended to concentrate the church’s mind as Bishop’s appointees were seen as a bad thing. Either someone on the up, someone difficult to place or a trouble-shooter.

Um.. not quite. At least that's not how it is done in England.

I think what usually happens is that the church draws up a spec of what the parish is like and what kind of person they're looking for. The church wardens then get into discussion with the diocese (although I'm not even sure it is always just the diocese - I've heard of some wardens having to ring Downing Street during the process but I'm not sure why) and I think in the end it is the wardens who make some kind of recommendation as to who it is that they want, which is then agreed (or not) by the diocese.

The whole process seems complex, but I'm pretty sure that bishop doesn't normally impose someone on a parish.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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american piskie
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
In Anglican polity, the canonical authority to appoint clergy vests with the Bishop. The interesting thing when looking at different Anglican provinces is how that rule is interpreted in light of the fact that many parishes have a substantive role in selecting their parish priest.

"Appoint" seems to me to be a bit strong in the C of E, which I believe is still "Anglican". All these funny words like "institute", "induct", "collate" remind us that in many cases the Bishop has little choice but to "put in" the candidate presented by the patron. Of course s/he can refuse on reasonable grounds and the PCC has a sort of veto, but even the recent changes have not quite blotted out the middle ages.
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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
My understanding is that Anglican churches choose their own Ministers but if this isn’t done within a reasonable time, the Bishop does it for them. This tended to concentrate the church’s mind as Bishop’s appointees were seen as a bad thing. Either someone on the up, someone difficult to place or a trouble-shooter.

Um.. not quite. At least that's not how it is done in England.

I think what usually happens is that the church draws up a spec of what the parish is like and what kind of person they're looking for. The church wardens then get into discussion with the diocese (although I'm not even sure it is always just the diocese - I've heard of some wardens having to ring Downing Street during the process but I'm not sure why) and I think in the end it is the wardens who make some kind of recommendation as to who it is that they want, which is then agreed (or not) by the diocese.

The whole process seems complex, but I'm pretty sure that bishop doesn't normally impose someone on a parish.

Seems to depend. Our then bishop let churches get on with it and would only appoint over the church's head if he thought they were taking too long. (I think it also depends on who holds the living - the Bishop or the Priest. I get really confused by that, but I'm sure one of the Anglican Shipmates will know).

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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mr cheesy
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Maybe it depends if the bishop is the patron.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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mr cheesy
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I found this about CofE patrons:

quote:
Patron

Every parish has its patron, who may be an individual, a corporate body, the bishop, the archbishop, the Crown. Who actually is the patron is a matter of the history of the parish and of its origins. Many originated as the giver of the church itself, their reward being the right to present the incumbent of the parish to the bishop for ordination. In these days, their most important remaining duty is the presentation of the individual selected to be the new incumbent of a parish when a vacancy occurs. In this situation the patron is joined by others – the bishop or his representative, the rural (or area) dean, a representative of the wider church, and two people chosen by the PCC of the parish under consideration. That group can decide how to go about their task – whether, for example, to advertise the vacancy, how to interview candidates – although there are some necessary steps on the way. For a full statement see Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986.



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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Pigwidgeon

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# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
My understanding is that Anglican churches choose their own Ministers but if this isn’t done within a reasonable time, the Bishop does it for them.

Actually, in our case (and many others I know), it's the Bishop who's making us take things slowly to be sure our house is in order before attempting to fill the position. We have a wonderful Interim who will be helping us in this process.

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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andras
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Ghastly story, you have my sympathy.

At our local Peculiar, which had a brilliant organist and choir, the new incumbent actually sacked the entire congregation. He climbed into the pulpit and told everyone that they were too old and he wanted 'to be there' for young people, who allegedly didn't come because of there being too many old people there. He did away with the Sunday morning Eucharist as well because it was 'too early' and his target congregation would still be in bed.

The world is full of self-regarding idiots.

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Adrian Plass

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leo
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I know a priest who promised, at interview, to sack the choir. And he was true to his word upon appointment.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by andras:
Ghastly story, you have my sympathy.

At our local Peculiar, which had a brilliant organist and choir, the new incumbent actually sacked the entire congregation. He climbed into the pulpit and told everyone that they were too old and he wanted 'to be there' for young people, who allegedly didn't come because of there being too many old people there. He did away with the Sunday morning Eucharist as well because it was 'too early' and his target congregation would still be in bed.

The world is full of self-regarding idiots.

Have the young people flocked to his doors, or is the church now empty?


And shouldn't he have accepted that the congregation he had got, was the one God had given him as a starter, and for whom he was responsible. Besides, if they were old, more of them were likely to be reaching the judgement seat sooner. Doesn't he owe it them to do his best to make sure they are OK when they get there? Or am I hopelessly out of kilter?

[ 27. April 2017, 19:44: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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Moo

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The history of Anglicanism in the US explains why the congregations have so much say in calling a rector. The church arrived in Jamestown in 1607, but there were no bishops to supervise until Samuel Seabury was consecrated in Scotland in 1784. During the intervening 177 years, English bishops had nominal responsibility for the church in America, but they weren't very interested.

American congregations spent more than one and three-quarter centuries managing without bishops, and they got used to it.

Moo

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
My understanding is that Anglican churches choose their own Ministers but if this isn’t done within a reasonable time, the Bishop does it for them. This tended to concentrate the church’s mind as Bishop’s appointees were seen as a bad thing. Either someone on the up, someone difficult to place or a trouble-shooter. wouldn’t want to use pre-recorded music if there are musicians available.

Tubbs

I can only speak of Sydney; other dioceses here may well be different. The actual appointment is always up to the Archbishop. After a parish becomes vacant, a Nomination Board is convened, consisting of 5 nominators elected by the parish and 4 appointed by the diocesan synod. The Board is chaired by the regional bishop. That Board has 13 months from the date of its first meeting to propose a name to the Archbishop, who always has the right to reject. Usually of course, he would not, but he has that right as it is his appointment. After the 13 months, the Board automatically ceases to exist. Again, the usual practice is that the Archbishop will work with the regional bishop and the parish nominators but there is no obligation for that to occur.

Agree with all the comments about how little we actually know about what happened here. Tasmania is a small state physically and in population. Rumours would rise and spread very quickly. Bib's parish is well towards the Catholic end of the spectrum. There are 1 or 2 others like it in the state. There are a few quite evangelical. The churchmanship of most is very much that of most small English country parishes.

Gamaliel, give up - you're sinking yourself deeper and deeper into a hole every time you post of Australia. You clearly know nothing, just as I freely admit that I do not know the details of other dioceses here. What I do have some idea about is the state of Anglicanism in Australia, how the churchmanship varies around the country, the general problems each diocese faces and so forth. You don't.

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Gee D
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I used "he" and "his" etc speaking of the Archbishop. Not my use of sexist language, but Sydney will not license women as priests, let alone allow a woman to become a bishop.

That is clearly not an opinion which the present Archbishop holds. He is prepared to issue a licence as deacon to any woman priested elsewhere (subject of course to the usual checks); what that woman does in a parish is a matter for the rector and parish council, and she can act as a priest if they agree. Not satisfactory in many respects as it depends upon permission from at least a male rector, but a start. I doubt that the Archbishop could get synod to agree to full priesting although that is obviously now his opinion.

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Vulpior

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Each diocese in Australia has its own provisions for appointments; we're quite independently-minded in that regard. We have just had our three-yearly elections for parish members of the clergy appointments board, should they be needed.

Apparently in Brisbane each third appointment of a parish priest is made by the archbishop alone.

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Golden Key
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Kindly H/As--Would you please delete the post just above this one? I had some connection burps. Sorry, and thanks!

bib--

Feel free not to respond. Sounds like the situation may not be public, yet.

Maybe there was some kind of dust-up* between the previous priest and the congregation? Maybe that's why the previous priest left?

From what Shipmates (especially Lamb Chopped!) have said over the years, and what PK (preacher's kid) friends have told me, I think severe clergy/congregation problems are fairly common. (Though, generally, not as complex as LC's former church.)

I saw this in the independent fundamentalist church I attended, when I was a kid. Small place. Maybe 100 people on a good day and more for Christmas and Easter. Basically, a country church that wasn't in the country anymore. A group of people had started it in borrowed/rented space, years before. They eventually got some land, built a basement, and met there until they could afford to do the rest. I attended until I was an adult, and moved away.

We had the same pastor most of that time. There were all sorts of emotional currents in the congregation. The church nearly split a couple times, for reasons other than the pastor. He wasn't necessarily a good match for the church, though. He was more of a scholar. The congregation was serious about understanding the Bible, and many people dug very deeply into both Scripture and the original languages. But he mostly wanted to go, word by original language word, through Bible passages. Long sermons (sometimes an hour or more) doing this, many, many times, over many, many years. Didn't help that some people had roasts in their home ovens, slow-cooking during Sunday school and church!

At one point, some problem developed between some of the senior-status members and the pastor. I never knew what it was. But the members quit a DIY building project they were doing with the pastor. He finished it up alone, then he and his wife left.
[Frown]

An independent church doesn't have any bishop or outside hierarchy to consult. I think some of the senior-status men spread the "pastor needed" word, and maybe checked with churches and seminaries.

IIRC, a few male pastors basically auditioned, individually, in the Sunday morning service. The choice was narrowed down to one man. The church voted. I'm not sure if the church's Board of Elders had to sign off or not. We did get a pretty good pastor. He and his family chose not to live in the parsonage. They had kids. Maybe not enough room?

Anyway, that's my long-winded answer to many things in the thread.

*Did I use "dust-up" correctly?

[ 28. April 2017, 06:55: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

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andras
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by andras:
Ghastly story, you have my sympathy.

At our local Peculiar, which had a brilliant organist and choir, the new incumbent actually sacked the entire congregation. He climbed into the pulpit and told everyone that they were too old and he wanted 'to be there' for young people, who allegedly didn't come because of there being too many old people there. He did away with the Sunday morning Eucharist as well because it was 'too early' and his target congregation would still be in bed.

The world is full of self-regarding idiots.

Have the young people flocked to his doors, or is the church now empty?


And shouldn't he have accepted that the congregation he had got, was the one God had given him as a starter, and for whom he was responsible. Besides, if they were old, more of them were likely to be reaching the judgement seat sooner. Doesn't he owe it them to do his best to make sure they are OK when they get there? Or am I hopelessly out of kilter?

The regular sevices - Sung Eucharist with all the gorgeous trimmings on Sunday morning plus a whole range of mid-week services including a couple of Eucharists, celebrations of saints' days and so on - have all been ditched and replaced by two mid-week Eucharists; the Sunday evening Compline remains in place and is now the only Sunday worship.

The mid-week Eucharists attract at most two people - the 'oldies' he doesn't want, as it happens; whether any young people turn up to his Compline and Hot Chocolate I have no idea. And the various charities that the church supported have all been ditched, there are no offerings - as 'young people don't have any money' - and if as happens from time to time no-one turns up, he doesn't even read the Ante-Communion; I know this as his one regular communicant turned up a few minutes late one day and he'd already b*ggered off.

His original congregation has simply gone elsewhere, thus gifting neighbouring parishes with singers, organists and the like. Their gain is his loss!

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Lyda*Rose

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Just...wow.

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Doone
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[Waterworks]
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Anselmina
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Re: Bishops' input in appointments.

Don't know about Australia, but in Ireland the parochial nominators (about four congregation members elected for the purpose) will undertake a process of looking at prospective candidates for a new minister; with some guidance from the Diocesan Boards of Nomination. However, the Bishop's prerogative is to appoint someone of his own choosing if the nominators fail to find someone within say 6-18 months.

In the CofE, there are, I think, clergy and lay panels of interview for prospective ministerial candidates, at least a - perhaps very small - number of whom will have been elected by the PCCs involved to represent them. Again, I think the process of 'being a Bishop's appointment' might apply, if they fail to appoint after a reasonable amount of time.

It sounds very brutal for someone brand new to come in like that and just start eliminating parts of the church's ministry!

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Penny S
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# 14768

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quote:
Originally posted by andras:
Ghastly story, you have my sympathy.

At our local Peculiar, which had a brilliant organist and choir, the new incumbent actually sacked the entire congregation. He climbed into the pulpit and told everyone that they were too old and he wanted 'to be there' for young people, who allegedly didn't come because of there being too many old people there. He did away with the Sunday morning Eucharist as well because it was 'too early' and his target congregation would still be in bed.

The world is full of self-regarding idiots.

At the church my parents attended, a number of new elderly people turned up at once. It turned out that the previous week, the new vicar in the next village had done a very similar thing from the pulpit.

I do not know the development of this story.

[ 28. April 2017, 20:51: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
At the church my parents attended, a number of new elderly people turned up at once. It turned out that the previous week, the new vicar in the next village had done a very similar thing from the pulpit.

I do not know the development of this story.

Hmmm... we may be falling into quite a few stereotypes about contemporary music... and about older people.

When my former parish was considering a contemporary service, there was the predictable wailing and gnashing of teeth and the usual dubious theological arguments (see dead horses). And of course, all the complaints were framed as "I of course am perfectly happy with whatever is best for the church, but the older people... we'll make our older members unhappy... think of the elderly!" (The people making these pious appeals were in their late 40s to early 60s.) Eventually, after much, much 2nd guessing about who would like to attend at which hour, it was decided to have a 9 am contemporary service and a 10:30 am traditional service with choir.

Come 9 am the first day of the new contemporary service, and, while the young adults are straggling in late to sit in the back, who is there bright and early at 8:45 am filling the front pews? Those "elderly" 70-80 year olds the middle aged bunch were so concerned about. When I asked them about it later, they recalled how they'd seen lots of changes over the decades, lots of need for adaptation. Drums & guitars may not be their thing, but by God, if the Spirit was going to do something new, danged if they were going to miss out-- they want to be right there up front where they won't miss any of the action.

ymmv of course.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Three bishops ago here, a priest which did not fit the church we attended was appointed. Didn't like kids, in the new neighbourhood, among a few other things. The church began to empty, and ceased to exist 18 months later because there were only about 20 people left. A few more showed up to the meeting called by the bishop to "consult" the congregation by vote which he was too cowardly to attend, and left this to an executive arch deacon. The bishop is dead. The priest is dead. The archdeacon is dead. We shall play our lyres on other clouds in heaven. Are there paddles or outboard motors on the clouds so we can go float our eternity elsewhere?

[ 29. April 2017, 22:51: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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Gamaliel
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What 'action' were they going to miss?

How are a few up-tempo songs and a drum-kit any more indicative of the work of God the Holy Spirit than an asthmatic choir and wheezy organ?

I don't get the connection.

It's easy for one to give the impression of life and vitality and the other to convey a sense of the absence of that - but appearances can be deceptive.

The issue here, though, appears very different to the situation you describe, Cliffdweller, where the older people apparently saw some value in the changes and embraced them.

In the OP it looks like they were given no opportunity to decide. 'This is what you are having, like it or not ...'

It seems to be an issue not simply of style but the way the changes were implemented or enforced.

The new incumbent had effectively introduced what I call a FIFO culture or approach.

Fit in or ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
What 'action' were they going to miss?

How are a few up-tempo songs and a drum-kit any more indicative of the work of God the Holy Spirit than an asthmatic choir and wheezy organ?

I don't get the connection.

Obviously they felt (as they more or less explicitly stated) that God was behind the move/changes, that the Spirit would be at work in the young lives that would come. That's what they wanted to have a first row seat to see.


Which I think goes to your 2nd point:

quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
The issue here, though, appears very different to the situation you describe, Cliffdweller, where the older people apparently saw some value in the changes and embraced them.

In the OP it looks like they were given no opportunity to decide. 'This is what you are having, like it or not ...'

It seems to be an issue not simply of style but the way the changes were implemented or enforced..

I wasn't really being explicit enough in connecting the dots but, yes, this is the point. That it doesn't need to be a hard-and-fast standoff between generational groups-- reach one at the expense of the other. There really are churches (the one I currently serve is one) that do a good job of reach diverse age groups with diverse styles of music & worship.

And yes, the key is to do so in a way that everyone feels included and valued, where everyone buys into the mission and vision for the church and particularly the worship, even when that means singing in a style or with instrumentation that isn't quite your cup of tea. Where sacrifice and building bridges are communal values. And no, autocratic top-down decrees generally aren't effective in garnering that sort of consensus.

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andras
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Of course, an earlier version of the whole organ versus music group debate is described by Thomas Hardy in Under the Greenwood Tree.

Truly there's nothing new under the sun!

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Gamaliel
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Well yes ...

I was being a bit curmugeonly ... not to say pedantic ...

But can we 'see' the work of the Holy Spirit?

The wind bloweth where it listeth.

Young people bopping along to up-tempo worship songs doth not a work of the Holy Spirit make ... in and of itself ...

I'd be more convinced if it was a work of the Holy Spirit if it was THEM not the old people who put their musical preferences to one side ...

Now, that would be a miracle and worthy of note ...

[Biased] [Razz]

I get what you're getting at and I'm being deliberately awkward.

Trouble is, I've been around too many services / meetings where a jolly time or particular atmosphere has been ascribed to the direct work of the Spirit when ... well, it's been a combination of things, including suggestibility ...

Not saying it was in the case you cite ...

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