[John Bingham] Looking for Britain’s future leaders? Try evensong

..College chaplains have seen a steady but noticeable increase in attendances at the early evening services which combine contemplative music with the 16th Century language of the Book of Common Prayer.

It mirrors a similar trend reported by cathedrals across England for growing congregations at choral midweek services, which appears to challenge the view that the church is in irreversible decline.

Chaplains say the mix of music, silence and centuries-old language appears to have taken on a new appeal for a generation more used to instant and constant communications, often conducted in 140 characters rather than the phrases of Cranmer.

Neil McCleery, assistant chaplain of New College, one of Oxford’s oldest and grandest chapels, said it was now rare to see an attendance below 150 at a weekend evensong..

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, --Book of Common Prayer, Liturgy, Music, Worship

One comment on “[John Bingham] Looking for Britain’s future leaders? Try evensong

  1. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    [blockquote]“I do wonder if it might be related to the trend for mindfulness in this era where we are constantly bombarded from the internet, from media, from mobile which are hard to get away from.”[/blockquote]
    The strange thing is that it is the internet which has probably driven this. It started with the radio broadcast of Choral Evensong by the BBC in the 1920’s, which led to the choirs to issue vinyl recordings of choral music then tapes and cd’s and Choral Evensong was made available over the internet more recently on demand.

    Also over the last 10 years, other chapels and churches have been making their own recordings. There are at least 4 major English choirs broadcasting weekly, and others have joined them, although some have withdrawn such as Merton College.

    It is somewhat interesting that arguably the most old fashioned worship form we have, has yet used the most modern digital media to broadcast. So successful has this been that many people think that CofE worship consists entirely of choral evensong, which of course is far from being the case. I suspect many of those choosing to come to the live services are from the digital audience which is all over the globe.

    A real success story.