by the Bishop of Oxford
I have always rather prided myself on establishing good relationships with organists and
choirmasters. This is rooted in a strong sense of my own musical inadequacy. I am happy to
recognize and respond to the expertise of others in this field. However, it is clear that for a
variety of reasons relationships between clergy and organists are not always right.
Furthermore, it is clear that there is a great turmoil in the Church over music generally.
I very much welcome Weary And Ill At Ease, based as it is upon long experience and careful
research. The Anglican musical tradition is one of the glories of the world. Although it
flowers and blossoms in cathedrals, it is rooted in the parish church, however small. It is,
therefore, important that this outstanding tradition of music should be kept alive and the
appropriate excellence fostered.
It is no less obvious that we need new music today. Much is being produced, but alas a good
deal of this is banal, ephemeral in the extreme, or totally unmemorable. Yet every now and
again new words and new music combine to produce something really worthwhile, which
becomes accepted right across the churches. Good new music and good new writing need to
be encouraged. In short, we need as always the best of the old and the best of the new. Every
generation is different and our perception of what is the best will not necessarily be the same
as that of our forebears. So there is a constant shifting of taste. Yet some things endure and
others are rediscovered.
In the changing, sometimes difficult, but potentially creative situation that we are now in as
far as music in Church is concerned, it is very good to have Weary And Ill At Ease. I wish it
well. May it help all those involved in the musical life of the Church to raise our hearts to
God in joy.
+ Richard Oxon