Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Letters to the newspaper

I keep writing! I keep failing!

What's the fuss about choirs singing at St Andrew's Cathedral?

Firstly, they are, and they're doing it regularly.

Secondly, who cares? I sing with the Sydney Philharmonia, and as a supporter of choral music my view is, let people come and hear our choirs sing 'Messiah' this December because they love it, not
because it has been imposed on them by traditionalists.

Yours sincerely,

The Rev. Gordon Cheng

Yet another letter that didn't make it in.


Lucy C said...

Yes, they sing every week.
Except this week when they will be on the back of a truck in the Christmas Parade up George St.

Anonymous said...

I can see three main sources of the choir controversy.

1) "High" Arts fundamentalists. For these guys, art is both above reproach (aka the Bill Henson controversy) and inviolable. Really, they believe that St Andrew's exists to serve the needs of the choir, not the other way around. Whether anybody is here to hear them sing is unimportant.

2) Traditionalist/High Anglicans. In their eyes, to be truly Anglican you need to have robes, choirs & full liturgy, and Cathedrals in particular are where you're supposed to see this vision of Anglicanism in full-bloom.

3) Cultured Experientialists. This is best represented by the comments of Peter Phillips, who had a go at the Jensens on this issue back in January:

"Well I represent the point of view I think that God is beautiful, and can be approached - best approached - by mortal men through beauty. Any sort of beauty; I mean it could be a beautiful building, or the incense that the Catholics have. I represent music, and my experience is that good music takes people nearer to God than anything else, and quicker. It happens just like that, you feel him, right there."

In all 3 cases, the replacement of the choral evensong service with the "contemporary"-style service is proof that the barbarians have taken over the castle.

Giraffe Pen said...

:) It's a great letter! I love it :)

Lucy C said...

I love those barbarians.

Anonymous said...

What is it about traditional worship that so disgusts you? Please respond, I would love to know.

Gordon Cheng said...

Hi Nick,

Is your comment for me?

If so, you may have misread my view, which is generally enthusiastic about all things old.

Peter Kirsop said...

Last week we had evensong in Maitland. First time since (I am told) 1983. It was pitched at those who don't come to church anymore or who don't come often and there was a (in my view too)short message. There were 100 service sheets printed, they ran out with about 2/3 of the eventual congregation present.

We are going to do it again, perhaps every quarter pitched and advertised at the same group. we can pray that they will be touched by the Gospel.

but every week...with a part time a country church...would be a bit much