© St Ninians Episcopal Church, Glasgow which is a charity registered under no.SC010966
Rector writes At the height of the terrible depression of the 1930s, Archbishop William Temple wrote: “It is not possible to worship truly while the daily life is far from God; and it is not possible to bring our daily life much nearer God except by the best worship of which we are capable…. Worship includes all life and the moments spent in concentrated worship, whether ‘in church’ or elsewhere, are the focussing points of the sustaining and directing energy of the worshipper’s life…. The Eucharist divorced from life loses reality; life devoid of worship loses direction and power. It is the worshipping life that can transform the world.” The quality of our worship at St Ninian’s is a paramount aim of our witness. We have worked very hard over the years to produce a liturgical worship that is integrated and dignified – a worship that is thematic and relevant to the gospel of the day including the choice of hymns which we now select from a wide variety of sources. Central to all of this is the joy of having a very fine organist each Sunday we meet to worship God. Music in all its forms is no mere added extra. There are plenty of references in the Old and New Testaments which describe worship where singing, dancing and the playing of instruments were all part of the liturgical experience. We are, then, part of a long and honourable tradition at St Ninian’s when we use music to produce “the best worship of which we are capable”. It is, therefore, with no little irony that last Sunday was a Sunday where there was no live music from the organ. David’s inability to find a substitute organist is not down to his lack of trying but reflects the sad fact that good and properly trained church organists are a dying breed. The young generation are no longer interested. For that matter, church choirs are a fast-disappearing phenomenon with so many church communities now accepting that the day of “live” music with organist and choir has drawn to an end. This is indeed sad and we need to make sure that this does not happen to us. There may be a practical limit to what we can do in the short term to produce high quality organists, but we can all be on the look-out for potential choir members. You don’t have to be a professional musician to recognise a good singing voice when you hear it amongst friends and family. We all know that we have the challenge of inviting and attracting new permanent members but don’t forget that the challenge also extends to producing new members for the choir. Lest any existing choir members are offended because they think I am in some way criticising their current accomplishments, nothing could be further from the truth! The sound they produce is of the highest standard. My concern is a logistical one – nothing stands still for ever and the future requires sensible planning so that there is an influx of new members to carry our tradition forward. As Psalm 27 says – “I will sing and make music to the LORD…” Long may that be the case at St Ninian’s!  The Rector
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