Thanks to Dave Walker for the link to this brilliant spoof article by Quentin Letts of the Daily Newspaper-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. This, lets remember, is the only bible-believing newspaper left in the land.
Sorry, let me just wipe that off the keyboard.
The article is about the 50 people who ruined Britain, juxtaposed with a picture of a naked Britney Spears, an actress's malfunctioning cleavage, and an advert for gambling. I'd better read the Bible again, it's racier than I thought. Anyway. Languising at 39 on the list is none other than Graham Kendrick:
Kendrick, who has a personal website complete with an efficient shopping section (as opposed to the Mail, which has a horoscope section), is the nation's pre-eminent churner-outer of evangelical bilge. Imagine Pam Ayres without the humour.
He started writing hymns in the late Sixties and has now written 400 of the ruddy things. Should it not be a strength of Anglican worship that it does not move with the times and instead provides continuity at a time of baffling change?
But no. It's out with the harmonium! In with the electric guitar! Out with the hymns sung by our forebears, such as He Who Would Valiant Be and Hills Of The North. In with the roughagerich Bind Us Together or the negro spiritual cum grammatical solecism It's A Me, O' Lord.
The sturdy hymns of England, musical embodiment of the stoicism, resolve and undemonstrative solidarity of our nation, are in severe peril.... etc. etc.
yes, well, neither of the examples above were written by Kendrick, and I've not been in a church for 20 years that's sung 'Bind us Together'. Clearly Letts hasn't either, judging by the amount of vitriol he's happy to heap on other people. He should try it sometime. And of course the organ is an innovation in terms of church music, being a scandalous novelty in the early 1800's. If Anglican worship hadn't moved with the times it would still be in Latin, possibly even using words like 'roughagerich', so that instead of singing meaningful hymns we'd still be burbling away in a language nobody understood.
So it must be a spoof, right? If you'd rather discuss it as a serious argument, then go here.
Update: and an excellent post here, which says what I'd like to say but much better.