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Friday 11 April 2008
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Cathedral bans popular hymn Jerusalem

By Sophie Borland
Last Updated: 12:18pm BST 10/04/2008

 Have your say      Read comments

Jerusalem, one of the country's best-loved hymns and the favourite of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has been banned from services at one of Britain's foremost churches.

  • The words of Jerusalem by William Blake
  • Have your say: Is Jerusalem too nationalistic?
  • Damian Thompson: The folly of Dean Slee
  • The verses, which were written by William Blake more than two centuries ago, cannot be sung by choirs or congregations at Southwark Cathedral because the words do not praise God and are too nationalistic, according to senior clergy.

    Cathedral bans popular hymn Jerusalem
    The Dean of Southwark has not allowed the singing of Jerusalem in the cathedral for some time

    Last week the Dean of Southwark, the Very Rev Colin Slee, advised guests at a private memorial service that the hymn would not be sung because it was "not in the glory of God".

    A spokesman for the Diocese of Southwark disclosed that the Dean had not allowed the verses to be sung during services for some time.

    "The Dean, on common with all other cathedral deans, has the authority to decide what material is used in liturgy in the cathedral," he said.

    "The hymn Jerusalem is often used on national occasions, although rarely in Southwark, even on such occasions.

    "The Dean of Southwark does not believe that it is to the glory of God and it is not therefore used in private memorial services."

    The hymn, which begins with the words "And did those feet in ancient time", was first composed by William Blake in 1804 as an introduction to one of his most famous poems Milton.


    The words were later written to music in 1916 by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, an English composer.

    The verses are thought to have been based on a legend that Jesus came to England as a young boy and visited the town of Glastonbury, Somerset, where he established a second Jerusalem.

    Christians have subsequently interpreted the meaning of the hymn in different ways and some believe that the word "Jerusalem" could be a metaphor for heaven.

    It has been suggested that the hymn refers to Jesus coming to England and creating heaven amidst the "dark satanic mills", the line at the end of the first verse, which has been interpreted as the industrial revolution.

    Jerusalem has been banned before by clergymen who do not believe Blake's poetry to be Christian.

    In 2001 it was banned from the wedding of a couple in Manchester because the vicar deemed it to be too nationalistic and inappropriate to a marriage ceremony.

    According Rev Donald Allister, Vicar of Cheadle, the hymn was a "nationalistic song that does not praise God."

    Meanwhile, St Margaret's, in Westminster, the parish church of Parliament has refused to allow the hymn in the past because its clergy deemed the "dark satanic mills" discriminated against people living in the city.

    In 1996 Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a memorable appearance on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in which he listed Jerusalem amongst his ten favourite records.

    In 2000 the hymn was made the official anthem of the England football team in the Euro 2000 tournament in Belgium and the Netherlands.

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    Would the last person to leave the Church please blow out the candle.
    Posted by Paul Noel ( Canada) on April 10, 2008 11:08 PM
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    What is this stupid man's grief? Is he another one who can not stand the word England/English. A Dean he would make a good Mullah. I wonder what he thinks of the National Anthem. "God save THe Queen." I think of the God save The Queen as a Hymn and a petition to God.
    Posted by William Hanson on April 10, 2008 10:58 PM
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    I chose this hymn at my wedding, not because it 'had a nice tune' but because I find the words inspiring from a christian point of view. For the Dean to say that the hymn is not christian and to ban others from singing it in his church when it has a christian meaning for others, is ironically, an unchristian thing to do.

    If I were a vicar, trying to boost the church in my area, the last thing I would do is to start banning popular hymns. The church has enough problems on its hands without this form of offensive meddling.
    Posted by SD on April 10, 2008 10:55 PM
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    Where do they find these twits? First the Archbish of Caterbury, the latest in a long list of fools, now another. It is indeed little wonder that the C of E is in dramatic decline. They are the new money changers, and should be cleaned out.
    Posted by Commentator on April 10, 2008 10:54 PM
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    David 10:13 pm: Nice try, but to me (and many others) it IS a christian hymn - it is all in the interpretation so why should the Dean make an assumption that denies others the freedom of choice to sing that hymn in Southwwark Cathedral if it has strong christian meaning to them?

    How can it NOT have christian conurtations when it refers to 'nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, til we have built Jerusalem, in England's green and pleasant land?' It is clear to me that the words refer to the spreading of christianity among pagan England - the very core of the Dean's remit, surely?
    Posted by Rose on April 10, 2008 10:44 PM
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    These people will not be happy until England is wiped from the map - they are a disgrace to their country.

    I agree with Steve Garrett (quoted above) = we only need to wait for the 23rd of this month, our patron saint will soon be removed also. I live in an area where to fly the flag of St George is frowned upon because it causes "unease", seems its fine to be proud and want your own identity UNLESS you are English
    Posted by Dave B on April 10, 2008 10:43 PM
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    This guy is "holier than thou" but not, ironically, in the spiritual sense.
    Posted by Brett_McS on April 10, 2008 10:33 PM
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    The Dean is quite right. As recorded in the article above, he did not say that "Jerusalem" was "nationalistic", and indeed it isn't - on the contrary, it recognises that we are living among "dark satanic mills". What the Dean said was that it isn't to the glory of God, and he is quite right about that: the poem looks to the building of "Jerusalem" by human effort. It is a fantastic poem, set to brilliant music, but it is not a Christian hymn. It is not "political correctness" to discourage its use - on the contrary, it is sticking up for distinctive Christian belief.

    Contrary to what is said in a lot of these postings, the Dean of Southwark is not stupid (and accusations of stupidity usually tell us more about the people from whom they come). "Jerusalem" is a fantastic poem, and I love the music to which it is set, but it is not a Christian hymn. On the contrary, it

    either stupid nor "politically correct". This is not a Christian hymn. It is
    Posted by David on April 10, 2008 10:13 PM
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    Pathetic...so out of touch with real people..no wonder they are in terminal decline.....chinless idiots

    Posted by steve jones on April 10, 2008 10:12 PM
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    What rubbish to say that this beautiful hymn is not to the glory of God. We sang it at school, and there are no other hymns, which gives God; the glories of Mother England so well.
    Posted by William E. Stacey on April 10, 2008 9:58 PM
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    Nice poetry, but terrible theology. I agree with the Dean - not appropriate for a service of Christian worship.
    Posted by Martin Attfield on April 10, 2008 9:47 PM
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    Should we not be celebrating the glory of the Christian church and it's ethos rather than have clerics argue about the intereptation. If this hymn, anthem, or poem lifts the mind, soul and spirit then let it be. These clerics should be spending their time better in solving todays' immediate social issues instead and if they prevaricate on points of this nature they will never be in touch.
    Posted by Christine Bowden on April 10, 2008 9:37 PM
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    Who would want to build Jerusalem of all places in England's green and pleasant land?
    Posted by Schelmisch Saxon on April 10, 2008 9:33 PM
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    I think most of the contributors do not attend church regularly. If you do, you would have noticed that fewer and fewer Englishmen and ladies are in the pews and the dean apparently does not want an awkward situation in his hands in which foreign nationals are made to sing the praise of another nation. The real church of Jesus Christ is transnational and that is what we should encourage. There must be other avenues for us to express our nationalism and patriotism. It is a right no one should deny the English person, but in church maybe not. May the Lord Bless you all.
    Posted by Chris G on April 10, 2008 9:33 PM
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    Yes it is nationalistic.
    What's wrong with that?
    Why shouldn't we be proud of our nation?
    Others should be proud of theirs too. All peoples create songs that celebrate their own people's greatness which is good strengthening stuff.
    I dont recall anything in "Jerusalem" that refers to crushing others as lowly inferiors. That kind of nationalism is wrong but Blake did not use it.

    As for not reflecting God the shining reverence I've seen when it's sung speaks for itself. The divine Countenance clearly speaks of God and everyone knows the charming legend of Jesus coming to Britain that the hymn unequivocally invokes.

    Mr. Bishop please look at increasing love and caring among us. Work to reduce the greed and violence of the wealthy. That's your job which you are PAID to do. Stop being so spiteful and mean minded.
    Posted by Shan Morgain on April 10, 2008 9:08 PM
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    I weep for England and its once fine people...
    Posted by jonathan montmorency on April 10, 2008 8:32 PM

    Posted by Oski on April 10, 2008 8:47 PM
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    Shocking! As an American and an Episcopalian, I was recently brought to tears by the singing of "Jerusalem." The sad occasion was the funeral of a British cousin who was also a RAF veteran, decorated for his heroism in WWII. I was moved by the absolute appropriateness of "Jerusalem" being sung during the funeral service. By the way, my cousin was a Roman Catholic. Strange that the CoE would find such a beautiful English hymn offensive. What about the threatened loss of British culture? Please reassure me that there will always be an England!
    Posted by Anna on April 10, 2008 8:41 PM
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    I weep for England and its once fine people...
    Posted by jonathan montmorency on April 10, 2008 8:32 PM
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    It always struck me as a fascist anthem. It would not have looked out of place being sung by the Hitler youth.

    It does not belong in church
    Posted by Nell Flanders on April 10, 2008 8:25 PM
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    This is the most ridiculous of all the, "Don't wave the flag, it may upset someone", moves that have taken place over the last several years.
    I live in the USA but fly the Union Jack at appropriate times.
    How can England continue to downplay anything English and still expect people to have pride in the country?
    Posted by Norman Simons on April 10, 2008 8:15 PM
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    Is that the same Dean who called for legalisation of drugs?



    Once you have broken the code, you realise that the world is separated into two types of people.

    Liberals and Conservatives.

    It's as simple as that.

    Posted by Greg on April 10, 2008 8:10 PM
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    Perhaps the Dean of Southwark, the Very Rev Colin Slee, does not belong in a church as 'nationalistic' as the Church of England, and should seek suitable employment within a church more in keeping with his own views.

    Will his next edict seek removal of the Cross of St George, or will he just leave, and start his own Church of the Fourteenth People's Region of the EU?

    I wonder how many 'people' would follow him? Perhaps he could convert the 'culture' minister, she holds similar views about most aspects of English culture being too nationalistic and in need of banning. Or has she already converted him?
    Posted by Michael Barningham on April 10, 2008 8:08 PM
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    Whose f _ ck _ _ g church is it anyway?

    The Church of England belongs to the Anglo Saxon nation, a wonderfully nationalist people who have the absolute right to maintain their faith, their traditions and their ceremonies.

    Who is this obnoxious and evil man to say what he is saying?
    Posted by Andy G on April 10, 2008 7:59 PM
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    Isn't it good that I can go to my local village church on Sunday and still join in hymns of praise that glorify Christ's great commission to us; "And did those feet" is a great favourite of our congregation. I despair of the misguided actions of people like the Dean; fortunately, in the real world of everyday Anglican worship in churches like the one in my village, sanity still rules the roost. We shall continue to spread Christ's teachings to all the nations of the world in words that the congregation find meaningful, "until Jerusalem is builded here". We are not restricted by the doubtful judgement of a cleric who should be ashamed of himself. Thank goodness I am a church warden and have some influence over worship patterns in our church - and not a member of a cathedral congregation who seem to be letting the Dean ride roughshod over their wishes. Banned indeed! - Dean, it is you who should be banned.
    Posted by Paul Thomas on April 10, 2008 7:58 PM
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    I'm an American Episcopalian and love Jerusalem and I Vow to Thee my Country. I've tried to get them in our service here when appropriate..to no avail.
    Posted by Michael Grissom on April 10, 2008 7:53 PM
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    'Another wooly brained liberal priest!'eh?
    He was tried for sedition in 1803 for shouting at a uniformed soldier with whom he was engaged in a fight 'Damn the King!The soldiers are all slaves', which, though he denied it, it sounds like exactly the kind of thing he would have said, given his writings.
    I suggest you read a bit of Blake.He was a passionate patriot but also a supporter, initially, of the French revolution.He was a firebrand Protestant radical and proto-liberal/lefty.
    If they'd banned it as heresy I could understand.That's the usual complaint against it.That's probably what this is really about.I can't believe the Dean of Southwark would be so ignorant as to ban it for being jingoistic.
    Posted by Ian Crause on April 10, 2008 7:49 PM
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    No it is defintely not too nationalistic. What next? Ban the National Anthem because it upsets people who aren't British? Political correctness taken too far. It's about time this all stopped. Ordinary people need to make a stand and insist on keeping these bits of our heritage.
    Posted by JW on April 10, 2008 7:47 PM
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    So the Church into which I was baptised takes another step away from me.

    Jerusalem was one of the first hymns we learnt at prep school.

    Crack pots.
    Posted by Richard Kellaway on April 10, 2008 7:46 PM
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    Why doesn't he just ask himself if the muslims or any other religious organisation would drop one of their most well known hymns/songs just to appease another religious sect.Isn't it time we stuck to our principles we are a Christian Country and people that settle here should be fully aware that we do not change our way of life to suit them.When in Rome comes to mind.
    Posted by June Sumner on April 10, 2008 7:39 PM
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    Why doesn't he just ask himself if the muslims or any other religious organisation would drop one of their most well known hymns/songs just to appease another religious sect.Isn't it time we stuck to our principles we are a Christian Country and people that settle here should be fully aware that we do not change our way of life to suit them.When in Rome comes to mind.
    Posted by June Sumner on April 10, 2008 7:39 PM
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    When Christians meet to worship God they seek to worship Him in the manner He taught. That way is to be found in both bible testaments.
    It would seem that too many of the contributors to this page are completely unaware of what God has put into the Bible that specifically addresses this subject. Clearly the Dean and others in the CoE are aware of that teaching and are endeavoring to be faithful. This is why they are not hypocrites. To call them such is simple and ignorant.
    I am not CoE but feel compelled to ask people to try and understand where the Dean is coming from. The Dean is not here to please men, but to serve God and preach the Word of God who is Christ in the hope that the ignorant will listen and learn.
    Posted by Jonathan on April 10, 2008 7:35 PM
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    Another wooly brained liberal priest!
    Posted by Allan Sinclair on April 10, 2008 7:30 PM
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    Concerning this clergyman: Whom the gods which to destroy, they first drive mad.
    Posted by Mike Kaye on April 10, 2008 7:25 PM
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    "All things bright and beautiful" must go, because it shows happiness within a Christian concept. "We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land" must be banished next. Think of all the hungry people, starved because of anti-religious greedy leaders, we can blame that on the Western Church too. The 23rd psalm "The Lord is my Shepherd" must certainly be banned. It can offend so many, because horrors, it was written by a Jewish King!
    Posted by Anne Wotana Kaye on April 10, 2008 6:56 PM
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    Why not ban 'All things bright and beautiful'. After all this hymn discriminates against medium sized creatures.
    We do really have to get rid of this Government, it's higher clergy, and Judges. This country is now a laughing stock world wide, we seem to be majoring in stupid. Is it possible that a Dr. Who alien life form has taken over all of our highest poitions in Government.
    Posted by sylvia evans on April 10, 2008 6:49 PM
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    I agree with him but then again I am a nincompoop.
    Posted by Anglo Manglo on April 10, 2008 6:35 PM
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    The Fourth Fable
    The Fourth Fable

    A Jesus Cowboy Song

    Eye am a strong man iff strength is not physical alone,
    but charachter and hope, love become my armour
    my arm as gates once opened close now new ones open at a glance in poverty of riches poor people there in Heaven sing to Jesus as they wave branches from the richness of the trees beside the waters running in the trenches freely given overflowing when a little lamb just wants a drink of water another drink the water bubbles up so no one has to lift her she can reach the water carefully she drinks and then she sings…'
    'my holster is empty my life is complete my love is in Heaven
    eye have plenty to eat and to drink '
    life is not meant to be a shoot em up rodeo
    life is not meant to be a shoot um up movie
    my life is in Heaven my holster is empty
    eye have LOVE'

    Posted by charlesrhice on April 10, 2008 6:31 PM
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    we really should not worry about this.the church
    of england is finished,and the only way that this
    type of clergy can get anyone to listen to them
    is to come out with this kind of headless
    rubbish.'bring me my spear'.real ofcourse not
    metaphorical.i gingerly phoned uncle gerald at
    his home[in the chalfonts]for his comments,but
    was informed by his man that he,bunty and a
    few chums were out pig sticking near ashridge.
    Posted by phil seaton on April 10, 2008 6:25 PM
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    Blake was a religious man, but more concerned for human suffering than for the established church( which was in the doldrums in his time). In the poem "London" are the lines "How the chimney-sweepers cry,every blackening church appalls", and it is at least likely that the "dark satanic mills" of
    Jerusalem are the mills of God, i.e. the soot-stained london churches. "Jerusalem" is not a hymn, nor is it patriotic in the "little England" sense, but it is a call for a religious revival of a kind which Blake felt was urgently needed- and as such I would have thought the Church now should welcome it. The tremendous feeling which the words and music arouse can not be bad, even if the theological background is gathered in the mists .
    Posted by Margaret Towner on April 10, 2008 6:25 PM
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    Concerning RLS at 8:13.
    Please allow me to correct RLS as it supports one of my points very well. Compare Ps2 vs2 with Acts4 vs26. Ps2 is just one of many Psalms that speak of Christ. (This is just one of many OT quotes concerning Christ to be found in the NT.)
    It is important to remember we are speaking about the Christian church worshiping Christ. Christians do not worship a nation or any king other than Christ the King of kings.
    Posted by Jonathan on April 10, 2008 6:11 PM
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    Absolutely, and while we're at it, don't forget "Rule Britannia", "God Save the Queen" "There'll Always Be An England", Vaughan Williams' "London Symphony" and that old favourite by Ron Goodwin, "Elizabethan Serenade". Oh, and the King James Bible is also far too supportive of a traditional England - out it should go!

    What in God's name is possessing these people?
    Posted by Les on April 10, 2008 5:59 PM
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    Oh dear, oh dear. Perhaps the Dean of Southwark would care to rejoin this planet.

    Posted by Justin on April 10, 2008 5:49 PM
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    The idea of building Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land is surely about bringing Christ back to England. The phrases "Holy Lamb of God" ... and "countenance divine" are surely fairly unambiguous as Christian images?

    Anyone who had read Blake's poetry understands that he seldom writes literally: he uses symbols.

    "Those feet in ancient time" apparently refers to a legend that Christ once came to England. Blake gives us this information in the form of questions rather than statements showing that he does not necessarily believe - or not believe -in the legend. However the final part of 'Jerusalem' stresses his determination that The land of Christ should be built in England: the England which is simultaneously a green and pleasant land and a place with dark Satanic mills.

    If church leaders are so ill-educated as to be incapable of investigating Blake's use of imagery and symbols then they can hope only to attract the most stupid and illiterate people to their servces.

    Posted by Rastus C. Tastey on April 10, 2008 5:44 PM
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    This is just damn stupid.
    Posted by J. Long on April 10, 2008 5:42 PM
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    The Dean of Southwark is barmy!

    Political correctness is a cancer in our society and this latest nonsense is just another nail in the coffin of the British culture. No small wonder religion, in its various forms, is increasingly seen as a source of fundamental badness.

    Posted by Michael Poplett on April 10, 2008 5:41 PM
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    I am very upset with the news about 'Jerusalem; I am a transplanted Brit with VERY strong feelings about the "Anglican' church; there are far more worrisome events facing this church at this time than banning a hymn that stirs me every time I hear it, which is not often enough as I live in Canada!!
    Posted by Susan Maile on April 10, 2008 5:38 PM
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    When and by whom was 'Jerusalem' first determined to be a hymn?
    A patriotic song, yes, (the world's finest, in my opinion, even if, as a Northern Irishman, I can't claim it for my particular wee patch of turf.) But I cannot, from my childhood, recall it being used as a 'hymn'.
    Posted by Occasional Ostrich on April 10, 2008 5:23 PM
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    I was brought up in Judaism. I am not in any way
    offended or upset by Jerusalem. The words inspire
    me. Why do the people in question have to tell me
    what I should or should not think? Will the Jew's
    Harp be banned?
    Posted by Michael Schwartz on April 10, 2008 5:22 PM
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    What hypocrisy they show and what a laughing stock they, the church, make themselves out to be.
    No wonder the churches are empty, when you have church leaders who should be leading the church in God’s Spirit, ends up dictation to us what we can sing in Church.
    They are fast becoming leaders of a church, which is looked on to be superfluous to God’s Word.


    Posted by Shaun Cunningham on April 10, 2008 5:19 PM
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    Hey Black Mass, I suppose aisle should be replaced with we'll ....less egotistical don't you think? Other than that I think you bagged all the good ones!
    Posted by Joanne on April 10, 2008 5:13 PM
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    Speaking as a church organist, Jerusalem is not my favourite hymn, but it does mean a lot to a great many people, and I have to play it at a great many funerals and memorial services. Surely, is it not obvoius that, speaking as the hymn does, of "mental fight", the reference to bows, arrows and swords is merely pictorial language associated with this "mental fight"? To ban it for being "militaristic" is to take every word too literally.

    Similarly, to condemn "I vow to thee my country" as "nationalistic" or whatever, shows a total disregard for, or lack of understanding of, that hymn's second verse, which puts verse one wonderfully into perspective!
    Posted by Andrew Butler, FASC on April 10, 2008 5:09 PM
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    It appears that even the Church of ENGLAND is joining the band of PC paranoid, lunatics who insist that England is no longer English! It is absurd thought that in a country whose Christian population are predominantly Anglican, hymns about "England's green and pleasant land" are banned from any place of worship even more so in a Cathedral like Southwark. Absolute madness in an time when Britain should be working to preserve its self image from the growing multi-cultural melting pot which it is becoming now more than ever.
    Posted by Dominic on April 10, 2008 4:57 PM
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    No one seems to know what Blake actually meant when he wrote "Jerusalem". The trouble with the words is that they are loaded with almost impenetrable mysticism which may have meant something to Blake but only conveys a meaningless feel-good factor to anyone else. I suspect that the superb, magnificent tune Parry wrote is almost entirely responsible for "Jerusalem's" popularity. After all, who would even want to recite the words on their own? For the first ever I agree with Dean Slee - the words are not to the glory of God, in fact God doesn't even get an honourable mention. That doesn't matter in a secular song, but in a hymn?
    Posted by Ian Jarvis on April 10, 2008 4:55 PM
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    The death of tradition usually follows close on the heels of the death of common sense.
    Posted by Dennis Eagan on April 10, 2008 4:52 PM
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    TO:Mike on April 10, 2008 4:24 PM

    So Mike, if you have beliefs and a faith in things that are completely contrary to the clear teachings of Jesus himself how can you be a Christian? Or do you believe in a kind of 'anything goes christianity'? Or is christianity just a kind of guide to you - its certainly not what the Bible teaches.

    How is it prideful to point out that Blake cannot have been a Christian by what Blake himself said were his beliefs? Do you know anything about William Blake? He was certainly very religious and used much christian imagery but that doesn't make him a Christian.

    This 'hymn' is not christian because it is contra what the Bible teaches and Blake was not a Christian because his own stated beliefs were contra what Jesus taught in the Bible. Is that so hard to grasp and why is that pride on my part. This whole debate is about the christianity or otherwise of this song and the life and beliefs of the person who wrote the song must be relevant.

    You judge me on your own authority but what I quoted what the Bible says (I gave the references in my numerous posts) and what Blake himself says.

    Tut tut yourself you hypocrite.
    Posted by Thomas on April 10, 2008 4:51 PM
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    Will they try to ban the National Anthem next as 'too patriotic'? Then the clergy wonder why their congregations are falling.
    Posted by A N Other on April 10, 2008 4:42 PM
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    I live in the U.S. and if Jerusalem is to be considered too 'nationalistic" what about the United States' "My Country 'tis of Thee" - to the tune of our National Anthem by the way? The next words are "sweet land of liberty"; I think the Bishop should heed those words. What have they been putting in the tea over there recently?
    Posted by Velma on April 10, 2008 4:39 PM
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    As a result of NuLabour ruining this country,,,,keep the hymn but change the word "Jerusalem" to "Dystopia"..
    Posted by MORGY on April 10, 2008 4:37 PM
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    Thomas, Thomas, Thomas.
    Having Faith is one thing, but talking about 'so called Christians' as though their Faith is less valid than yours...Deadly Sin number 7 I believe. And by the tone of your missive, a bit of number 5 too. Tut, Tut.
    Posted by Mike on April 10, 2008 4:24 PM
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    This is what comes of letting wimpy god botherers
    interfere with our CofE
    Posted by xxxCORRECTxxx on April 10, 2008 4:15 PM
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    "Whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make them mad".

    In the case of dean Slee the old saying has been exceeded by far.

    Those of us who love the Anglican Church and are proud members of it, are totally dismayed with, the actions of people like dean Slee, who are hell bend in destroying the institution.

    One hopes that someday sanity will prevail and we will rise again from the ashes of a church which has been ruine by people like dean Slee.
    Posted by constantine Needham Placonouris on April 10, 2008 4:09 PM
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    Maybe the Dean of Southwark would find Islam more to his taste.
    Posted by Chris, Derby on April 10, 2008 4:09 PM
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    Hang on, is this Bishop the same guy who was caught pissed out of his head sleeping in the back of someone else's car (allegedly) or was that some other South London, C.of E. Bishop?
    Posted by Adrian Gilbert on April 10, 2008 4:02 PM
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    I can't understand why the debate. The song is clearly unbiblical (heretical, I'd say). Neither Jesus nor Joseph came to England. They did, however travel to Egypt,after which they went back to Nazareth, where Jesus 'grew in stature and in favour with men' (read the first few chapters of Luke). Blake was not a Christian, in fact he lived a very unGodly life - you can check that out for yourself by reading a reputable biography or looking him up on the web. The references to Jerusalem smack of replacement theology, which is not supported by the Bible... Jerusalem in the Bible refers to the city in Israel, also to the New Jerusalem which will 'come down out of heaven as a bride adorned for her husband' (Revelation ch. 21) So why would you want to use this song as a Christian hymn? Use it all you like at football matches, or for other nationalistic purposes, but it has nothing to do with the church of Jesus Christ.
    Posted by Baruch on April 10, 2008 4:00 PM
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    Balake, the Visionary and mystic, was always at odds with C of E Bigots, PC or otherwise and would have probably found it amusing that his great, revolutionary poem was sung as a hymn in the very Dark Satanic Mills(Churces not Cotton) he was criticising. Nothing is any longer surprising from the Beyond Belief, defunct, lost its way, C of E . Why don't they all just convert to RC or Islam and get the lingering misery over with? Anyway there is no chance any longer of building Blake's Jerusalem in England's Green and Pleasant Land -more likely Beruit or Bagdhad the way things are going.
    Posted by david on April 10, 2008 3:54 PM
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    What is it with clerics these days?are they castrated when they leave the seminary?a more gutless, spineless bunch is hard to imagine.If these fools dont start defending Christianity soon they wiil find themselve being forced to praise allah.
    Posted by Andy on April 10, 2008 3:49 PM
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    Is the Church of England intent on destroying itself from within?

    To paraphrase a version of what Henry II said about Thomas Becket,

    "Who will rid us of these turbulent priests?"
    Posted by Longshanks on April 10, 2008 3:49 PM
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    TO:david on April 10, 2008 2:21 PM

    Well hey David if someone doesn't believe in basic core Christian tenets clearly and repeatedly taught in the Bible as Blake didn't I think its reasonable to think that person's not a Christian. Blake would be called a New Ager if he were alive today. He rejected the concept of sin, believed in free sex and rejected the concept of God having laid down any form of moral code. But hey David, that's ok because many so called Christians of today think the same despite the clear teaching of the Bible, it must be ok then!

    I don't think the CofE gets it right often these days (and yes David its perfectly ok to hold an opinion -you have no problem expressing yours) but they are certainly right to say that this 'hymn' is not Christian.

    "learning how to live a good life which isn't what church gatherings ought to be primarily about" really? Fact or another opinion? - fact. The whole point of Jesus' life, death and resurrection was to reconnect anyone who accepts Jesus as Lord back with God. What is the primary purpose of Man's relationship with God? To worship God which is the most joyous thing you can do (I'm not talking religion here). Read the Revelation to see what the saints (not RC sense) do in heaven. Its why we have the expression 'Sunday Worship'. Of course Christians should live a good life - its not their primary function though - again read the New Testament where this abundantly clear.

    So many people think that we are not to make any sort of judgement of others. What the Bible says is that we are to use righteous judgement (john 7:24) and that we will be judged by the standard we use ourselves. Blake said many things which were contrary to the words of Jesus himself. These weren't trivial issues they went to heart of Christianity. Just because Blake was very religious and used Christian concepts and imagery in his works doesn't make him a Christian. Read up about him - there's a load of stuff on the web.

    Whilst on the subject of judging read 1 Corinthians and tell me that Paul doesn't pass judgement yet he was the greatest apostle.

    TO: Adam on April 10, 2008 2:26 PM
    Sorry but the Kingdom of God is within you and will never be in England or any other physical place on Earth (Luke 17:21). As far as Christianity is concerned we need to forget our nationality - Christians are citizens of Heaven (Phillipians 3:20). And on the subject of nationality, how do you distinguish between patriot and nationalist? I suggest that they overlap to such an extent as to be virtually indistinguishable. You can only discern the difference in the extremes.
    Posted by Thomas on April 10, 2008 3:25 PM
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    So, let me get this right, the Church of ENGLAND doesn't like something because it's too nationalistic?

    And, when did praising God ever take precedence over sitting in power in the House of Lords anyway?
    Of course, none of this is ultimately important because no-one who gives a fig goes anywhere near any of the so-called Christian churches anyway - unless it's to impress their equally shallow neighbours (or voters).
    Posted by Paul M on April 10, 2008 3:22 PM
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    Actually, the "dark satanic mills" were the churches at the time. Blake had little patience with them.
    I am not religious but you do not need to attend a church or other place of worship to celebrate your religion.
    I am sure I am not the only one getting weary of all this pc stuff.
    Posted by freda barley on April 10, 2008 3:15 PM
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    I was just wondering...being as the church is a refuge for all.

    If one were to wander in there on a Friday lunchtime with a few friends and start into Jerusalem whilst the Dean of doom waas there, who would he call upon to have you stop?
    Posted by Shocker on April 10, 2008 3:15 PM
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    He’s right, it’s not to the glory of God, but it’s not nationalist either – quite the opposite. Blake derides those who believe that Jerusalem was “builded here amongst those dark satanic mills” (i.e. Georgian-era nationalists) and calls everyone to arms to make the country fit for God.
    Posted by Justin on April 10, 2008 3:13 PM
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    He’s right, it’s not to the glory of God, but it’s not nationalist either – quite the opposite. Blake derides those who believe that Jerusalem was “builded here amongst those dark satanic mills” (i.e. Georgian-era nationalists) and calls everyone to arms to make the country fit for God.
    Posted by Justin on April 10, 2008 3:11 PM
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    The Church of England is definitely in self-destruct mode. What a shame and disgrace.
    Posted by Diane Shail on April 10, 2008 3:02 PM
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    Is it any surprise that congregations are deserting the Church of England in droves, when you have politically correct, liberal/socialist prats like this as vicars! This hymn has been sung for generations, what the hell is the matter with these stupid people?
    Posted by David West on April 10, 2008 3:01 PM
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    Only a liberal heretic and apostate like the doubtfully baptized Christian who presumtuously styles himself the "Dean of Southwark" would object to the glorious hymn "Jerusalem".
    Posted by Paul on April 10, 2008 2:59 PM
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    And doubtless he wonders why his congregation has quietly evaporated.

    I don't know why Rowan Williams and his bunch of spineless Left-wing buffoons don't just give in altogether and convert the Church of England to Islam, after all the dome on St. Paul's cathedral is the right shape.
    Posted by David Walker on April 10, 2008 2:52 PM
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    Mainstream Christianity hates the teaching of British Israel and the fact that Britain, Her Anglo-Saxon Commonwealth and The USA are Israel or four of the Ten Tribes erroneously known as the Lost Ten Tribes.

    William Blake was an adherent of British Israel. This Truth along with The truth that The Lord Jesus Christ came to Britain with his uncle Joseph of Arimathaea in the years before He started His three and half year ministry in Samaria and Judea, has always been rejected by Lambeth Palace and the denominations.

    They believe it took 500 years for someone to come to Britain in the guise of Augustine, when it was just a three to four week sailing from Antioch where the HQ of the first century church was based.

    They also reject the Truth that the Apostles Peter, Andrew and James came to Britain in 37 AD.

    Posted by Charles Crosby on April 10, 2008 2:50 PM
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    As the Anglican Church relates to the Church of
    England, "nationalism" is central to their very
    existence, so hardly a concept to use as a basis
    for rejection.

    The Lamb of God reference in the third line of
    the hymn is linked inextricably to "The Trinity"
    doctrine, a central element of the Anglican

    If the Dean of Southwark cathedral is not
    comfortable with the nationalistic element of his
    employer or able to accept the Trinity perhaps he
    should consider resigning and finding a role in a
    more agreeable place.

    Posted by Thomas Aitkenhead on April 10, 2008 2:46 PM
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    As the Anglican Church relates to the Church of
    England, "nationalism" is central to their very
    existence, so hardly a concept to use as a basis
    for rejection.

    The Lamb of God reference in the third line of
    the hymn is linked inextricably to "The Trinity"
    doctrine, a central element of the Anglican

    If the Dean of Southwark cathedral is not
    comfortable with the nationalistic element of his
    employer or able to accept the Trinity perhaps he
    should consider resigning and finding a role in a
    more agreeable place.

    Posted by Thomas Aitkenhead on April 10, 2008 2:46 PM
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    The CoE has a proud tradition for having more than its fair share of eccentics amongst its clergy

    But what do expect from a Diocese whose own Bishop has problems holding his Christmas spirit ???

    Obviously,no fear of any stern words of reprimand and every chance and likelihood of promotion to higher office ??

    God save the Queen and Heaven help this Dean and his Bishop !!!

    Posted by damienwan on April 10, 2008 2:42 PM
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    Once again the Church has lost sight of spirituality in favour of self-serving spoiled-child ill-informed PC idealism and isolationism. Why don't the Church leaders learn to listen and appeal to the hearts and minds of the people who would welcome some form of shared belief and community. Instead we get the smell of melted school pencils, cheap coffee, isolation in lieu of participation, better-than-thou instead of we-share-in-life and all the other horrendous arrogance of an out-of-touch institution run by pseudo-intellectuals who cannot achieve any job much less a true calling. Why not let the Catholic Church re-assume the liability of these morally wayward weirdos, make them tow the line of something that resembles the teachings of Jesus (remember him?) and re-contact the people with dialogue that reaches inward and upward and not to the lowest common denominator which hurts all.
    Posted by Henry Cave Devine on April 10, 2008 2:38 PM
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    I have a proposal for a more contemporary re-working that may be more suitable:
    And did those environmentally friendly, carbon neutral transport devices in a non-specific previous timeframe.
    Traverse an elevated but non specific region of, what is now north-west Europe.
    And was the multi-denominational and non sexually orientated junior family member of the generally accepted Senior Spiritual figure.
    Witnessed in said traverse.
    And did the face of said multi-denominational and non sexually orientated junior family member of the generally accepted Senior Spiritual figure
    Reflect a degree of the radiated warmth from an as-yet untapped source of renewable energy onto luminously challenged non-flood risk areas of green/brown field land.
    And was a multi-cultural triumph of modern deign fusion developed here
    Among these further luminously challenged but none the less historically valuable sites of post-industrial urban regeneration.

    Ensuring constant application of all the extant safety protocols arrange transport to my immediate location of the highly polished non-ballistic targeting device that has been allocated to my person for the duration.
    Continuing to apply the relevant safety protocols also ensure the safe arrival of the projectiles for said highly polished non-ballistic targeting device.
    In anticipation of ongoing suitable weather conditions also supply a transverse section of steel sharpened to a, well masked, point at one end and rounded at the other.
    In addition, and subject to the appropriate CO2 emissions regulations and binding animal walfare legislation finally supply one non-specific animal drawn conveyance in a state of ongoing combustion.
    I propose to maintain my current administrative and legislative action and ,current framework ‘bladed or potentially bladed’ weapon legislation notwithstanding, my signature ceremonial cutting tool shall remain in a state of constant agitation
    Until we have finally developed the afore said triumph of modern deign fusion (incorporating appropriate scale services, administration and as multi/single denomination religious and secular places of contemplation)
    In the Organic non-GM region of the previously outlined and unbounded region of what is now North West Europe.

    Posted by JB on April 10, 2008 2:37 PM
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    Please stop now, Black Mass. I've had to wipe my laptop clean of the coffee I've spewed onto it as a result of your posting.

    20 Nouvenas, 20 Hail Mary's, and 29 pints o'stout....
    Posted by Walt OBrien on April 10, 2008 2:37 PM
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    Who cares! England should adopt Jerusalem as the English National Anthem.
    If he's not careful he'll be preaching to an empty Cathedral and that would serve him right!
    Posted by Derek on April 10, 2008 2:35 PM
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    What utter nonsense! I would have expected a senior Churchman to have realised that the Jerusalem being described in the hymn is the kingdom of God on Earth, and the desire to construct it in England is about the desire for there to be more Christians in the country.
    All we can expect from the Church of England these days is this sort of wishy washy twaddle, rather than spiritual guidance.
    Also, someone should teach that man what nationalism is. Saying your country is great is not nationalism. It's patriotism. Nationalism is saying your country is better than all other countries, because of race or because your country is just better. "Jerusalem" does neither.
    What an insult to William Blake, to Christians everywhere and to common sense!
    Posted by Adam on April 10, 2008 2:26 PM
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    The Great Dane (one of the many commentators in this list) would have my vote as the new Lord Mayor of London. Except now I live in Australia - which is where patriotism still flourishes.
    Posted by Nigel on April 10, 2008 2:25 PM
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    "Blake most certainly wasn't a Christian in my opinion" Thomas 1.09

    Well, hey Thomas. If in your opinion he's not a Christian, I guess he can't be.

    "learning how to live a good life which isn't what church gatherings ought to be primarily about" really? Fact or another opinion?

    I thought God was the only omniscient one.

    Suggest you check out the Beatitudes. Something about the meek... Matthew 5.5 and one Blake advocated, Matthew 5.8.
    Posted by david on April 10, 2008 2:21 PM
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    I remember being in a street shelter during WWII. The bombs were raining down and someone started to sing "Jerualem, Jerusalem lift up your hearts an sing ............". Soon the shelter was alive with song. As an eight year old it certainly lifted my heart.

    The man is a pillock.
    Posted by jaybee on April 10, 2008 2:18 PM
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    THe congration should vote with their feet.
    Posted by Glo on April 10, 2008 2:12 PM
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    The Dean has a lot to learn. The "dark, satanic mills" actually refered to Oxbridge universities which Blake considered to be bastions of the Cof E.
    So the aforementioned satanic-mills are actually an attack on the Dean (without him realising it).
    I despair of some clery.
    Posted by Geoff Wright on April 10, 2008 2:11 PM
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    The Dean can do what he likes in his Cathedral.
    The lyrics are about Joseph of Arimathea's visit with Jesus's son 'Jesus'.This established the first Christian church in Britain & Europe.This led to the election of the first leader of the Church of Rome, who was from Britain.
    This person supported Rome in anhilating the Druids on these shores.
    So on the whole nothing to do with God, but everything to do with politics?
    Posted by bob watkins on April 10, 2008 2:09 PM
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    Irrespective of its religious relevence surely it should be included just because it is nationalistic. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your country and what it stands for. 'Heaven' knows even to express such sentiments in public has the PC crowd accusing you of being a facist, racist, homophobic, fur-wearing, baby eating, 4x4 driving, chav, WAG, Europhobe by association.
    If this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England doesn't stir something in you then yuo have my sympathy.
    Posted by JB on April 10, 2008 2:06 PM
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    It should be banned, as should all church singing, as it is Un-Islamic and offensive to muslims.
    Posted by Chakra Khan on April 10, 2008 2:04 PM
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    Why do these people hate themselves so much?
    Posted by Julian Beach on April 10, 2008 2:04 PM
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    maybe I'm just becoming XENO-phobic but it seem sto me that this particular list needs some editing!!!

    Aside from that as A scot, I think it sdaft for the Church of England to ban on eof its main hymns as nationalistic. The CoE was nationalistic enough in the past to send armed priests into battle (I seem to racall a certain bishop at the battle of stirling Bridge??). What has happened to all that???
    Posted by xpatjock on April 10, 2008 2:00 PM
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    Idiot!!! And they wonder why people are leaving the church in droves. Has he been told that it is the official religion of England or doesn't he like that either.
    Posted by hdb111 on April 10, 2008 1:59 PM
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    Alot of chat below, and it ain't positive. Take stock Bish, for the stereotype of the Telegraph reader is white, middle class, christian etc (myself excluded I confess), and at a time when said religion is on the wane you're kind of taking a machine gun to your kicking foot if they're this miffed.

    Alternatively if we are going to go down this route, perhaps a few other changes to mentally pencil in:

    1. Rename the "organ" - no place for a reference to the male genitalia in a house of worship;
    2. "Hymn" books/sheets/stands should become "them" books etc, to avoid sexual discrimination;
    3. Perhaps alternate your weekly "sermon" with a "ma'am-on" in the name of gender equality.

    I call upon my co-commentors to continue my list as and when a constructive idea arises...
    Posted by Black Mass on April 10, 2008 1:58 PM
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    What a shame the Church has turned it's back on "fighting the good fight" to make this a better and more chirstian place to live. The second verse of the hymn. This sort of rubbish is one of the reasons I dont go to church any more. It's not God I don't believe in, it's religion.
    Posted by Richard East on April 10, 2008 1:57 PM
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    As Del Boy would say to Rodney, "What a plonker"

    Posted by tommy3lions on April 10, 2008 1:51 PM
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    This sort of thing is really getting beyond scary. The level of despair among people who care about this country and about Christian Civilization increases daily. We continually face new examples of how powerless we are against the vicious nutters of the modern Establishment. It has reached the point where the end of the world would be desirable. These scum have such a grip on power that God is probably the only guy who can overturn them.
    Posted by Mick from Malverne on April 10, 2008 1:50 PM
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    I'm surprised that 'The Church of England' hasn't been renamed 'The Church of The Regions'. Come on Gordon you've missed a bit in your quest to extirpate England.
    Posted by John on April 10, 2008 1:46 PM
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    Yet another symptom of the erosion of this nation's identity.
    Posted by Philip Dyson on April 10, 2008 1:45 PM
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    The Church of England has a fine tradition of attacking and undermining the country in which it is established (remember the red dean?) so I suppose we should expect no better. However, Perhaps Colin Slee should remember that without nationalism his church would not have come into being and, without nationalism, it will rapidly cease to exist.
    Posted by James Matthews on April 10, 2008 1:44 PM
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    I think that area is mostly black so some left wing bum bandit has decided to ban it. After its not the UK anymore is it and we cant been seen to support what was the UK can we!!! its total PC madness.
    Posted by john on April 10, 2008 1:39 PM
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    Well done that man! If tasked with doing one thing to alienate a large number of my potential congregation, I doubt I could come close to this masterstroke.

    'Jerusalem' - "too nationalistic" or not - is a favourite hymn of many. While, at one end of the Mile of Buffoonery, Mr. Brown is desperately trying to define 'British', at the other end this vicar is banning a hymn that almost achieves what Brown desires.

    What IS the collective noun for buffoons anyway?
    Posted by John Blackley on April 10, 2008 1:31 PM
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    This used to be our school anthem - for me it is a call to all Christians to build the Faith here in England. A call to spiritual arms (bow of burning gold etc)
    Posted by Clare Whittam on April 10, 2008 1:27 PM
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    TO: Barb Miller on April 10, 2008 12:14 PM

    Britain a Christian nation always was always will be??

    What planet are you on?
    Posted by Thomas on April 10, 2008 1:14 PM
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    This so called Very Reverend needs to be re-placed immediately. What an idiot.
    Posted by Giles Edwards on April 10, 2008 1:14 PM
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    TO: Miranda on April 10, 2008 11:52 AM. To answer your criticisms of my post:
    The point of my post was that Blake's poem is not Christian at all and is therefore unsuitable to be sung as a Christian hymn. Blake most certainly wasn't a Christian in my opinion and if anyone thinks he was please read the gospels in the New Testament and then about Balke's life and make up your own mind.

    Answering Miranda further: Jesus is the Way See John 14:6 (and many other scriptures). In other words, we can only come to the Father through the Way (John 14:6). Jesus is the only route to the Father if you like. If that is what you were saying apologies but it sounds as if you are saying something else such as learning how to live a good life which isn't what church gatherings ought to be primarily about. The first and great commandment is 'love God (includes Jesus) with all your heart all your soul and all your mind (Matthew 22:37) - this is worship and we go to church primarily to worship God and part (a very important part) of worshiping God is gloryfying Him. Most of our learning about the 'Way' should be done in our own time by reading the Bible / attending Bible study groups and so on. Of course the preacher should edify us with regard to the Way but we attend a church service primarily to worship God.

    You are confusing 'New Jerusalem' which is not heaven but comes down from heaven(see Revelation 3:12).

    You know nothing of what I do yet accuse me of 'sitting on my backside' - that is presumption. You are also illogical. Even if I as an Englishman went out and found a cure for cancer how exactly would that entitle me to be proud of England or Britain? I repeat that I have done nothing to attain my nationality therefore have no basis to be proud of that nationality though I am very grateful for it and love my country and fellow countrymen.

    I said that "I bet" many of those posting here haven't seen the inside of church for years ....etc. That is my guess - that's not presumptious but its what I suspect to be true. I do say however that anyone who thinks that this is a Christian Hymn does not know what Christianity is about.

    Posted by thomas on April 10, 2008 1:09 PM
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    William Blake was born in 1757. When he was 12 Arkwright obtained a patent for a spinning frame. By the time he was 30 there were more than 200 mills in England that used Arkwright's frame. Jerusalem was published when Blake was nearly 50. There is absolutely no reason why Blake's reference to "dark Satanic mills" could not have simply been a reference to the cotton mills that existed in large numbers when this poem was published.
    Posted by Peter on April 10, 2008 1:06 PM
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    What do any of you care?

    You're not likely to ever be in church not to sing it! But even though it has no affect on you whatsoever you still feel entitled to criticise it.

    Do I pass comment about the decor at your favourite golf club? Of course not! Do I financially support any of your activities, no, so I have no say in them or how they're conducted, so why do you feel you should in mine? The thinking in this country is so inconsistent!

    Is this story even news worthy?

    Plus the whole point of singing a hymn is to glorify God and encourage the congregation's faith, so how does singing about something totally unrelated achieve that aim?????

    It'd be like singing along to DJ Sammy "Heaven" at a funeral simply because it has some vague association!

    Patriotism is all well and good but you don't attend the Sunday service at your local church to do that.
    Posted by Nathan on April 10, 2008 1:05 PM
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    Am I being naive here ? surely god is interested in us all, not just the English (or Mahommetans/ Catholics/ whatever).
    Personally I don't find Jerusalem nationalistic.
    I vow to me my country, now that SHOULD be banned. 'The love that asks no questions' - is certainly not my understanding of love.
    Posted by Graham Turner on April 10, 2008 12:59 PM
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    Jerusalem is a powerful hymn. But can I say that-I
    was born in Glasgow! And even better I am a Jew.
    Jerusalem the capital of Israel when you walk its
    streets -the feelings of being there that's
    something else.A good movie that gives you a
    different perspective on Israel is "Walk on Water".

    Florida Resident for 15 years.
    Posted by Josef Freeman on April 10, 2008 12:49 PM
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    The man is an idiot and those who support him
    need certifying too.This green and pleasant land
    pay his wages!! Banning a much loved hymn is very
    UN Christian. Somebody please knock him off the
    Posted by D Williamson on April 10, 2008 12:43 PM
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    William Blake is spinning in his grave... too nationalist? Is our fair nation to have no identity then? Or are we to subsume the identities of the nations whose migrants we home? This is ridiculous.
    Posted by David B on April 10, 2008 12:42 PM
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    This does not surprise me;when I was still teaching at a Church of England primary,we needed a new hymn book and the staff made several choices to offer to the governing body of which the Chairman was the local vicar.Our choices were rejected by said Vicar on the grounds that they contained too many Christian hymns.A Muslem parent protested that it was what one would expect in a church school to no avail.
    As a regular communicant,I tire of changes to"modernize"services in order to attract the"yoof" into church.All these modern translations to the Prayer Book and Bible have done is alienate the regulars without replacing them with younger memebers.Clergy who long for a career in politics should get out and make room for those who wish to spread Christ`s message of salvation.
    Posted by Sue on April 10, 2008 12:38 PM
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    The WI must be having a real problem.
    Posted by Margaret Walker Jacobson on April 10, 2008 12:30 PM
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    are none christians in the congregation complaining about the words. we need more not less nationalism
    Posted by david clayton on April 10, 2008 12:23 PM
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    God is nowhere mentioned in the Book of Esther - I wonder if that's banned at the Cathedral, too.
    Posted by Miv Tucker on April 10, 2008 12:17 PM
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    Posted by Barb Miller on April 10, 2008 12:14 PM
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    So does that mean that the church of ENGLAND is going to change its name because its too nationalistic?
    Posted by Chris, Derby on April 10, 2008 12:13 PM
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    Isn't the Anglican communion known as the Church of England?
    Posted by John Holland on April 10, 2008 12:08 PM
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    Jerusalem is a hymn about Socialism in Britian it neither praises God or England. This man is an idiot who just wants to make a headline.
    Posted by james lacey on April 10, 2008 12:00 PM
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    Christianity is one of the most "ethnic" of religions.You have the Coptic Church, any number of Orthodox churches with the name of their nation or people- Greek, Serbian, Russian. Then there is the Roman Catholic Church which may claim to be somewhat "universal" as the name implies but is rooted in Rome with a Latin liturgy in the past. Then we had the Reformation and Lutherans which spread through the German domains and other Protestant denominations, and in England the Church of England- a most unique hybrid construction developed after Henry VIII decided he would not defer to the Pope in Rome when the decisions became unfavourable. The Church of England begot the Methodist/Wesleyan tradition, and so it continues now with Evangelicals and all sorts of groups. So the Church of England is a very English establishment, and shows that it's really in step with the times by making fatuous and meaningless decisions which annoy its followers and bemuse outsiders, so it's a good analogue of the nation today. As someone once said "The good thing about the C of E is you can believe anything you like and still belong to it" - but don't - now try and sing a harmless paean to England! Who knows perhaps there's a chance that "Gott strafe England". I think "He" is far more likely to rub his head in bewilderment over what makes the C of E tick- I am sure it "passes his understanding".
    Posted by Nick R on April 10, 2008 11:53 AM
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    Thomas on April 10, 2008 11:14 AM

    I think it is you Thomas who do not understand Christianity - the church is not a place to 'glorify' Jesus, it is a place to 'show us the way' as Jesus did. And the way is to heaven. Jerusalem is an old term for heaven.

    Secondly, you're not proud of being 'British' because you have done nothing to be British. Well, may I suggest you get off your 'selfish' backside, and do something for your country then. And you could start by helping to engender a sense of unity and uphold our 'values'.

    And lastly, your presumption of other people's knowledge and desires as being as negative as your own - is sheer arrogance.
    Posted by Miranda on April 10, 2008 11:52 AM
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    The "dark satanic mills" was Blake's damning phrase for the church, whose prejudices were in his view stifling true belief. It has nothing to do with the industrial revolution. But this may be why the ban has been imposed....
    Posted by Mark on April 10, 2008 11:50 AM
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    Too nationalistic - that's debatable.

    Nationalistic - certainly - and what's wrong with that?

    Nations - we are one aren't we? - need all manner of artifices to maintain identity. Jerusalem is one of ours. Britain we are and Britain we should remain using any artifice necessary to remind us, and others of that, of our history and the sacrifices that have ben made in our formation.

    Should it be banned - give me a break!
    Posted by Emil on April 10, 2008 11:48 AM
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    Banned because god isnt mentioned .God who is God anyway has anybody ever met him.These self opinionated priests get right up my nose.They know how to spoil someones funeraL/wedding.thank goodness there are independant churches out there.
    Posted by terry tilsley on April 10, 2008 11:45 AM
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    And they wonder why people are deserting the church in droves!!
    This ranks alongside the vicar who would not allow the word "dad" on a gravestone.
    Posted by Keith Wilson on April 10, 2008 11:42 AM
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    One more step in the strange suicide of the Church of England. The next step will be to sing or chant Muslim songs in the name of ecumenism. Are these people determined to hand over organised religion in this country to the aliens? Stay out of politics and deliver religion. How many people would pick this hymn as their favourite if given the choice? Most, I should think.
    Posted by David Gardiner on April 10, 2008 11:42 AM
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    Oh God (an Englishman?), I simply give up. Are the people of England EVER going to be allowed to keep ANY of our culture? Is nothing 'up for grabs' of villification and redefinition by the boys from the PC Gestapo? Jerusalem, along with 'I vow to thee my country' have been voted the two most popular hymns in England - and hey, guess what? 'I vow to thee my Country' has also been banned - this time by the Bishop of Hulme, the Rt Rev Stephen Lowe.

    These meddling priests, these PC obsessives are so out of touch with the people of England, it just defies logic. In recent polls, 78% of English people said they wanted 'Jerusalem' as England's national anthem (something else we are not allowed to have - probably in case an English anthem is deemed to be too nationalistic)....

    These people will not be happy until England is wiped from the map - they are a disgrace to their country.
    Posted by Steve Garrett on April 10, 2008 11:38 AM
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    Political correctness and theological liberalism at their worse. I'm not surprised about this because we've come to expect this sort of thing from the present Dean at Southwalk.

    A disgraceful decision. I shall certainly have Jersualem at my funeral!
    Posted by The Revd L S Kenyon on April 10, 2008 11:38 AM
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    Whilst I agree that it is a powerfull hymn, to have a "national" hymn entitled with the name of an overseas City seems a bit odd.

    Even Flanders & Swann the comedian musical act of the 1940's to 60's observed it in one of their presentations:

    "England doesn't really have a national song The Welsh and the Scots have their own songs; what have we [the English] got: Jerusalem!
    And what with the Americans forecasting OUR weather...."

    They had a point and it does seem odd that we should cite an overseas City in the title of what is supposed to be an anthem for this Country [England].

    Posted by Chris Richards on April 10, 2008 11:31 AM
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    It is little wonder that the Church of England is losing congregations and supoort. The higher echelons of the clergy, from the Archbishop of Canterbury down, seem to live in another universe totally divorced from the realities, needs and opinions of the general public. The Dean of Southwark should retire forthwith and go and live on some deserted island where he can spout this drivel to his heart's content with no-one else having to suffer it.
    Posted by Dave S on April 10, 2008 11:27 AM
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    One cannot blame some little churchman, nor all the churchmen, nor their leader; blame Saxbe-Colberg, who may have to be eliminted or replaced.
    Posted by Xeno77777 on April 10, 2008 11:24 AM
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    I always thought of Jesus as the Worlds first Socialist and Blakes words as being Socialist in nature.
    Obviously I got it all wrong....silly me!
    Posted by ramjam on April 10, 2008 11:22 AM
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    well quite frankly this isnt surprising in the slightest.
    my only worry is that we English as a society are far to apathetic to actually do anything about it, 'as long as it doesnt come charging through my living room im not bothered' attitudes and all that. its going to be too late by the time we act, i fear my anglo-saxon name will soon be outlawed and branded offensive to 'minorities'...
    Posted by clowns_totheleft_jokers_totheright on April 10, 2008 11:22 AM
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    How ironic that a 'hymn' that is in no way Christian causes such an outcry when it is banned from being sung in a church which is supposed to have meetings gloryifying the risen Son of God who died to save mankind from eternal torment. Those people who want to sing this 'hymn' can form choirs and do so can't they? But of course they won't because its not that important to them. They just want to sound off. Christianity has nothing to do with national pride - very far from it. I'm British born and bred and so is my family for hundreds of years and I dearly love Britain (Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland) but I'm not proud of being British or English or whatever because I did nothing to be British - I was born of British parents (my Dad fought in the 2nd world war and as a result hated any form of nationalism). What's to be proud of? I hugely admire many of the things that once made Britain great (and it was once truly great) but proud? I did nothing to contribute to GB's greatness and I did nothing to be British although despite the dismantling of so many freedoms and rights under T. Blair I'm glad to be a British citizen. I am no fan of the CofE but this is a good decision. A Christian place of worship is no place for nationalism and I bet that many who deplore the dropping of this song in this church haven't seen the inside of a church for years and probably have no idea what Christianity actually is.
    Posted by Thomas (but no doubter) on April 10, 2008 11:14 AM
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    'And did those boots in modern days,
    Build over England's pastures green?
    And did the Dean of Southwark say,
    'Jerusalem' should not be seen?
    And did the Council tax divine
    Spread forth upon our crowded towns?
    And was Blair's Cool Britannia builded here?
    In EU's regions (minus Crown).

    Destroy the national database!
    Get rid of PC quangos all!
    Declare MPs a big disgrace!
    And fly our flag from our town halls!
    We won't be told what we can say,
    Nor shall we let our hymns be banned,
    Til we have brought our freedom back
    To England's green and (diverse) land.'
    Posted by SP on April 10, 2008 11:07 AM
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    I always thought Jerusalem was contrasting the "corrupt" reality of a modernising Britain with the religious ideal of a pastoral, Christian country where the will of man is entirely devoted to the will of God instead of earthly interests.

    Religious, certainly, but not nationalistic. William Blake was as religious as they come, although he did see the organised church as a vehicle for man's aggrandisement rather than God's.

    Even as an atheist I can see how this decision has proved Blake right.

    Posted by Steve on April 10, 2008 11:07 AM
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    Why do people in their millions watch/attend the Last Night of the Proms?
    It is practically the last place left where we CAN freely sing this beautiful hymn with its exquisite poetry and rousing anthem??
    But for how much longer?

    Posted by Angie on April 10, 2008 11:07 AM
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    PATHETIC! No doubt it will be replaced with songs
    about Mecca.
    Posted by roy race on April 10, 2008 11:04 AM
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    Has Colin Slee consulted God about this?

    Banning music!! Is that really how the church now interprets God's idea of free will?
    Posted by An Englishwoman on April 10, 2008 10:53 AM
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    The inference from the Dean appears to be that there is something wrong with being "Nationalistic"
    Posted by Steve Culley on April 10, 2008 10:49 AM
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    Could I make two points? "Was Jerusalem builded here?" The dark
    Satanic mills were here when Jesus
    and uncle Joseph -allegedly-
    visited England (as it then wasn't).The DSM's are not cotton mills, Lambeth paper mills or even steel mills -which weren't around
    until Blake was dead thirty years.
    The only structures around at the
    time - especially in the south-west-
    were the great stone circles, Ave-
    bury, Stonehenge, etc. So, circle of
    stone, round stone, mill-stone, mill.
    And it rhymes with hills - and scans.
    (2)I don't know what they teach them in vicar school these days, but this "jingoistic" Blake was also charged with sedition for opposing
    a war.

    Posted by Tony Painter on April 10, 2008 10:45 AM
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    The church was once part of our identity; now it is colluding in that identity's dissolution. No wonder that Private Eye parodied Tony Blair as an Anglican vicar, the perfect portmanteau for everything we knew and felt about that hollow man. Many if not most clergy are still decent people but they are merely treading water after the ship of the church has sunk.
    Posted by Despairing patriot on April 10, 2008 10:44 AM
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    Because of Glorious Lanfranc and Robert Grossteste; the English Speakers have saved the world and been the World's Greatest Christian followers of Jesus. To build a New Jerusalem was the aime of America from the beginning, as laid out by Jacques LaMoyne, who came to England to join up with Sir Walter Raleigh, ispire Roanoak Colony and Jamestown Colonoy, then all America to build the New Jerusalem. To Build The New Jerusalem is a sign of Christian Vigor; to denigate this great ideal, is a sign of Baal and Neo-POlatonism. All Europeans came from Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) bringing their religion with them (that of Baal, but constantly changing its dress, trappings, and names. In fear of being indicted for Impiety, as was Socrates by the Euro-Baals, Plato made use of Neo-Platonism (an abstract version of the religion of Baal) in a very limited, very controlled manner, to appease them and save himself from the fate of Socrates. Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Egypt, was the first writer to use Neo-Platonism extenively, througout his "Works of Philo," which were imitated for Euro-Pagans by Plotinus, imitated by Emmanuel Swedenburg, who was plagarized by Emmanuel Kant. Neo-Platonism basis is the Irrational Allergorical Method, which uses anything to "prove" anything else, having abandoned rationality has no means of resolving the inevitable disputes that arise, but first must shun until ready to launch violent suprise attacks,such as 9/11, the Huguenot Holocaust, the Jewish Holocaust, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, the Rwanda Massacrae, and on and on, until God,Jesus, and Mankind Wipe Neo-Platonism and Baal from the face of the earth.
    Posted by Xeno77777 on April 10, 2008 10:42 AM
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    It is almost comical that a Dean in the Church of England could ban Blake's hymn because it is too 'nationalistic'. The CoE was founded as a national church. The English monarch is its head. It is the people's favourite. It is not even really nationalistic - it simply describes England as a green and pleasant place despoiled by the industrial revolution. Maybe what is upsetting the Dean is that his flock sings the hymn with too much fervour, perhaps with special emphasis on the word 'England'? As Dr Starkey has remarked, love of one's country is now the 'love that dare not speak its name'if you happen to be English. I suggest that the Dean attends one of Dr Starkey's lectures and is then burnt at the stake. Alternatively, his sins can be forgiven if the Cathedral flies the flag of St George on 23 April.
    Posted by Ian Campbell on April 10, 2008 10:38 AM
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    bring me my bow of burning gold,
    bring me my arrows of desire,
    bring me my spear, oh, clouds unfold
    bring me my chariot of fire,

    I will not flinch from mental fight,
    nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
    till we have built, Afghanistan,
    in England's green and PC land.

    ........thank you

    Posted by simon diable on April 10, 2008 10:33 AM
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    I arrived from Ulster in the mid 1950's and one of the first hymns I sang at primary school was Jerusalam,it epitomized England for me and being british, why should we be ashamed of our heritage it is a lovely simple christian hymn which reminds me of my childhood.
    Posted by Isabella McCrory on April 10, 2008 10:33 AM
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    We really have now reached the bottom of the pit of political and spiritual correctness. How soon before the Dean bans church bells because they were not used in Christ's day?

    Instead of banning Jerusalem, we should ban Dean of Southwark.

    The Dean of all people should know you don't encourage Christianity by eroding the fundamentals of modern Christian worship.

    When will this PC stupidity stop?
    Posted by jim barin on April 10, 2008 10:32 AM
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    This kind of headline makes me sad. I wouldn't call myself a Christian in any shape or form but singing this song at weddings or at the rugby brings a lump to my throat. It should be England's Anthem.
    Posted by Steve on April 10, 2008 10:31 AM
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    THe Church of England must changeits name...far too nationalistic.
    Posted by Slee of e on April 10, 2008 10:27 AM
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    Whether or not the words of "Jerusalem" praise God directly or not, the fact that one is in God's house singing it is surely a form of worship. I remember when I was a CO in the Army in the late 80s I had difficulty getting the Padre to accept "Onward Christian Soldiers" to be sung on Church parade. Very odd.
    Posted by Old Sweat on April 10, 2008 10:27 AM
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    One more argument for the overdue liberation of England - our own parliament and the disestablishment of the anti-English CofE. Oh, and the peaceful repatriation of Scottish Labour to their beautiful homeland. With the help of the SNP all this is possible.
    Posted by Stephen on April 10, 2008 10:23 AM
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    If Jesus' feet did indeed walk into any church anywhere on earth he would not recognise the place as having anything to do with his teachings. Those poncy lads wafting around in brocade would mystify him. All religion, and not just Christianity, is but a male-dominated way of subjugating women. Every time I see some old bearded lad in a robe with a finger raised I lose interest fast.
    Posted by Liz Davies on April 10, 2008 10:18 AM
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    William the Comquer put Lanfranc as Archbishop of Canterbury; Lanfranc was the most Subtle Man In Europe (the most intelligent:) this led to Robert Grossteste who began the recovery of Aristotle. These were Britians Greatest Churchmen. Britian needs a New Lanfranc and a New Robrt Grossteste; for today's churchmen, Britain needs a good supply of Hemp Rope to try these Emmanjuel Knatist-Communist Pirates, for Piiracy by Stealth, and Hang Every One. Nearly All,if not All British Seminaries teach Imperial German War Propaganda, the Graf-Wellhousen Thesis as true. Right After the German Victory in the 180 Franco Prussian War, the German Professors began the Planning a German World War of World Conquest. The Graf-Wellhousen Lie, claims that Mose did not write the Torah/Pentatuch/Five Books of Moses, that priests and scribes did over hundreds of years; therefore the Torah is a Lie, there is No God, and that German Christians need not hesitate to kill fellow Christians on Germany's Road to World Conquest. By Accepting and Teaching this High Treason, today's British Church has committed High Treason, justifying the Hemp Rope Solution. See Ludwig von Mises book, Omnipotent Government" as per the German Professor Piracy Conspiracy, which is still ongoing today, for which NATO needs to use a Hemp Rope Solution. The US Army used to, and still may, train a class of 10 Hangmen every too years, to impose the solution on the German Professors Students, in case of WWIII. But the German Professors, who spend half their PhD. studys in Emmanuel Kant's Neo-Platonism, are still busy at their World Trason To All Decent Mankind. Most Western Philosophy Deparments, are devoted to Emmanuel Kant, as is the Catholic Church, which has been taken over by the former Nazi Soldiers, whose seminaries have not taught the Official Catholic Philosopher, Saint Thomas Aquinas, since the mid 1960's; Emmanuel Kant plararized Emmanuel Swedenborg's Heavely Secrets (available online at the Swedenborgian Church of Baltimore) , for Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Kant justified the very ugly Prussian Bureaucratized Military Dictatorship, and the US Slavers who restarted Harvard and Yale, brought over Kant's followers hoping one would juistify their very ugly, but profitable slavery. John C. Calhoun did, by Slandering Blacks as Kant's Radical Evil. After Sherman killed Kant-Calhoun's Southern followers, the ir Northern followers renamed the doctrine Social Darwinism, and epanded it to include all persons of all races below the Super Rich-a net worth of 50 million dollars as of 1989-90.
    Posted by Xeno77777 on April 10, 2008 10:15 AM
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    This, along with everything else that we cannot do in our "own" country, is just pathetic. As has been commented before, let's stand up and say what we want to do - not what we are told to. Throw all these t*****s out
    Posted by greyghost on April 10, 2008 10:14 AM
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    Blake certainly hated the organised christian Church, its hypocrisy and lack of contact with the people. And we can see why. Doubtless the Dean would prefer a reading from the Koran instead.
    Posted by John Ledbury on April 10, 2008 10:11 AM
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    The tide is beginning to turn against political correctness. Oscar Wilde said, 'Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern, one is apt to grow old-fashioned quite suddenly.' This could have been written to describe the Church of England as it now is.
    Posted by Brenda on April 10, 2008 10:08 AM
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    What next - banning hymns because they may offend other faiths? (Oh no - I might have just given the Church of England another PC idea...)

    P.S. The Flower of Scotland song, sung by nationalistic Scotsmen at rugby matches reminds us of the English King Edward's failure in battle - hence glorifying Scottish nationalism in a conflict scenario. What's the betting the PC brigade (infiltrating the Sports Council?) will try to ban that next?
    Yes, we are no dount a laughing stock in the eyes of the rest of the world. It is so cringingly embarrassing that not only decisions like these are made in the first place, but that Britson actually accept it despite the odd whinge among themselves from time to time.
    We are so passive! I think it's time to change.
    Posted by Rambling Rose on April 10, 2008 10:02 AM
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    It has to be admitted that the reference, in this hymn, to "dark, Satanic mills" was not very well researched. The implication is that the stone of which the mills were constructed turned black through smoke pollution. Not true, actually: the stone in question, "millstone grit", has an iron content which, in layman's language, "rusts". Visitors to Yorkshire can verify this for themelves by viewing the Cow & Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor (Rombalds Moor on the map). These rocks are in open moorland but have been blackened by natural chemical processes.
    Posted by Edmund Burke on April 10, 2008 10:00 AM
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    The Church of England is in big trouble and this is a good example of why it is, I don’t think anybody takes it seriously anymore. It is time for the CofE to start looking at what the population of this country really needs and not what some loonies in the CofE want. There are huge social issues today which the CofE is just not addressing such as marital breakdown, poverty etc. Wake up CofE and get a grip!
    Posted by Gavin on April 10, 2008 9:59 AM
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    Jerusalem is a wonderful hymn. The "glory to god" is in the spiritual feeling the hymn generates and not the words themselves. Yet another case of a loony Christian bending over backwards not to offend.

    Political Correctness...BAH!!!
    Posted by harry fredericks on April 10, 2008 9:59 AM
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    Surely, in "satanic mills" Blake was
    referring to the universities (in those days, only Oxford and Cambridge, which were still essentially church-based institutions) and the Church. 'Nuff said?
    Posted by Harold Pinker on April 10, 2008 9:57 AM
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    I don't take too seriously anything said by someone who believes in fairy tales.
    Posted by Etienne Survet, Rouen on April 10, 2008 9:52 AM
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    It is ironic that Southwark Cathedral should ban 'Jerusalem' as Blake lived just down the road in Lambeth and the satanic mills in his poem are thought to have been in the area, near the Thames, not in the traditionally considered more northerly areas of England's industrial development. As a local poet, genius and inspiration, the Dean of Southwark ought to be celebrating Blake and his works. 'Jerusalem' is loved as a hymn and has acted as a route to relgious feeling and spirituality for so long, it is churlish and wrong-headed to ban it. The sentiments expressed are not nationalistic, they may be patriotic but they are primarily spiritual. I would like to see it as the English national anthem-our British one speaks of 'rebellious Scots' which hardly helps UK unity- and why shouldn't we have an uplifting, inspiring, spiritual song of our own? Get a life, Colin Slee- if you can't recognise a wonderful, uplifting message of religious feeling in this materialistic age, you have no business anywhere near a church.
    Posted by Joy on April 10, 2008 9:51 AM
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    I should have clarified in my previous posting (Point of View 09:32) that the cabinet minister's quote was saying that most ministers don't agree with the Established Church OR the Monarchy - and they plan to water them down by stealth so people don't notice as much than if they just broke the link boldly.

    This is not just a theory - this is a fact. For all you patriots out there, BE VERY WORRIED. Better still, START CAMPAIGNING/HIGHLIGHTING THE ISSUE - GET IT OUT INTO THE OPEN AND CONTINUE TO SAY/SING WHATEVER YOU WANT TO. This government (formerly known as 'Her Majesty's Government) should not get away with such underhanded treachery. Oh, they plan to abolish the law of treason too - watch this space.
    Posted by Point of View on April 10, 2008 9:50 AM
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    Some of these church leaders simply do not understand metaphor.
    Posted by Mary Crawford on April 10, 2008 9:45 AM
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    Most of the comments I have read so far demonstrate how most people loath and detest political correctness.But in the upper reaches of those in power both politically and in the Church of England,being more,and being seen to be more,PC than the next guy is an indespensible neccessity in career progression.So why are you guys out there so surprised by this when it rears its very ugly head?Don`t forget YOU voted for it.
    Posted by Norman on April 10, 2008 9:44 AM
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    The Dean of Southwark Cathedral has made England a LAUGHING STOCK in the eyes of the rest of the world!
    Posted by S.Petersen on April 10, 2008 9:42 AM
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    Nice song - but worship of God? No! A good call by the Dean
    Posted by Chris on April 10, 2008 9:40 AM
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    By banning this well loved hymn from his church, the Dean of Southwark Cathedral has removed the people's freedom of choice to choose this hymn. What moral right has he to do that?

    I'd like to have seen St Paul's Cathedral trying to tell Princess Diana she couldn't choose 'I Vow to Thee My Country' (her favourite hymn) for her wedding!
    Posted by SD on April 10, 2008 9:38 AM
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    I was wondering the other day, what can they pick on next.
    It may be that Blake was having a go at the church. but people like it. OOPS! thats enough enjoyment folks.
    Posted by F. and U. Adenufyet on April 10, 2008 9:36 AM
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    Keith Manton, I entirely agree with you. I left England for France in the late sixties, more by accident than design, and for the next ten years or so loved going back home. Not any more. Not at all. My retirement is being spent in France. The Church of England I remember from the country parishes of my childhood in the late forties and fifties brought us a gentle, uncomplicated but totally moral religion which we could all accept and try to follow. I liked the services and I loved the hymns and still do. That England has gone. It has been consciously destroyed by jacks-in-office avid for personal power of any sort, gleefully banning everything "for our own good" especially if it is something, like "Jerusalem", which we innocently enjoy. Cromwellian? Orwellian? Let's just bring back Wellington, and his boot!
    Posted by Vic on April 10, 2008 9:35 AM
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    I see that most of the posters above seem to love England.
    Love God Love your Nation... shame on you.

    The English Democrats Party is of like mind and has adopted this glorious and soul raising anthem as its own.
    So what are we waiting for ?
    The second coming ?

    Let us hope there is no Common Purpose to this strangulation of England.
    Posted by Riddiford of England on April 10, 2008 9:34 AM
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    The HYMN, use to be about pride in our country, When we heard it, it made us proud to be british.

    I used to be proud to be called british, but to other countries we are a joke a lapdog on europe of america, we have turned into a parody of ourselves. There is No national pride, which if i recall is linked to faith, faith in the country.

    So Mr Slee (sounds like a dickensian mill owner those same dark satanic mills), You dont want to play a son that the majority of people love its uplifting, its beautiful, it makes people feel a sense of community.

    But isnt that what the church should be doing, bringing people together. Religion is corrupt, its not about faith or beleif its about money. and MR Slee. you are destroying the very church you work for. I dont beleive as such but such a song makes me feel connected to a higher power, a sense of community.
    Posted by martin williams on April 10, 2008 9:33 AM
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    A Cabinet Advisor said recently:

    'Like the Monarchy, most ministers don't agree with the idea of the Established Church, but it's not worth the candle to break the link. It's better to water it down slowly by stealth.'

    So you see? This is all part and parcel of it, and the Dean of Southwark ought to be ashamed.
    Posted by Point of View on April 10, 2008 9:32 AM
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    I can sympathise with much of the annoyance displayed here, yet it strikes me that there is a bit of confusion over the issues. As a national anthem, Jerusalem would be great. As a piece of music, unarguably magnificent. Yet as a hymn, it is hard to argue that it does "glorify God." While being great to sing, are those the best words to sing in a service designed to proclaim truths about the character and work of God? Compare them to other classic hymns, such as "Amazing Grace", or "Guide me o thou great Jehovah." Great music, annunciating great truths.

    No one, least of all the Dean I would imagine, would dispute the musical merits of Jerusalem. It is merely it's content that renders it unsuitable for a church service; a theological, not musical or aesthetic, problem.
    Posted by Hamish on April 10, 2008 9:32 AM
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    Onward Christian Soldiers will be next then if hymns are going to be vetoed on their "too militaristic" content? Ohhh, and maybe the Bible itself as Christian propaganda! What a country we have ended up with - I'll be glad to pop my clogs sooner rather than later the way the country is.
    Posted by Sue Southern on April 10, 2008 9:30 AM
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    Of course it is nationalistic, but then so is The Church of ENGLAND.
    Posted by nick smith on April 10, 2008 9:29 AM
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    If we build Jerusalem here in Englands green and promised land, please be advised that the PLO, Fatah, Hamas and the 'Palestinian' people claim that as their capital. Yet more immigration and free passports to hand out.

    Blakes hymn is fine if you just hum the tune and ingore the significance and meaning of the words. There is little if any biblical truth in the hymn, more heresy.
    Posted by Alan on April 10, 2008 9:27 AM
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    Who cares what a few bible bashers do? Sensible people today have better things to do than worship some god who does not exist. I am more horrified with the fact that Jerusalem was used as a football anthem!!!! football??? the hooligans who usually embarass us whilst abroad! Every morning in school assembly,before WRI meetings, last night of the proms and before rugby or cricket matches; this would be the time for such a song. If the only people singing it are the football trouble makers then this country has sunk to an all time low!
    Posted by N-I-C-K on April 10, 2008 9:27 AM
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    Does it really matter, we will all be muclims before long,
    People like him will just make it happen a bit sooner
    Posted by Colin, Boyles on April 10, 2008 9:26 AM
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    Why doesn't he go get a life.
    It's no wonder that people are leaving the church when there are people like him running them. I would have thought he could have found something better to do with his time such as lighting a few candles.
    Posted by josh on April 10, 2008 9:25 AM
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    What is wrong with being nationalistic? Is it a sin to be proud of your country, of your ancestors? And, if so, is it then wrong to have a National Anthem? Our national identity is vital to us unless, of courses, we want to become little Europeans.
    Personally, after many years involvement in making music in Church, I am not keen on the 'Shake a leg for Jesus' type of music but, ban it? Not for a moment.
    This particular piece of musc is inspirational; it was adapted and modified for the World Cup of Rugby - that good. How many thousands of children have sung it at the top of their voices - because it made them feel good, part of a society, a community?
    If music makes people happy through involvement in singing, playing, dancing or whatever, why tinker?
    Posted by steve on April 10, 2008 9:23 AM
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    The Church of England should be renamed the Church against England.

    So far, since Welshman Rowan Williams became its leader, it has tried to replace St George, replace the Cross of St George and suggested sharia law has a place in England.

    With support from Judas English Bishops the Church against England has done everything possible to join our Celt-led government in expunging England.
    Posted by Stephen Gash on April 10, 2008 9:21 AM
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    I use this hymn quite often; it refers to Jesus and the tradition that he may have set foot in England. It does not matter whether he did or not, the sentiment of the words are that England becomes God's kingdom - surely a noble sentiment that even the Dean should also strive for?

    And I wondered how long this debate would last before the bigots came out! Any chance for so-called Christians to bash gays! This debate is not about that. And the quote: 'I will pray that his misunderstanding in this as in other matters of biblical imterpretation does not prevent him being humble enough to acknowledge the truth and inerrancy of scripture' posted by Posted by Robin Ware on April 9, 2008 11:49 PM, I wonder if Robin still follows all the strict laws of the OT if they are inerrant, and I wonder if he has ever read Matthew 7?

    Posted by Martyn Tackley on April 10, 2008 9:20 AM
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    Methinks Colin Slee is an ignorant and bigoted man who does not know the history behind Jeresulem, and has not bothered to find out.

    Jerusalem was the Church's word for heaven. Blake was questioning (in the first verse, all the lines are questions) the legend that Jesus visited Britain. The second verse promotes the building of heaven in England, alluding to Jesus' second coming. How does that not glorify God?

    Secondly, Jeresulam was turned into a hymn in 1916 by Hubert Parry to uplift, unite and remind the people of Britain why they were fighting and dying in the trenches of France; what the SACRIFICE was for. To build heaven in our land.

    Ever since Jeresulam has united and uplifted, Labour have used it, Conservatives have used it; the WI use it, rugby fans use it. Only the voice of evil that wants to turn England into hell, would want to close down the very positive and human feelings it evokes.

    So, 'bring us our bow of burning gold' - we've all got a job to do to rid us of this (and other) troublesome priest. The sacrifice our forefathers made must not be wasted. Jerusalam is the English national anthem.
    Posted by Miranda on April 10, 2008 9:19 AM
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    So it is nationalistic. So what? We should have more nationalistic songs in this country, for too long now we have been invaded by all manner of nationalities most of whom come here to feaqther their own nests at the expense of the british taxpayer. if people who come here are offende then they know what to do
    Posted by Pigeon on April 10, 2008 9:17 AM
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    Vote with your FEET! Start standing up against these 'Politically Correct' idiots who are hell bent on putting us all into the melting pot of their ambition!
    Posted by Patti on April 10, 2008 9:14 AM
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    This Dean should be "jammed" by the WI: They certainly frightened the ghastly Blair.
    Posted by Richard on April 10, 2008 9:13 AM
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    No wonder protestant church attendance is falling,in the hands of such self satisfied third raters, and band wagon jumper ons.
    Posted by helen on April 10, 2008 9:13 AM
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    The Rev Colin SLEE!!! N
    Anthony Trollope in Barchester Towers portrayed a Rev SLOPE, a handwashing hypocrite who had visions above a capacities and got his cumuppance.
    Charles Dickens produced his Uriah Heep the unctuous.
    So let's see, we have: SLOPE, HEEP and SLEE, interesting illiteration.
    The Queen is the Head of the Church of England does she not have a say?
    Posted by John Bull on April 10, 2008 9:11 AM
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    just another example of the Church determined to drive people away from the the churches in this country, perhaps the best thing to do would be to sack all PC clergy, and replace them with human beings
    Posted by Aurila on April 10, 2008 9:04 AM
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    "Jerusalem" is the de facto English national anthem.

    It should be sung every day in scholls in England.

    The CoE is becoming more irrelevant at each passing moment along with the utterances of some of the priesthood who seem intent on annoying the populace.
    Posted by Jim on April 10, 2008 8:55 AM
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    To judge from these comments there are obviously a good proportion of English people who do not want the country to commit cultural suicide. The question is what are you going to do about it? Surely credit is not the only thing that is coming to crunch time!
    Posted by David Hawk on April 10, 2008 8:52 AM
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    The church is (should be) trying to get more publish to worship. The singing of hymns that people know would be a help.
    Posted by Chris on April 10, 2008 8:51 AM
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    Is he going to ban 'I Vow to thee My Country' too?
    Posted by Rambling Rose on April 10, 2008 8:50 AM
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    "Jerusalem" is the de facto English national anthem.

    It should be sung every day in scholls in England.

    The CoE is becoming more irrelevant at each passing moment along with the utterances of some of the priesthood who seem intent on annoying the populace.
    Posted by Jim on April 10, 2008 8:49 AM
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    Of course we are not allowed to choose our hymns anymore! The 'establishment' has to choose them for us. Does anyone else see the similarity with the communist block becoming more evident? Mind you - at least they were allowed to be proud of their country!
    Posted by Fed up and ready to emmigrate on April 10, 2008 8:48 AM
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    I can't believe that this has become the most important thing the C.O.E. has to discuss.
    I am speechless.
    I am starting to feel that it is the British that are being discriminated against now.
    Posted by C on April 10, 2008 8:48 AM
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    hang on a minute - this hymn means a lot to a great number of people and it is about spreading and encouraging christianity in England. What is wrong with that? Isn't that every English vicar's remit?
    By banning this hymn from his church, the Dean of Southwark is removing people's freedom of choice to choose this hymn. I hope his congregation dwindles. I will certainly never visit the place.

    Posted by Crusader on April 10, 2008 8:46 AM
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    The lunatics are really running the asylum!! What is going wrong with this country. The left-pinko-commie-subversives are really trying to ruin this country. Jerusalem is NOT nationalisitic; it's a beautiful poem that has been set to music that never fails to inspire the heart. For me when everyone is singing their heart out to Jerusalem either in Church, the Proms, or a football ground I can't help but shed a tear at the unity it seems to bring. Southwark is an idiot!
    Posted by John Christie on April 10, 2008 8:42 AM
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    Posted by tim sudbury on April 10, 2008 8:41 AM
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    What would the Last Night at the Proms be without Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory etc. It is one of the most rousing hymns I know, although I also like I vow to thee my country, as did Princess Diana.
    What has happened to my dear England?
    Posted by Margaret Webley on April 10, 2008 8:40 AM
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    Perhaps the Church of England should drop "England" from its name as it is a bit nationalistic....

    The new name... "Church of" is much more inclusive.
    Posted by Natalie Drest on April 10, 2008 8:40 AM
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    I think the Church of ENGLAND is too nationalistic. Isn't it time it lost its special privileges and changed its name to something less obviously in the face of recent immigrants?
    Posted by Adrian on April 10, 2008 8:34 AM
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    When on earth are people who make these stupid rules going to realise that England is important to the English and those who live there.
    A ban such as this is almost beyond belief!
    Posted by Ian on April 10, 2008 8:31 AM
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    Posted by LIONEL G ROBERTS BENNETTO on April 10, 2008 8:30 AM
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    I'm not English and not religious, but find Jerusalem a beautiful piece of music. I'm sure over the last 2 centuries it gave a lot of people joy and did no harm. Why banning it?
    Remember that this is what the Nazis did in Germany: banning 'entartete Kunst', books, songs a bit at a time. Banning art is the sign of a dictatorship. A grown up democracy can take or leave art without banning anything.
    Posted by an exile german on April 10, 2008 8:30 AM
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    Perhaps someone should point out to the Church of ENGLAND where their foundations are.

    What are the timescales for reviewing the name as that too seems nationalistic.

    Suggestion: Church of the politically incorrect Barmy Bishops?

    Posted by Norman on April 10, 2008 8:26 AM
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    Even before the Silly Bishop of Hulme, Stephen Lowe -I simply refuse to call him Rt Revd - in 2004 demanded a ban on one of this country's most popular and moving hymns "I vow to theee my country" the Anglican Church has been demonstrating for all to see its sheer stupidity and total ineptitude. Our national Church is in crisis, the pews are often deserted,questions over gay bishops,women priests and human cloning go unanswered and priests everywhere-including the Archbishop of Canterbury and a large number of his bishops-particularly the totally inept incumbent in Southwark-are proving that Christianity is in the hands of fools and incompetents.

    Like " I Vow to Thee my Country" Jerusalem is far from extolling aggressive jingoism and is written entirely to bring a sense of moral indignation against the working conditions of the Industrial Revolution and to stir up PATRIOTIC-NOT nationalistic - fervour to take the moral high ground and do something positive about the situation.

    It is I believe high time that the Established Church was restructured, priests-especially the Church hierarchy was abolished and that powerful, senior, committed Christian laymen took over and demonstrated to understandably disenchanted Christians and non-Christians that the Church was an institution which allowed the free will which God gave man from the time he emerged from the apes.

    To me anyway, this bunch of miserable, carping joyless senior clerics are doing a great job of turning would-be Christians from the doors and pews of churches throughout Britain. I do hope that they might reflect on this well before they meet their maker.
    Posted by David Woolmer on April 10, 2008 8:24 AM
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    It has been said that Blake was referring to the established church with its dogma and ritual as "these dark Satanic mills", not the industrial mills of the North during the industrial revolution. He saw the 'church' as a controlling and corrupting influence over the people of England, not what Jesus had intended as he demonstrated when he overturned the money changers' tables in the Temple.
    Blake, I've read, was in favour of a 'free church' along the lines of the teachings of Jesus where the word of God was paramount. Jesus condensed the Ten Commandments into two commandments, love God and love your neighbour. Pretty sound philosophy as far as I am concerned. Jesus lived in poverty which contrasts with 'His' church, the Roman Catholic, and the breakaway Anglican Church with their luxuries, pomp, ceremony and expense. These established churches seem to say "Give us your money and you will be saved." Attend church at least once a week and ask God for forgiveness. What you do during the week is your concern but come back next week and God will forgive your sins. Claptrap.
    If indeed Blake was referring to the Church as dark Satanic mills then I can understand why the hymn has been banned, the Church doesn't approve of the reference.
    On the other hand, I feel that Blake's aspirations were for the Jerusalem of the book of Revelation to be built in England, that is, we should turn away from the corruption and become truly Christian in our attitudes.
    Unfortunately it never happened, the corruption has deepened and spread like a cancer.
    For me the hymn Jerusalem has always inspired me since my school days. I just hope that the current trend of banning anything Christian in the UK soon comes to an end.
    P.S. I am a lapsed Christian but still believe that the ways and teachings of Jesus and Buddha take a lot of beating.
    Posted by Des Pear on April 10, 2008 8:24 AM
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    The First Verse Asks Four Questions.
    Each have the same answer.

    Why furore, They would ban Away in a Manger next. Don't listen to the fools who control things these days.
    We should all turn up for the next service and regardless of what the organist plays, we should sing Jerusalem.
    Posted by David Coulter on April 10, 2008 8:20 AM
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    Of course it is, that is the point. It was written for Britons, and should still be sung whenever possible. The Anglican church should know better than to alienate it's own worshippers. No wonder churches are empty ,when instead of attending to matters spiritual clergy start to worry about the words in hymns written many years ago. Who hears them anyway, only Anglicans. Stop all of this nonsense now. Would Muslims change anything about their prayers, I doubt it, and I wouldn't expect them to, it is none of my business. Just as it is nobody's business what we sing in church. Give us our old uplifting hymns, not this modern day pap we seem to get now in church. Better to sing 'Jerusalem' in church rather than hear mobs sing it on the streets. Wake up clergy.
    Posted by sylvia evans on April 10, 2008 8:16 AM
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    More barmy clergy - what's different?
    Posted by Graham King on April 10, 2008 8:13 AM
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    'it takes time to know how the Psalms teach us about Christ and the Trinity who is the focus of our worship.' Jonathon 10/4 at 0130.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understood that the Psalms were part of the Old Testament, composed well before the coming of Christ, and therefore part of the Jewish scripture. As Judaism rejects Jesus as the Messiah, I fail to see how the Psalms teach us anything about Jesus and the Trinity as this isn't a concept recognised in Judaism. If however you are talking about the canticles such as the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittus you might have a point.

    Yes, the psalms are very moving; but to stand in a parish church belting out Jerusalem makes one feel part of the wider Anglican community...yes, Jerusalem may be nationalistic, but it is the Church of ENGLAND after all, and if the C of E wants bums back on seats or pews filled, then more hymns like Jerusalem are necessary, as they are easier to sing than plainsong, or a psalm chant.

    I don't see why Jerusalem isn't a hymn anyway, Blake was an inspired poet, and as for the argument that he wasn't Christian, well, neither was Jesus!
    Posted by RLS on April 10, 2008 8:13 AM
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    Why don't you fight back? Why are you letting them take your culture away? Each and every day, they scrap bits and pieces of british culture. No one will come to your aid this time around, it is up to YOU.
    Posted by The Great Dane on April 10, 2008 8:11 AM
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    How ridiculous! It's not a 'nationalistic' hymn, it's a challenge to Christians to build a Christian society here in England. Hence "I will not cease from mental strife ... till we have built Jerusalem ..."

    If a Dean cannot understand a simple metaphor like that, how on earth can he hope to understand, let alone preach, the far richer, more subtle parables of our Lord?

    What next, banning "Thy will be done, On earth, as it is in heaven"?
    Posted by E Burgess on April 10, 2008 8:07 AM
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    Reason number 94 not to live n Britain any more.
    Posted by Peter Gompertz on April 10, 2008 8:06 AM
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    These days we should surely change the words. Sing about Mecca. Then it could not be banned!
    Posted by Bill on April 10, 2008 8:00 AM
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    Although it is a powerful poem, and the music is fabulous, I can't say that it is a favourite hymn of mine per se. However, those who claim it does not praise God are, like the idiot Bishop (of Manchester?) who claimed that "I vow to thee, my country" is not a suitable hymn.
    In both hymns, the key is in the last verse. In "I vow to thee" the second verse embodies the hope of another country which transcends earthly things - in other words the hope of resurrection to Heaven. In "Jerusalem" it is a pledge to strive to bring Heaven to earth. Although not, of itself, praise of God, it is profoundly Christian in its import. Will Colin Slee next claim that George Herbert was unchristian and ban "Teach me my God and King" because "Who sweeps a room as for thy laws/ Makes that and the action fine?" glorifies domestic service?
    There seems to be some sort of unchallenged assumption that National pride is, of itself, improper. This is crass and ignorant nonsense. Blake was writing to champion social justice and the Christian ideal in 19th Century England, because that was the context in which he wrote. There is nothing wrong with that at all.
    Really, one wishes that the fools who demean themselves and their calling with such nonsense would turn their attention to better subjects, such as most of the utterly meretricious nonsense which passes for Church "music" nowadays and makes the notion of "worship" void by having no worth whatsoever.
    Posted by B. Gus Dikas, Port Moresby on April 10, 2008 7:56 AM
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    This is my wife's favourite hymn and she was overjoyed to find that we were allowed to have it at our wedding - this is despite that fact that she is from an Irish Catholic family and has no great love for England. Jerusalem is in the hymn books and it should not be up to individual clergy to decide what hymns people choose for their special days.
    Posted by Steve Walker on April 10, 2008 7:50 AM
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    I was under the impression that ALL music was written for the glory of God. Silly me!
    Posted by Jim B on April 10, 2008 7:40 AM
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    It should be Englands National Anthem.
    The C of E wonders why people are turning away from the church. I think it is very plain why.

    Posted by Ged for New England on April 10, 2008 7:40 AM
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    Jerusalem should be sung every week in every church and school in the UK.
    Posted by arnold dearing on April 10, 2008 7:20 AM
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    Just another nail in the coffin of a church totally out of touch with the population. Doubtless, the fool from Canterbury will regard this as another achievement. Self respect, another term for nationalism, has been demonised by the left for fifty years. The results are apparent in crime levels, the selfish way in which we too often treat each other, unrestricted immigration, and the contempt expressed for Britain (and England in particular) by many abroad.
    Posted by Tony G on April 10, 2008 7:01 AM
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    In the name of God - what next!!!!!!!! Sack the stupid idiot who has banned this hymn; the man is a lunatic.
    Posted by Roddo on April 10, 2008 6:58 AM
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    Oh England! What are you turning into? What's wrong with being nationalistic? It seems that there's no pride left in being English. Multiculturalism and political correctness are being taken too far. It's very sad to be in another country and watch the disintegration.
    Posted by Don on April 10, 2008 6:56 AM
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    ....of course, it isn't. Whatever are things coming to when we are discouraged to shown nationalism!

    There is nothing better that I like, wherever they are, than to hear the cricket fans accompanied by that trumpet strike up "Jerusalem." Whatever is this country coming to? I shake my head in disbelief sometimes.
    Posted by Milly on April 10, 2008 6:53 AM
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    Poor old England! What a state it must have now reached over there when you cannot even sing the hymn Jerusalem.
    Here in Australia, "Jerusalem" was one of the hymns sung at my father-in-law's and also at my mother-in law's funeral, and it was very moving. The "dark satanic mills" were where they (and myself) were born(Lancashire). No wonder the
    C of E congregations over there are dwindling.
    Posted by Marian on April 10, 2008 6:18 AM
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    Well, if we want to get into the nitty gritty of what is God's law, the whole Christian church is ignoring God's commands.The CoE and RC both treat Sunday as Sabbath ,which the Pope decreed outside of God's coomands.So, I don't see what can be wrong with a very popular hymn, other thsn it isn't PC.Bloody religion - a pox on your house.
    Posted by Tom Bowden on April 10, 2008 6:14 AM
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    This is evidence of a sad loss of judgement by Colin Slee. The suggestion that Mr Slee is a better judge of what is to the glory of God than was William Blake, one of the true geniuses of English letters, would be merely risible if an archaic church hierarchy did not allow him to impose his prejudices on real Christians.
    Posted by Jonathan Wilton on April 10, 2008 6:11 AM
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    Why not ban 'God save the Queen' while we are at it; or 'Scotland the brave' or 'Land of my fathers' for that matter?
    They are all more 'nationalistic' than Jerusalem.

    Posted by Adrian D Evans on April 10, 2008 5:59 AM
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    The words to Jerusalem are praising jesus and Christianity. Yes,they are nationlistic in a sense, but is it not time that the British people were once again proud of their country instead of letting politics and religion block one of the most loved and favorite songs of modern times. I have stood in many Rugby and Foorball arenas and heard this wonderfull song echo to the rafters as English people sing it with pride.
    Posted by Chris Zissler on April 10, 2008 5:51 AM
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    The words to Jerusalem are praising jesus and Christianity. Yes,they are nationlistic in a sense, but is it not time that the British people were once again proud of their country instead of letting politics and religion block one of the most loved and favorite songs of modern times. I have stood in many Rugby and Foorball arenas and heard this wonderfull song echo to the rafters as English people sing it with pride.
    Posted by Chris Zissler on April 10, 2008 5:43 AM
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    Banning the Dean of Southwark would be far more useful...
    Posted by P Stewart on April 10, 2008 4:17 AM
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    If you hadn't read it, you wouldn't believe that there are idiots like this out there would you? '"dark satanic mills" discriminated against people living in the city' - what a load of absolute rubbish - it just goes to show that you can take a peson to theologian college, but you cannot make them think.

    Posted by Henners on April 10, 2008 4:06 AM
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    Silvio Berlusconi wants all judges and lawyers to have mental health exams. What a wonderful idea for the Very Rev Colin Slee. And a few Bishops and Archbishops!

    Posted by Bob Evans on April 10, 2008 3:36 AM
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    Do Moslems ever sing?
    Maybe that is a significant further point of difference with Christian worshipers.
    They certainly appear to be pan-nationalist.
    A little less pc and a tad more fervour is more likely to fill the churches than this claptrap from these religious death-wish 'senior clergy'.
    Posted by John Coyle on April 10, 2008 3:34 AM
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    Great way to drive people even further away from the Church. The clowns that proposed this should be sent on a Alpha course, and pretty d*mned quick too!
    Posted by Michael Grice on April 10, 2008 3:33 AM
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    We have a National Church that won't allow our national hymn to be sung!
    Is it only in England that we have such barking mad clerics? They make the mad mullahs look sensible.
    Blake, drawing from tradition, had a lovely idea of Christ in England.
    And isn't the second verse a total hymn of praise to Heaven?
    This is nothing but a pathetic desire of a second rate socialist to seek his 15 minutes.

    Posted by Steve Grum on April 10, 2008 2:46 AM
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    Yet another example of political correctness taken to the extreme. Change for changes sake. Jerusalem is a beautiful hymn and part of the Christian history and culture of the UK. I am sure it will be replaced with some modern garbage with inane lyrics and an instantly forgettable 3 chord tune. What price progress.
    Posted by James on April 10, 2008 2:44 AM
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    For Heaven's sake - WHATEVER NEXT ??

    This is all too PC to be true.

    Posted by Rosie on April 10, 2008 2:42 AM
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    Ye Gods !!

    It seems that (some of) the clergy are as out of touch with reality as (some of)the judges.
    Posted by Chris Palmer on April 10, 2008 2:29 AM
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    Are we surprised that Church attendances continue to fall if moronic PC clergy are allowed by the Church of England to dilute the British content? Are we so badly educated that we don't understand a reference to dark satanic mills made 200 years ago? Will we have more bland tuneless guitar and plastic keyboard backed drum track accompanying happy clappy crap?
    In my opinion this magnificent Hymn celebrates the mysteries of faith as much as any other. It also is a reminder that the Church is the Church of England.
    Posted by John Jones on April 10, 2008 2:15 AM
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    Once more the politically correct brigade have banned one of the most loved of English hymns.
    Obviously the PC brigade have either not looked at the meaning of the words or Blake's rationale in writing this beautiful piece of poetry.
    Posted by Gordon R Halsey on April 10, 2008 1:54 AM
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    England without the hymn Jerusalem is not England and never will be. Why after decades of English singing their hearts out to this the most emotional and passionate of hymns has someone decided it's not correct to do so. Let the people decide for it is they who sing it best. There is enough of English traditions being scraped because it doesn't fit in with political correctness. Do we the English who have so little left to hold on to have to give up the greatest hymn ever written. Of course the words used two hundred years ago will have a different meaning than today but it doesn't change the fact the English love this hymn. Nobody complained about it decades ago when the church services were over flowing. This hymn stands for England and the Church of England. Has anybody asked the Head of the church of England what her opinion is, I for one would be interested to find out.
    Posted by Cherie Foote on April 10, 2008 1:45 AM
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    It is certainly not a Christian hymn. No real Christian would dream of having it in a Christian service. It is part of an interesting poem with socialist overtones, but nothing to do with Christianity.
    Posted by Terry Hamblin on April 10, 2008 1:41 AM
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    It is sad that anyone thought Jerusalem ever was a hymn! I love it as a song, but not as a hymn. There are lots of other hymns I love too, but would not use to sing God's praise.
    The real debate has always been around whether or not we should restrict the hymnal to contain only the Psalms. Personally, there are many hymns I love especially when sung by the Welsh. But I have to admit that the more I learn from the Psalms the more I understand why they should be exclusively used for worship.
    I understand why others cannot agree with this - it takes time to know how the Psalms teach us about Christ and the Trinity who is the focus of our worship.
    Having said all that - I will always enjoy biblical hymns, but always outside of worship. As for Jerusalem - its just a nice song with a great tune. The Dean is quite right.
    Posted by Jonathan on April 10, 2008 1:30 AM
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    This is splendid news!

    It's great to see more of our clueless clergymen alienating yet more potential church-goers.

    Have they really not grasped the fact that people are turning away from the church in droves because that church and its leaders are so out of touch with mainstream society?

    If they haven't, that's excellent news and we shall soon be spared their judgements about what we do in our everyday lives because they will have become so utterly insignificant as a political or moral force, thanks simply to their lack of numbers :-)

    Thanks Colin Slee et al

    Posted by David on April 10, 2008 1:05 AM
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    God forbid that in England's green and pleasant land we should sing a hymn in praise of our "dark satanic mills" and the redemption of us as human beings. The poor Dean has such a narrow focus. Can he not find it in his little heart to just allow a song of praise to lift our hearts.
    Posted by peter ryan on April 10, 2008 12:48 AM
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    Oh gimme a break...!

    What will they ban next?

    Posted by J.P. Fallon on April 10, 2008 12:44 AM
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    too nationalistic..??
    but really.. who cares what these purveyors of outdated mythology say...??
    it's a catchy enough tune..
    Posted by m hunt on April 10, 2008 12:29 AM
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    60 years ago,I, along with the rest of our school, stood in the school hall on the last day, or maybe day before the last day, of term singing Jerusalem with all our might. It sure had a meaning to us - "tomorrow we will be going home"!!
    My husband sang it during his school assembly and, of course, on Empire Day he tells me.

    Long may it be sung - a great song!
    Posted by Fiona Gray on April 10, 2008 12:25 AM
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    The Dean Of Soutwark is obviously
    a bean ,not a dean, how could he decide to ban this wonderful ENGLISH HYMN. I am saddened by his lack of understanding, maybe he is not worthy of his position, or is it an " anti English" stance? One can only feel sorry for the " indigenous English folk" who live in Southwark.
    Posted by Matthew melbourne on April 10, 2008 12:19 AM
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    It's probably also really offensive to Muslims.....
    Posted by Gilly on April 10, 2008 12:18 AM
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    More lunacy from the Church of England's lefty branch. May it come crashihg down and destroy them all. How dare they have the cheek to ban this most beautiful of hymns on the dishonest pretext that it does not praise God enough. You mean, Dean, it does not praise Political Correctness enough.. Although I am now a Catholic (had enough of the Anglican circus by 1994) I believe I have just found another hymn for my late father's Anglican memorial service. And we shall have To Be a Pilgrim in the old version- my late Classics master's family was told that "hobgoblins and foul fiends" were now "inappropriate" but they insisted. Wake up Britons, Colin Slee not Mohamed B is your Al Qaeda.
    When your own clergy ban your favourite hymns it is not Islam or Catholicism or the Mormon Church to blame.Burn this bastard at the stake like Cranmer.
    Posted by Rhys Goodey on April 10, 2008 12:15 AM
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    Despite its use as a socialist clarion, it remains a very important hymn to many people.

    I'll ask for it in my will, to piss them off.
    Posted by Jake Inbox on April 10, 2008 12:07 AM
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    Jerusalem banned because the words do not praise God? Maybe the words don't praise God, but they do urge Christians to continue the good fight against evil, injustice, etc., and to help improve the lives of those here on this earth, and not just to wait around passively until we join the heavenly kingdom.

    As for Jerusalem being nationalistic, I would say first, so what? and second, what?


    Posted by Susannah2k on April 10, 2008 12:02 AM
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    Of course not. The whole point is that that it is. Just more PC, leftist, nanny state nonsense.
    Posted by Ian on April 9, 2008 11:55 PM
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    If I were a homosexual the Dean of Southwark would doubtless allow me to spout as many unbiblical views as I liked from his pulpit (as he once did for Jeffrey John). However the great principle of old and new testament teaching that the God of Love is also a God of Justice as enshrined in Blake's great poem Milton from which these verses come, is clearly too much for him to stomach. The whole idea of wondering whether Jerusalem could be built in England arose from Blake's Christ inspired opposition to the exploitation of the poor exemplified by the dark, satanic mills. His poem London rightly condemned the church for not fighting for justice.The Old testament imagery employed by Blake in Milton(now known from the tune Jerusalem)is not a nationalist paean at all (in spite of it being used by football fans and the Women's Institute in that way.) Anyone with a basic knowledge of Blake would realsise that his call to fight is to fight against injustice which one would have thought is totally glorifying to God and according to Jesus parable of Dives and Lazarus an extremely important part of God's mission to humankind. No wonder the common people heard him gladly. To ban this christian socialist verse on the grounds given betrays an ignorance which I would have thought the Dean would be keen to dispel. Perhaps he is a Tory or an old type capitalist!I will pray that his misunderstanding in this as in other matters of biblical imterpretation does not prevent him being humble enough to acknowledge the truth and inerrancy of scripture and that the spiritual purpose of Blake's poetry was to lead the people of God into making England one part of God's kingdom that lived up to the tenets of the christian faith rather than relying on the spirit of the age, and that he is able to repent of his errors in opposing pauline teaching on sexual behaviour as well,before too long.
    Posted by Robin Ware on April 9, 2008 11:49 PM
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    This is absolute nonsense, and the Archbishop of Canterbury should intervene.

    It is a quintessentially English hymn. Furthermore, a hymn or any form of expression need not directly reference God in order to praise Him.

    What's next? Will the children's hymn "I've got the joy down in my heart" be next on the ban list?

    It's a slippery slope indeed. What's wrong with singing the praises of England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland? Does not the church teach us that God made them? And according to the church is not everything God made good?

    Sorry, the bishop's arguments don't hold water. Censorship of this nature has no place in the Church of England.
    Posted by Andrew Bowles on April 9, 2008 11:47 PM
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    Ohmigod, Jerusalem was our "favourite" hymn sung at school assembly back in the "dark ages"! We laughed over the high notes, which no one could hit without voices cracking and loved it because of the swell of nationalistic pride it imbued! Too bad you guys are hell bent on giving away your country - here's another nail in the coffin of Brittania - way to go!
    Posted by Claire in Toronto on April 9, 2008 11:42 PM
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    Nationalistic? Certainly not. William Blake's
    composition and agenda was totally socialist - and
    on those grounds alone the hymn is suspect!
    Posted by Tim Lewis on April 9, 2008 11:39 PM
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    Nationalistic? What next? Burning the Union Flag on the steps of Buckingham Palace?
    Posted by A Thorn on April 9, 2008 11:39 PM
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    Whats next? the UK will not allow the natioanl anthem to be sung.Where is the UK going.It is losing its national indentiy, because of these stupid acts. The Deans decision is his own personal opinion, not refective of the true majority,whom he should be repersenting, no wonder church going is at a such a low level.
    Posted by Andy wade on April 9, 2008 11:25 PM
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    For once, I think a high ranking Anglican has got it right. This hymn is one of a number found in hymn books which may be musically fine and belong in the Albert Hall, but ought not to be used in Christian worship. I hope that he is consistent and kicks out the pagan "the holly and the ivy" at Christmas, as well as the one with the angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold, which is about angels, not about God.

    There's no evidence that Jesus' feet did walk on England's shores, it was simply a poetic conceit of Blake's, and simply makes a mockery of more grounded ideas which ought to be sung in hymns.
    Posted by Viktor Dmitrievitch Huliganov on April 9, 2008 11:19 PM
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    And they wonder why the Church is seen to be out of touch.These clerics should go before they do more harm
    Posted by Nigel Hamley on April 9, 2008 11:12 PM
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    The decision by the Dean of Southwark Cathedral to ban the singing of "Jerusalem" is symptomatic of what is wrong with the Church of England... far too much emphasis placed on perceived political correctness, Eclesiastical Politics over managed by an expensive and redundent heirachy who fill the void in their integrety with an over emphasis on petfogging regulation. Thank God for women priests,stipendary or otherwise and some devout and scholarly priests who do have a vocation.
    Geofrey Chaucer describes the perfect parson " Christes law he taught, but first he wraught" The traditions of the Church of England, its poetry (BKP),The King James Bible
    are ignored Christ's command to preach the love of God His Compassion, His Forgivness, are ignored, No wonder most churches are empty. Christ showed love, Tolerance, Understanding the Dean shows none of these. "In my fathers house there are many mansions" surely there is one for a family and friends who wish to sing Jerusalem.
    A bunch of flowers never mentions God but they do bring his goodness to mind...What a marvelous creation!
    Presumably the Dean will ban flowers next.Fortunately the intercession has already been made... Father forgive them....
    Absit Omen
    Posted by Michael Weeden on April 9, 2008 11:10 PM
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    I've been an Anglican for 65 years. Seems like the established church in the UK is hell bent on reducing the Anglican population.
    Bye bye Canterbury, Hello who?
    Posted by David F on April 9, 2008 11:03 PM
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    I rarely agree with Gordon Brown (in fact I'm not sure I ever have) but Jerusalem is one of the best hymns out there. We played it at my wedding (in Wales) and the English brought the house down. We let the Welsh have their bit as well and a jolly good time was had by all. Yes it was a bit nationalistic - so what. Whose wedding was it anyway?

    Oh - and 25 yrs on we're still married so it can't have been too antagonistic.

    I wonder why church attendance is falling?
    Posted by Chris on April 9, 2008 10:58 PM
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    Read the related article "The story behind the hymn" which states, the hymn's roots are not in the Bible. Enough said! And did those feet in ancient times walk upon England's mountains green? Everyone knows that the answer is "No!".
    It is not a Christian hymn. It is sung to Parry's magnificent tune, and I think that is why people like it.
    For people who like the tune, there are Christian hymns which are set to the tune, e.g. "Bring to the Lord a glad new song" by Michael Perry
    Posted by David on April 9, 2008 10:57 PM
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    What a profoundly sad story,redolent of the illiteracy and ignorance of Anglican priests who should know better. Whatever those inspired and mystical words mean, they have nothing to do with nationalism. Indeed, the reference to 'dark satanic mills' is generally taken as quite the opposite.

    This sort of attitude is similar to that of those who, some years ago, felt that 'niggardly' was a racist epithet. Of course, that was in the USA where, as all Brits know, people are generally known to be stupid, illiterate and overflowing with misplaced pc. Well, I'm a Brit living in the US and I'm used to Americans asking me, 'what's wrong with your country'.
    Posted by david abbott fisher on April 9, 2008 10:54 PM
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    The Dean is quite right and when all is said and done the words to "Jerusalem " are merely a question - and the answer is "No". Lovely tune, jolly good sing song but totally meaningless - and Gordon Brown's favourite? Need I say more.
    Posted by P McNaught on April 9, 2008 10:42 PM
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    The lefties have so taken over. No pride in country
    allowed. How about banning the National Anthem
    or Land of Hope and glory or Rule Britannia? If it
    offends one person the majority must surrender
    their rights and all this is lead by the ruling left.
    Destroy the country is their motto. When are we
    going to fight back. Even the fight in these
    newspapers' comments are tightly restricted.
    Posted by jon on April 9, 2008 10:33 PM
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    Absurd - but nothing more than we have come to expect from the C of E, I have to say.
    Posted by Angus Day on April 9, 2008 10:26 PM
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    Who, I wonder, has done more to appeal to the human spirit: Blake or Slee.

    Ridiculous jumped up little pomp. Put him back to bed with his cocoa, please nurse.
    Posted by Jon on April 9, 2008 10:24 PM
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    Then maybe the public should boycott the church. This is a wonderful song/hymn and should be allowed to be sung should the parisheners so request.
    Posted by keith ingram on April 9, 2008 10:20 PM
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    Jesus taught using parables, I believe.

    No chance that Blake is doing something similar I suppose? Using an old story to communicate the positive message of hope for the future with Jerusalem as a symbol of the spirit of God's love?

    Gives fuel to those who argue that religion crushes the spirit - poetry lifts it.

    Posted by Chris on April 9, 2008 10:18 PM
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    You have to be kidding me. Too nationalistic? Discriminates against people living in the City? I struggle to find the words to describe how truly idiotic these decisions are.
    Posted by Simon Reynolds on April 9, 2008 10:14 PM
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    In the words of scripture "Those who bless Jerusalem I will bless, those who curse her I will cursed"

    The Church should be careful what it bans, these are Gods own words.

    God is always faithful to His word, He never changes.... the Church can expect Gods wrath to be vent on them for what they have done.

    Irene Augustine
    Posted by Irene AUgustine on April 9, 2008 10:13 PM
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    Does somebody suppose, then, that the Church does not practise political correctness in addition to being totally out of touch?

    Posted by Morris Hickey of Chigwell, Essex on April 9, 2008 10:10 PM
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    Posted by John Bates on April 9, 2008 10:08 PM
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    The utter ignorance.

    Give a man half an education and he can become a priest.
    Posted by david on April 9, 2008 10:07 PM
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    This happened to my wife and me when we were
    planning our wedding service. The vicar
    informed us it was "inappropriate". We pointed
    out the hymn was to be found within the
    suggested service book he had invited us to
    choose from. He still didn't back down until we
    pointed out that we were supplying our own
    choir and both it and the congregation would
    sing "Jerusalem" whatever his organist played...

    He declined the invitation to the wedding
    breakfast, strangely enough
    Posted by Steve M on April 9, 2008 10:05 PM
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    No No No No No No No No, how much longer can the people of England put up with these politically correct lunatics.
    Jerusalem is our, England's national anthem, and is the C of E not our state church? Who is this idiot in Southwark, sack the swine, hang him for treason!
    We are the English, and we will prevail.WHO do these people think they are, and don't they understand the words? We want to build The Kingdom of God in England's green and pleasant land.
    The sooner we get our own parliament, and get rid of these people, the better.
    Posted by Richard on April 9, 2008 10:04 PM
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    The words of Jerusalem may not necessarily glorify God directly, but Blake was certainly divinely inspired when he wrote these magnificent verses. That's good enough for me.
    Posted by Christine Gervais on April 9, 2008 10:01 PM
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    I wonder if they will allow "Onward Christian Soldiers", "Fight the Good Fight" or a few others which seem to be avoided at my local Parish Church

    No wonder many Christians don't bother to go to Service any more when we have trivial modern hymns set to uninspiring music. Indeed the whole service has been dumbed down to "meet modern needs"

    These do absolutely nothing to inspire me and I certainly don't return home feeling uplifted as I did when I was younger.

    The C of E seems to have a death wish!
    Posted by Brian E on April 9, 2008 9:52 PM
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    What! The Dean of Southwark is a bit late for his April Fool Joke! This will go round the rest of the World and make Britain look ABSOLUTELY STUPID.
    We had this hymn sung at our wedding not because it was nationalistic (I married a foreigner) but because of the Christian sentiments the hymn evokes.
    No I think I know the REAL reason for the abolition of this hymn...it is simply because it contains the word ENGLAND and that country will cease to exist in the near future after the ratification of the EU Lisbon Treaty. It is the slow watering down of the Established Church by the political ideological likes of the Dean of Southwark and I am DISGUSTED.
    I trust the Dean will NOT be celebrating St George's Day on 23rd April in case it gives the wrong 'nationalistic' message.
    Posted by Point of View on April 9, 2008 9:52 PM
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    "The Dean, on common with all other cathedral deans, has the authority to decide what material is used in liturgy in the cathedral,".


    Perhaps the Dean is yet another among this modern world's collection of atrophying nobodies that seeks to embellish his profile by doing something distasteful and banal in anticipation of a groundswell of huge interest. "Wolf" !! - anyone?
    Posted by Jon Gooch on April 9, 2008 9:51 PM
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    Has Rev Donald Allister actually read the poem?
    Posted by Tom MacFarlane on April 9, 2008 9:47 PM
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    And the Church doesn't understand why people
    don't attend services?!
    Posted by Neil on April 9, 2008 9:45 PM
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    Is God so lacking in self-esteem that He needs our praise?
    Posted by Aliquis on April 9, 2008 9:45 PM
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    The Church is losing its congregation all the time.This is just another nail in its coffin.
    Posted by David on April 9, 2008 9:44 PM
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    I'm gobsmacked. It is such a powerful hymn that
    invariably raises the spirit. The name of God need
    not be mentioned in order to praise The Lord in
    song. The metaphors are beautiful and the church
    ministers appear to have lost their marbles.
    Posted by Astrid on April 9, 2008 9:33 PM
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    Why Southwark's sudden interest in praising God?
    Posted by jaytt on April 9, 2008 9:32 PM
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    This is the cleric whose one claim to fame, other than being a pro gay fundamentalist, was to absail down the cathedral dressed as Santa Claus. What an ignoramus - how Anglican 'senior appointments' are made these days is cleary Pythonesque.
    Posted by Janice on April 9, 2008 9:24 PM
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    Once more, politically correct madness takes over yet another English tradition that is ingrained in to us from an early age. What are there people on for Gods sake? No more Golly's no more Camp coffee with the guy in the turban serving a British officer, three little puppies and on and on. The England I know is no more. I left for the US in 92 and have gradually decided that coming back to retire is no longer what I want to do. Tragic tragic tragic. RIP England, and please do not let me know when Rule Britania will be banned because some ethnic group says it smacks of imperialism!!
    Posted by Keith Manton on April 9, 2008 9:12 PM
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