As we prepare for our Harvest Festival Services, we see that what’s left of the English Church is indistinguishable from a lunatic asylum. Everywhere you peer inside this once refined and educated, lovely and lovable national institution, there is only a mania for self-destruction. How else can you account for church services that compete with pantomime for dramatized idiocy? For example, I recently attended a conference for clergy at a beautiful medieval church in Oxford. It was supposed to be a choral Eucharist but there was no organ music—only some plinky-plonky stuff on an out-of-tune piano and mindless choruses in the Jesus Goes to Toytown fashion: interminable glum repetition of what was not worth singing once.

Then the Bishop came on and told us that at the laughably misnamed riot called “The Peace” he didn’t want us merely to shake hands but to “hug one another”—and not just to...

 
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