God’s door is shut: The Musicians Church is no more

God’s door is shut: The Musicians Church is no more


norman lebrecht

September 29, 2017

The acting Bishop of London has endorsed plans to exclude musicians from performances and rehearsals at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, formerly known as the National Musicians Church.

In a statement of inimitable insipidity, Bishop Pete Broadbent says: ‘Although St Sepulchre has for many years been the spiritual home of the National Musicians’ Chapel, and will continue to be so, many of our churches can rightfully claim to exercise a role as a musicians’ church.’

The Church Times has a full report on these pathetic parochial plots.

The outcome is that St Sep’s is no longer there for musicians.

Savour the memory. There will be no saviour.




  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Appalling news. At last we know that we’ve all long suspected- the current C of E is a philistine organisation. If they can’t support beautiful music- one wonders quite frankly what good they do in the 21st century & arguably have they just become a total irrelevance in a capitalist society?We must pray for their dark souls.

    • john says:

      As the church points out

      “We have also re-started Sunday services after a gap of more than 30 years”.

      So it will actually be a church now, we cannot have that can we?

      From the Ship of Fools mystery worshipper

      Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
      Being it was an all age service, I was told it was a little different from normal. There was a healthy dose of sung worship, which was very contemporary in style with no sign of any hymns. Unusual for an Anglican church, there was not a single sign of liturgy or vestments; it felt much more like a middle of the road charismatic service than the Church of England. Throughout the service, in place of a sermon, was a dramatisation of the parable of the talents (from Matthew 25), coupled with some exhortations to think about our own talents. We were provided pieces of paper on which to write our talents down, both temporal and spiritual, and to think about what obstacles might stop us from developing those talents. We then took them up and laid them on the altar.

      How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
      8 – I’d want to come for a more normal service, but from what I experienced, this was the kind of Anglicanism that appeals to nonconformists.

      Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?

      I would say that it is now doing the job it was built for.

      • bratschegirl says:

        So worshippers were exhorted to think about their talents, and about obstacles which might interfere with developing those talents, in a church which has just declared that it henceforth will be among those obstacles, at least for musicians? Irony much?

    • Dean Swift says:

      We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
      I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution.

  • Dale Rye says:

    If one follows the link to the Church Times article, one can read that the Acting Bishop of London did everything in his power to reverse the decision by the Parochial Church Council to close the church to outside performances and rehearsals. This isn’t the Church of Rome where bishops can function as monarchs. Under Anglican canon law, the parish and its incumbent clergy are entirely free to use their church for any lawful purpose, and to exclude any other activity as they choose. They aren’t bending, and the Bishop can’t break them. Musicians should be happy that he has undertaken an initiative to provide alternative venues that may substantially increase opportunities for musicians, rather than reduce them.

  • Elizabeth says:

    What will become of the Musician’s book of memorial (I have a friend’s name in it) and Sir Henry Wood’s ashes?

  • Valerie says:

    If the C of E were disestablished, then it would be in its right to refuse whoever it wanted. But as the state Church it has a duty to support all members of British society. This obviously has its strains. Could the Diocese appoint an outside mediator?

  • Polarphil says:

    This has more to do with The Gay Men’s Chorus and St Paul’s letter to the Romans which would appear incompatible to this Bible based community.

  • Sue says:

    God’s door is definitely wide open in Vienna. Check out this program at Augustinerkirche:


  • Annie Ballard says:

    Please do not write off the whole of the Church of England or all Parish Priests because of this turn of events. There are many of us, musicians and artists, who went into ministry with a vocation to embrace the arts and the possibility of making a home for music and musicians within the worship and life of the Church. This is happening in many places around the UK. And we have been following these events with great sadness.