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Source: (consider it) Thread: Non-religious music at St Sepulchre's
Bishops Finger
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@pete173, it's interesting to hear of a plant from St. Martin-in-the-Fields, a 'traditional', yet inclusive, Anglican church par excellence!

Is it at St. Stephen, Walbrook, by any chance?

IJ

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Albertus
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Far be it from me to question the judgement of such a notable Prince of the Church as + Richard Londin of blessed memory (and that is not intended as a sarcastic description), but why was diversity in the City Deanery considered to be worth pursuing? After all, pretty much nobody who worships at a City church lives round there, and if you're travelling in from Hammersmith or Hampstead or wherever, you might as well go straight to HTB or SMiF or St Helen's Bishopgate (which actually is in the City already) as to one of their City plants. Couldn't the energy and effort involved in the plants have been better used elsewhere?

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Bishops Finger
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Perhaps, but I get the impression that some, at least, of these activities are aimed at those who work in the City, rather than live there. Hence HTB and The Blessed Alpha Course!

IJ

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Albertus
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Hmph.

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Bishops Finger
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Quite.

I didn't mean to imply that that was necessarily a Good Thing! I should have thought that those working in the City had enough to do, anyway, and that a brief lunch-time/after work Eucharist (or prayer service, or meditation, or music recital) was as much as they could cope with...

IJ

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Albertus
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Indeed- tho' let the Gospel be preached wherever and however it can be, and God forbid that I should despise any sister or brother in Christ.
Still, I thought places like HTB were basically just full of City types and similar (stop staring out of the window, Welby, I'm talking to you) anyway.

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Curiosity killed ...

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HTB is quite significantly a student church. I attended one September Sunday when they were gearing up for the new academic year. The back of HTB backs onto Princes Gardens which is surrounded by the main Imperial College halls of residence. Also in close proximity are the Royal Colleges of Music, Art and Organists. That block of South Kensington with the V&A, Science and Natural History Museums and Royal Albert Hall was given over to education and the arts in Victorian times.

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Roman Cataholic
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quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
quote:
Originally posted by Higgs Bosun:


I imagine that the vision for the plant is to have a centre for Alpha readily accessible to those working in the City. Thus the issue with weekday use of the building.

The type of church which is spreading in the City is that of the Conservative Evangelicals. They have their mother ship of St Helen's Bishopsgate, of course.

*tangent alert*

What is the difference between HTB and conservative evangelical at St Helen's Bishopsgate? I thought they were quite similar?

St Helens is Cessationist
HTB is Charismatic

Very very different styles of worship and theological approaches.

[ 29. August 2017, 23:20: Message edited by: Roman Cataholic ]

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Captain Smith
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Hmmmm there seem to be quite a few strands to this story which are now unfolding (I'm assuming all we are hearing and reading is true).

Looking at the accounts, the parish was viable but only with the restricted funding for the music ministry and with concert/other income. On giving alone the church budget didn't balance - strange then that the powers that be (Archdeacon and/or Bishop) didn't play to the church's strength and history but sought to take things off in a very new direction which carried the danger of the explosion we're now seeing.

A strange decision given the nature of London church going and the presence of other HTB type churches nearby.

I must admit I'm feeling more sympathetic with the Rector now and less keen on those who made the decision to appoint. Not only have they seemingly taken steps to move the church in a certain way (and goodness only knows why the Bishop threw his lot in with it), they have abused process to accommodate it - if what Capt. Smith says is true.

Capt. Smith does seem to know an awful lot about what went/is going on .... can we distinguish, fact, interpretation of fact and fiction of fact here?

Dr Andrew Earis, a key PCC member and Director of Music before, during, and for a while after the HTB takeover, has written an 'official' insider's account of the goings on for this week's Church Times. That should settle a lot of the speculation around the matter.

I would caution against too much sympathy for the Rector: he's had well over three years in which to resolve any issues the HTB ministry has had with 'non-religious hiring'. A day or two after his installation, so with the benefit of a fait accompli, he made a point of stating to the PCC that he didn't see any incompatibility between that and his new ministry.

The practical reasons cited for the cessation of daytime rehearsal hires could be worked around by reconfiguring some of the space in the church which is currently unused, and there is no obvious contention for the church space in the evenings unless some hitherto unexpectedly massive increase in provision for Alpha courses (or youth events involving cage football) is planned.

Since a coherent account of the HTB putsch will be published shortly I probably don't need to say anything for a while. Watch this space, as they say.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Yes, but we don't all get the Church Times, and its online articles are behind a paywall, I believe.

[ 30. August 2017, 05:55: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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pete173
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
@pete173, it's interesting to hear of a plant from St. Martin-in-the-Fields, a 'traditional', yet inclusive, Anglican church par excellence!

Is it at St. Stephen, Walbrook, by any chance?

IJ

Yes, Walbrook. We're up for planting by all sorts and conditions.

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by Roman Cataholic:

St Helens is Cessationist
HTB is Charismatic

Very very different styles of worship and theological approaches.

I did not know that (and I had to Google Cessationist). I have learned something - thank you. I'm a chugging along celebrating the Sacraments kind of Anglican as is probably fairly apparent so I don't always get the nuance.

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Cathscats
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I also had to google Cessationist, and I also have learned something. I knew that the view that miracles ceased with the apostles was one that was observed by some, but did not know it had a name, never mind so many online links!
Ship of Fools, always educating!

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Far be it from me to question the judgement of such a notable Prince of the Church as + Richard Londin of blessed memory (and that is not intended as a sarcastic description), but why was diversity in the City Deanery considered to be worth pursuing? After all, pretty much nobody who worships at a City church lives round there, and if you're travelling in from Hammersmith or Hampstead or wherever, you might as well go straight to HTB or SMiF or St Helen's Bishopgate (which actually is in the City already) as to one of their City plants. Couldn't the energy and effort involved in the plants have been better used elsewhere?

Interestingly, and I have many friends in the City, AIUI one of the key growth areas (in so far as anything is growing) is attendance at lunchtime/evening services close to place of work in the week, rather than going to what's near your house on a Sunday.

This also seems to map over onto what's found with Fresh Expressions to an extent. So I can see that an evangelical church with an intensive weekday programme might actually be a goer.

There's a question, therefore, whether it should have been *this* church that was selected to do that, given its longstanding intensive usage for non-evangelical-centred activities. But I'm not sure it's right to say that people that go to it would go somewhere closer to home otherwise.

Bluntly, and to be absolutely reductive, it looks like one intensive special interest group supplanting another.

You'll know I'm as far from that end of the candle as they come, but I can well believe they're running short of time slots to do what they want to do in their own building.

Before that sounds *too* supportive of one party over the other, I did say it raises the question of whether this was the *right* church therefore to plant in. However, I'm sure there was some method in the decision making.

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betjemaniac
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Many of my Oxford friends (as an addition to the above) are in the city these days and previously thronged St Aldates and St Ebbes. I can believe that this sort of thing on their doorstep (and in the City even a mile can seem like the other side of the earth, so they're not all going to rush to Bishopsgate) would be right up their street.

I was a Puseyite, so would be running from them all!

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Bishops Finger
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betjemaniac said:

Interestingly, and I have many friends in the City, AIUI one of the key growth areas (in so far as anything is growing) is attendance at lunchtime/evening services close to place of work in the week, rather than going to what's near your house on a Sunday.

This chimes in with Our Place's experience. We have in our parish some new housing developments (flats, mostly), many of whose inhabitants don't
actually live there. They work away from the town, mostly in London AFAIK, come back to sleep, and spend the weekends in the country cottage, Prague, or where-have-you....

If, therefore, they are Christians, I can well believe that they may take an active part in the life of a City church on weekdays, perhaps occasionally going to another church on a Sunday if there happens to be one conveniently to hand.

IJ

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
[Q/B]



This chimes in with Our Place's experience. We have in our parish some new housing developments (flats, mostly), many of whose inhabitants don't
actually live there. They work away from the town, mostly in London AFAIK, come back to sleep, and spend the weekends in the country cottage, Prague, or where-have-you....
[/QB]

Now that's an interesting tangent - do you really think that if someone doesn't work where they live then they don't live there? Or is the country cottage a third location, rather than where they stay in the week?

[ 30. August 2017, 10:28: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]

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Bishops Finger
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Well, I was being rather tongue-in-cheek!

The sort of folk I'm referring to use their flat in our parish as a weeknight dormitory, spending their working week in the City, and their weekends in their country cottage, or wherever.

This means that they have no time or opportunity to enter into the life of the town or parish in which their flat is situated, IYSWIM. They may, however, be active in their City church during the week, be it an HTB plant or another...

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Well, I was being rather tongue-in-cheek!

The sort of folk I'm referring to use their flat in our parish as a weeknight dormitory, spending their working week in the City, and their weekends in their country cottage, or wherever.

This means that they have no time or opportunity to enter into the life of the town or parish in which their flat is situated, IYSWIM. They may, however, be active in their City church during the week, be it an HTB plant or another...

IJ

Got you - just checking!

I work 50 miles from my house...

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Just pulling in the rent, serving the community and keeping things chugging along

Sounds like the quintessence of Anglicanism to me tbh.
Yes, indeed.

But my question is whether chugging along (plus 'celebrating the Sacraments' as Bishop's Finger says) is deemed by the CofE hierarchy to be a sufficient expectation for churches in central London.

Out here in the provinces any church with as popular a musical programme as St Sepulchre's would be held up as a success, but ISTM that the stakes are higher in London. London contributes significantly to the CofE's stats for churchgoing, and the leadership is probably focusing on that to ensure that it continues.

That doesn't explain why this particular church has been chosen for special attention, but I suppose it hints at why there's no great regard for the church's portfolio of secular tenants.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Cathscats:
I also had to google Cessationist

so did I

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Roman Cataholic
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quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
quote:
Originally posted by Roman Cataholic:

St Helens is Cessationist
HTB is Charismatic

Very very different styles of worship and theological approaches.

I did not know that (and I had to Google Cessationist). I have learned something - thank you. I'm a chugging along celebrating the Sacraments kind of Anglican as is probably fairly apparent so I don't always get the nuance.
It could be argued that Cessationist theology is anti-sacramental, for it denies the role of the Holy Spirit in the transformative nature and properties of the sacramental life.
As an 'celebrating the Sacraments kind of Anglican', you have more in common with HTB than you do with St Helen's.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Roman Cataholic:
It could be argued that Cessationist theology is anti-sacramental, for it denies the role of the Holy Spirit in the transformative nature and properties of the sacramental life.

I don't really understand what you're saying here, sorry.

But I suspect that many Christians of the St Helen's Bishopsgate variety would probably regard Communion as little, if anything, more than a "memorial", i.e. they'd be closer to the Baptists than the Catholics in their understanding.

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BroJames
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Or they would be sacramental within the meaning of the (1662) Prayer Book where the work of the Holy Spirit in the sacraments is about transformation in the life of the believing recipient rather than any other kind of change e.g. transubstantiation.
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Roman Cataholic
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Roman Cataholic:
It could be argued that Cessationist theology is anti-sacramental, for it denies the role of the Holy Spirit in the transformative nature and properties of the sacramental life.

I don't really understand what you're saying here, sorry.

But I suspect that many Christians of the St Helen's Bishopsgate variety would probably regard Communion as little, if anything, more than a "memorial", i.e. they'd be closer to the Baptists than the Catholics in their understanding.

Put it this way: Cessationists don't believe that the spiritual gifts of the Spirit are bestowed onto believers today, for they believe ceased after the apostolic age. If that were to be true, then there are no ontological changes occurring in the sacraments of Baptism and Ordination, or in the daily lives of Christian believers.
The sacraments are vehicles of change, in which the Holy Spirit becomes involved in the lives of the recipients.
HTB, being Charismatic and therefore open to the gifts of the Spirit, would have to be open to the idea that the Holy Spirit uses the Sacraments to change the lives of Christians.
St Helen's, being Cessationist would deny that God uses the Sacraments. The emphasis would have to be on the inward conscious change of a person who is formed by the Word of God instead.

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Bishops Finger
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And yet both purport to be parts of the Church of England, which officially recognises two Sacraments (Baptism and the Lord's Supper), so one supposes that these are celebrated in some way at these places.

Using (of course) the same Anglican liturgies.
[Eek!]

Or not.
[Paranoid]

IJ

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Prester John
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quote:
Originally posted by Roman Cataholic:
Put it this way: Cessationists don't believe that the spiritual gifts of the Spirit are bestowed onto believers today, for they believe ceased after the apostolic age. If that were to be true, then there are no ontological changes occurring in the sacraments of Baptism and Ordination, or in the daily lives of Christian believers.
The sacraments are vehicles of change, in which the Holy Spirit becomes involved in the lives of the recipients...
St Helen's, being Cessationist would deny that God uses the Sacraments. The emphasis would have to be on the inward conscious change of a person who is formed by the Word of God instead.

As a cessationist, albeit a non-Anglican and non-Calvinistic one, I would say this is inaccurate. While it is correct to say that cessationists would say that spiritual gifts as listed in I Cor. 12 have ceased but that the Holy Spirit would change a person via the Word. Many, including myself, would agree that an ontological change does take place in baptism.
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Gamaliel
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No, Roman Cataholic, I think you'd find that neither HTB nor St Helen's, Billingsgate would have a particularly 'developed' sacramental theology, the opposite in fact.

In HTB type circles there tends to be a very low and memorialist approach to the eucharist and baptism would be seen as an 'outward sign' of inward grace as it were and with no ontological or salvific import beyond that of signifying intent.

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leo
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I note that Roman Cataholic hasn't answered the question I put to him last week about who he knew the plans of the Bishop of bristol.

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Bishops Finger
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Perhaps that's because he wasn't privy to them, after all.

Least said, soonest mended, maybe?

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Higgs Bosun
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
And yet both purport to be parts of the Church of England, which officially recognises two Sacraments (Baptism and the Lord's Supper), so one supposes that these are celebrated in some way at these places.

Using (of course) the same Anglican liturgies.
[Eek!]

Or not.
[Paranoid]

IJ

I suspect that there are some churches at the other end of the candle who are equally likely to sail close to or over the line in regard to using those forms of service "authorised or allowed by canon". [Biased]
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Bishops Finger
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Indeed there are, and I make no excuse for them.

IJ

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Viola
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And there we are: Church Times article Caged football is OK, Mozart Requiem not so much.

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Cathscats
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What a good article! And such a charitable challenge at the end of it.
But what struck me most was the picture of the interior, which I had never seen before. This is a building designed to invoke a sense of the numinous. Not all church buildings are designed for that purpose, some are really meeting halls, some are about the preaching and so on. This one is about the numinous, or so it seems to me, and that just from a picture. The spirituality of the building would be why it is a great space for its musical heritage.
But the idea of putting caged football into that space is horrendous. It would be practically difficult, I should think; but worse, the idea of it will nauseate those who have had experience of the holy in that space, and it will teach those who participate to be blind, deaf and insensitive to their surroundings. And that is an insensitivity which may well carry over into other aspects of life.

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"...damp hands and theological doubts - the two always seem to go together..." (O. Douglas, "The Setons")

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Bishops Finger
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The Sunday 'plant' congregation in 2013 was 60 people. The MW Report of 23 July 2017 counted about 30 people...as the Church Times article speculates, the Sunday congo is shrinking, not growing.

Maybe the plant has, in fact, not been successful, and maybe, just maybe, a mistake has been made (even Bishops and HTB are not infallible!).

(O, and BTW, 'caged football' sounds like some sort of punishment in Hell).

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I note that Roman Cataholic hasn't answered the question I put to him last week about who he knew the plans of the Bishop of bristol.

That really sounds like it ought to be some ghastly euphemism:

So comrade: what did YOU know about the plans of the Bishop of Bristol?

Nothing comrade, nothing I swear!

We shall see about that - bring the cage and the rats!

OK - I've lost it - but it's Friday.

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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Bishops Finger
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Or even the RACK!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WJXHY2OXGE

Well, it is Friday.... [Big Grin]

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Baptist Trainfan
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Remember: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! (Cue Sousa's "Liberty Bell").
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Angloid
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Well i think the comfy chair might well be among the tortures inflicted by the HTB inquisition. That and a smoothie bar.
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Perhaps that's because he wasn't privy to them, after all.

Least said, soonest mended, maybe?

IJ

Perhaps he is playing knockdown ginger. Making myschievous statements then running away.

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My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Bishops Finger
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Yes, and he's probably old enough to know better.

[Disappointed]

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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ExclamationMark
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The detail now emerging suggests that significant questions need to be asked of the Archdeacon and the Bishop of London. Knowing HTB's approach and track record, a great deal more care - and some cast iron guarantees about the future of the concerts - should have been exercised at the start.

It all seems strangely silent from that quarter as the HTB bashing is gaining traction.

I wonder what offers were made and assurances given to HTB at the start. The initiative did not come from them but from the Bishop. Equally, I wonder what was said to those who represent the classical music side of the church's ministry.

Perhaps this may serve as a salutary - and much needed lesson - of the care that needs to be taken when one church is "invited" to regenerate another. Perhaps it is better for the invitation to come from the church itself , who then go into the marriage with eyes wide open, rather than with any sniff of a shotgun wedding.

That approach has caused problems at St Sepulchres, as I am given to understand it is also doing in Central Plymouth.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Anglican or Baptist?
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pete173
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There's absolutely no lack of clarity about the terms on which the plant took place. The conversation that is now going on relates to the PCC's proposed policy change.

But we're not having those conversations in the public domain, which will only exacerbate the situation and provide further opportunity for false information to be circulated. I'm working to get a resolution on this when everyone is back in town.

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Pete

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Anselmina
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Pete123, a difficult task, no doubt, ahead of you all. Sincerely, all the best wishes for a satisfactory outcome for all involved.

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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L'organist
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posted by pete173
quote:
But we're not having those conversations in the public domain, which will only exacerbate the situation and provide further opportunity for false information to be circulated. I'm working to get a resolution on this when everyone is back in town.
Since you're the acting bishop surely its up to you which conversations are "in the public domain"?

If my personal experience of HTB, and others of similar ilk, is anything to go by, you'd do well to curb your natural instincts to believe well of everyone and trust that they keep their word and put in place measures to ensure that every meeting is recorded verbatim - not in minute form but audio and/or video recorded. Moreover, it might be a good idea to bring in someone independent before any meetings to get together with the current Rector and give him a crash-course in music, music for the liturgy and writing for sacred texts - maybe call in a favour from your fellow old MT Bob Chilcott?

And I think serious questions need to be asked of anyone, lay or ordained, who thinks that cageball is suitable in a Grade I listed building. No doubt the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the London Regiment would be thrilled to know that their old regimental colours were in danger of serious damage from flying footballs in the name of some spurious happy-clappy 'missional' activity.

And now we have yet another case of a 'missional' church upsetting the musical applecart at St Paul's Church in St Albans, where the vicar (no doubt an expert ?) has opined that it is best they dispense with their organ because "the time has come for us to modernise” and “electronic organs are very good. I'm sure the Diocesan Organ Adviser for St Albans (who happens to be the Cathedral Organist as well as a distinguished recitalist) will welcome the vicar's views...

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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pete173
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
posted by pete173
quote:
But we're not having those conversations in the public domain, which will only exacerbate the situation and provide further opportunity for false information to be circulated. I'm working to get a resolution on this when everyone is back in town.
Since you're the acting bishop surely its up to you which conversations are "in the public domain"?


Yup.

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Pete

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Gamaliel
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Cage-football?

They'll introduce cage-wrestling next.

I'm surprised it hasn't happened already ...

Meanwhile [Overused] and [Votive] for pete173 and everyone else who has to mediate and sort out what looks to be like a god-awful mess on both sides ...

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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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L'organist
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I have yet to check it out but so far 2 friends have told me that an approach to St Sepulchre's to hold a memorial service for a deceased opera singer friend has met with a wall of resistance - even though said singer sang in the church in his student days and died a communicant member of the CofE.

Good luck pete173 - you have a mountain to climb.

[ 02. September 2017, 15:21: Message edited by: L'organist ]

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Bishops Finger
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Well, we shall see. It may be that TPTB will acknowledge that mistakes have been made, but I do wonder just how one might 'uproot' an unsuccessful church 'plant'.... [Confused]

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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