Tuesday, 24 June 2014

We Apologise for the Interruption

We apologise for the interruption to your service.

You were expecting the way we were
Worship the way it's always been
Prayer Book Communion and Evensong
Cranmer's soaring liturgy and humble hearts
Pitch-pine pews in respectful rows
The faithful bowing at the rail
Reverence and quiet
A chanted psalm.

You got "Family Communion" with Prayer H
"Shine Jesus Shine" on a harmonium
Chairs arranged in a rough horseshoe
A sermon from the aisle
Not the finely-carved Victorian pulpit
A scrum called "The Peace"
People milling round a nave altar
And still no families.

He's been here three years now, so time to change things
You can't leave things as they are
If you stand still  you go backwards
So we're reordered, reorganised
Redesigned, renewed
Ready to face the modern world anew
With user-friendly liturgy
And lightweight liturgical garments.

But he's got his eye on the church in town
Revd Brenda's 67, and she's thinking of the coast.
With his track record as a dynamic vicar
Moving the church forward
Facilitating transformation with his inspired vision
He'll be a shoo-in at St Bernard's
So we've only got to wait.
Four years, we reckon.

Then the High Altar can go back against the East wall
The nave altar and the Common Worship books will look lovely,
Stacked on the ASBs we hid in the crypt in 1984.
The pews are in the Church Hall cellar - "waiting for a buyer" we said.
No, waiting for a vacancy. Two days to get them back in, last time.
Assorted versions of Mission Praise and Songs of Fellowship
Will still be central to our mission
The Guy Fawkes night after the vicar leaves.

We apologise for the interruption to your service.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

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