Saturday, October 11, 2008

'Graham Kendrick Wrecked Britain' Claims 'Journalist'

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.


  1. Lucky person - not having sung Bind us together for 20 years - people keep on threatening me with it

  2. We always have it at Family Bondage services!

  3. When you're the vicar, you get a bit of veto power over music. Not much, but some.

    Is Family Bondage a fresh expression of church? I've heard of 'demonic bondage', which shouldn't make me giggle but does...

  4. If you look elsewhere on the list you'll find one of his other fifty is one of the people behind the ASB, amongst every Prime Minister in the last thirty years aside from John Major, Alan Titchmarsh and Helen Willets the weather girl.

    Strangely no Daily Mail columnists in the list...

  5. If he's been writing the ruddy things since the 1960s, isn't this some kind of continuity? I mean, that means while Graham's continued to grin that cheesy grin and wear those evo-standard-issue sweaters, the good old traditional CofE has produced two new lots of service books.

  6. And Kum by Yah (sp?) and Lord of the Dance are definitely worse than Bind us Together. Not much, admittedly.

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  8. The worst bit about Bind us Together was having to stand in a circle and hold hands as we sang it at youth group. Or the best bit, if you got next to stand next to one of the girls you fancied.