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The choir

“For centuries, the cherubic faces of choirboys in white ruffs have been part of church culture”, said the Guardian. Whenever a news report begins by saying that a tradition has endured for centuries you know that tradition is about to die. Sure enough the story which I quote tells of the ending of that aspect of historical Anglican culture in one cathedral at least:

Decision to disband Sheffield cathedral choir strikes discordant note

But is this change progressive or not? The next line of the story lets the hard pressed Guardian reader know what attitude to take:

Choristers usually came from privileged backgrounds, were coached by expert music masters at fee-paying schools attached to cathedrals and churches, and performed exquisite choral music, often in Latin.

Some of that has changed. The first girls were admitted, at Salisbury cathedral, almost 30 years ago and choirs have become more diverse.

Now Sheffield cathedral is going a step further, disbanding its choir in order to make a “completely fresh start” with a new team of choristers that reflects and engages with a changing city.

The cathedral would pursue “a new model for Anglican choral life here, with a renewed ambition for engagement and inclusion”, said a statement on its website.

The population of Sheffield and the surrounding area was growing, getting younger and becoming more diverse. In recent years, the cathedral had welcomed refugees and supported people living on the streets, Bradley said.

“We need to be engaging with people who are part of this changing city. We believe strongly in equality and giving as many children as possible the opportunity to sing at the highest level.”

The appeal of church music was wide but was sometimes “presented in a way that can be seen as elitist”, Bradley said.

That was in late July. Since then this apparently obscure local story about the disbandment of one cathedral choir has been widely reported. These are just a few of many examples:

  • Why is Sheffield Cathedral’s choir being disbanded for ‘inclusivity’? – the Spectator
  • Sheffield Cathedral Choir disbanded in “complete fresh start” for music and diversity – the website of the radio station Classic FM
  • Dean defends disbanding of Sheffield Cathedral ChoirChurch Times
  • Sheffield Cathedral closes choir and looks for new one to reflect urban diversity – the Times
  • Diversity is no reason to scrap Sheffield’s cathedral choir – the Telegraph

    As some of those titles indicate, the decision to close down the Sheffield cathedral choir has angered people who have not been to church for years and would not normally much care for church music. Why has it resonated so widely? I think I know why, and the knowledge depresses me. Until a few months ago I would have said that the UK had done relatively well in promoting an inclusive, non-racial sense of patriotism in which immigrants were seen as “joining the team” and adding their culture to the indigenous culture rather than displacing it. The maiden speech of Kemi Badenoch, my MP, expressed this idea well. “I chose to make the United Kingdom my home”, she says, and speaks of the British Dream: “It is a land where a girl from Nigeria can move here aged sixteen, be accepted as British, and have the great honour of representing Saffron Walden”.

    But that ideal of inclusive patriotism is being eroded by decisions like this one. It is scarcely surprising that white British people begin to see diversity as a threat to their culture when they are told that a part of their culture that has gone on for centuries is to be abolished in the name of diversity.

  • 18 comments to The choir

    • Flubber

      “part of their culture that has gone on for centuries is to be abolished in the name of diversity.”

      Well of course, Diversity is the sheep skin the anti-white wolf is wearing.

    • Mr Ecks

      Anti-“racism” ie anti-white hatred is the number one plank of CM evil. The senior branch in fact. Whose creeping influence the other 2 branches follow and defer to.

      2nd branch is feminism and sucking up to sexual minorities. That has now have reached the end of the road with trannies whose purpose is to promote Marxist subjectivist evil being incorporated into UK law.1984 =2+2=5 if the Party tells you so. Now men can become women and vice versa by declaring that they have.

      Third branch is eco-freak green bullshit designed to undermine our economy and indeed the scientific methods itself.

      All 3 branches must be destroyed if there is to be a future. But BlueLabour Blowjob Johnson is in sympathy with most of the evil shite recounted above and is too dumb to see its evil. Any more than he can see that ruining the economy is a bad idea. Rather than admit his “deadly pandemic ” is a load of hysterical shite.

      The economic damage he has so far created should wake a lot of fools up–esp as ZaNu have done nothing but whine Blojob’s hysteria wasn’t hysterical enough.

    • Paul Marks

      This is the Frankfurt School of Marxism “Diversity” and “Inclusion” agenda – but people will not even use its name, the FRANKFURT SCHOOL OF MARXISM.

      Oh people will bleat about “Political Correctness gone mad” and tut-tut a bit – but they will not even use the actual name, the FRANKFURT SCHOOL OF MARXISM, it is nothing to do with “gone mad” these Cultural Marxist doctrines are designed to undermine the West – they are doing what they are meant to do.

      And organisations that one would expect to be fighting against the “Diversity” death-to-the-West agenda of the Frankfurt School of Marxism – turn out to SUPPORT it, for example my own experience with “Conservative” Central Office.

      Such nations as Hungary and Poland may (may – I do not know) survive – they at least have some organised resistance against Marxism which now FALSELY calls itself “Liberalism”.

      Even that is an old trick – the supporters of the totalitarian Soviet Union in the United States were falsely calling themselves “liberals” as far back as the 1920s – they created such “False Flag” organisations as the Orwellian named “American Civil Liberties Union” which got out of their control and for-a-time actually became PRO Civil Liberties (it has returned to its totalitarian roots in recent years – do not bother appealing for help to the ACLU if you are a victim of MARXIST “Cancel Culture” as the ACLU is controlled by people who SUPPORT Marxist Cancel Culture, ditto do not bother appealing to them about Religious Liberty or the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, or…… well anything really).

      But whether or not Hungary and Poland, or other places, survive – one thing seems clear – British society will not.

      There is no organised resistance to Marxist “liberalism” here – no organised support for old traditions or basic liberties, no opposition to the acid of “Cultural” Marxism that has been dissolving society for many years.

      Indeed, we are not even used to use its name. The Frankfurt School of Marxism – which is followed by both the Guardian and “Conservative” Central Office, and just about everything else in this country.

    • Paul Marks

      “It is just culture Paul – it is not going to influence how much tax I pay or what economic regulations I have to obey”.

      Oh it is “just” culture is it?

      The Marxists understand these things a lot better than the “clever” people who think they will keep their private wealth – by betraying the culture of their nation.

      Politics is “downstream” from culture – once the cultural traditions are destroyed, destroying the “capitalist” economy is easy.

      So NO you will not keep your private wealth “Central Office” types – and, as you are such traitors, you do not DESERVE to keep your private wealth anyway.

    • Paul Marks

      Of course anyone who expected the Church of England to stand up in defence of England has not been paying attention – not for many years.

      It as rotten as just about every other institution in this land, corrupted from the top-down by Marxism (sorry “liberalism” as it FALSELY calls itself) due to the “education” of its leadership.

      And Scotland and Wales are not different – I used to think Ulster was, but the same process is at work there to.

    • Mr Ed

      Professor Brigadier Powell reportedly (I read this many years ago, perhaps in The Sunday Telegraph) said that immigration would not destroy Britain, but that it was the fulcrum by which Britain would be destroyed, which I took to mean the pretext for destroying Britain, i.e. The Left would use the presence of immigrants as a basis for destroying tradition and thus freedom and the country.

      If so, it seems to have been a remarkably prescient observation. The enemy is, always and everywhere, the socialist, however hurried or not the socialist might be.

    • Paul Marks

      In the United States the once conservative Southern Baptist Convention now denounces “Whiteness” (no surprise that this turns out to mean a lot more than skin colour) and voted last year (2019) to use the “analytical tools” of Frankfurt School of Marxism “Critical Theory” to “understand” (destroy) society.

      If anyone still thinks this is “liberalism” I have a nice bridge to sell you. It is MARXISM.

      And the rich individuals and mega corporations who SUPPORT all this – they deserve, very much deserve, what the Marxists are going to do to them.

      People such as Bill Gates do not actually want Marxism – they want Fascist Technocracy (from Sir Francis Bacon, Saint-Simon and Mussolini) the coming together of business and government – in a totalitarian world.

      But why should such people keep their private wealth?

      The totalitarian world they are helping to create will take that wealth from them.

      And will take their lives – and the lives of their families.

      A state that is powerful enough to utterly crush the population with “lockdowns” and so on (all supported by the mega rich “liberals” and the mega corporations such as Amazon – who FUND groups such as “Black Lives Matter” to loot-and-burn their small business competitors) is also powerful enough to take your 100 Billion Dollars – Bill Gates, Mark Z, Jeff Bezos, and the rest of you.

      And as you are helping CREATE an all powerful state (which will be created once you have got rid of the “vulgar” President Trump) why should anyone care what it does to you?

      The unlimited government you are working to create “Woke” rich and Mega Corporations – will TURN ON YOU.

    • Paul Marks

      Yes Mr Ed – for there is nothing wrong with people of different ethnic groups living in the same area.

      For example, Florida may not be to the taste of everyone, but it “works” as a society – just about.

      It is not diversity that is the problem – it is Diversity (capital D) that is the problem. The Frankfurt School of Marxism system of ideas that takes advantage of people of different ethnic groups living in the same area.

      Just as there is nothing wrong with black lives matter – but everything wrong with Black Lives Matter.

      The capital letters mean a lot – they mean the inclusion of the philosophy (the system of ideas) that fools call liberalism, but is really MARXISM.

    • immigration would not destroy Britain, but .. the Left would use the presence of immigrants as a basis for destroying tradition and thus freedom and the country.

      Mr Ed (August 9, 2020 at 8:33 am), quoting “Professor Brigadier Powell” and thereby incidentally informing me that Enoch Powell became a full professor of Ancient Greek at the age of 25 in Australia, which I did not know, and was also a brigadier – which I also did not specifically know but am less surprised by. (I am tempted to wonder whether becoming a professor of Ancient Greek in Australia in the late 1930s was easier than in some places nearer home 🙂 – but it is a respectable achievement anywhere.)

      We see and know that there is nothing ‘anti’ about BLM’s racism, because it is happening now and is in our face and we have the web as well as the media. But it is salutary to realise how much that we were taught by a biased un-web-checked media to call racist when we were younger was in fact the defence of freedom from its enemies and their excuses for killing it.

    • John B

      The Human elements: will there be enough ‘diversives’ who want to sing in a choir?

      ‘… were coached by expert music masters…’. Which is why the choirs sounded so good… and hereafter?

      Next: should the Mormon Tabernacle Choir be more diverse?

    • Nullius in Verba

      “immigration would not destroy Britain, but .. the Left would use the presence of immigrants as a basis for destroying tradition and thus freedom and the country.”

      In this case, the native British were the ones to destroy the tradition, and the immigrants the ones to keep it going. Over the last century Britain has become a lot less religious, a lot more secular, and Church attendances have dropped. Foreigners, by contrast, are still quite religious, particularly in poorer countries. So the Churches have switched to wooing immigrants in an attempt to keep the traditions going a little longer.

      Society changes all the time anyway.

    • John


      I have family in Florida and can confirm that the diverse state works pretty well at present.

      However there are cracks appearing. The black majority inner cities are beginning to see violent protest and rioting on a copycat basis. The white democrat leaders, particularly around Miami and Tampa, are being particularly vocal in their support for blm.

      Meanwhile the Hispanics are quietly playing the long game; lots of kids, importing family members and moving inexorably towards being the majority.

    • John

      Cathedral choirs like Carol services largely transcend religion and are appreciated and attended by those who would otherwise rarely venture inside a church or cathedral. This attack on choirs is aimed at British culture not British religion.

    • Andrew Duffin

      Roughly, what John said.

      This brouhaha is the latest and most blatant battle in the war between church musicians (who attempt to respect our wonderful musical traditions and provide a quality performance experience both to participants and congregation/audience), and Spacely-Trellis types who abhor all that and would get rid of anything even remotely cultural or of quality, in favour of trendy vicars strumming guitars badly.

      Their excuse, if challenged, is that they think that sort of “popular” rubbish brings young people into the church; I think we can all see now quite how that has worked out.

      If it’s any consolation, we might reflect that the great JS Bach faced similar philistines in his day.

    • Jacob

      Britain is copying the madness from the US. Wake up. You aren’t a colony of the US.

    • Mr Ecks

      Why would anyone with two brain cells want to talk the trolling shite you do Gazza–on behalf of socialism — just about the most evil cause of all time with 150 million murders on its hands. In your case it is cause you are evil grade z scum who would far better never to have been born Gaz.

    • Paul Marks

      No Nullus – a lot of the immigrants (and, more seriously, their children and grandchildren) did not assimilate into British culture – although that may be because they were not encouraged to, quite the contrary.

      “society changes all the time anyway” – thank you Captain Flippant.

      Jacob – both Britain and the United States (and many other Western countries) are indeed victims of he same movement (the Frankfurt School of Marxism), but it was NOT an America invention, and its power in Britain has got nothing to do with American influence. British universities and the rest of intellectual and cultural life have been dominated by the left for many years now.


      As you know – Miami has a Hispanic REPUBLICAN Mayor, and Florida has an Hispanic (“De Santos” is not a very “Nordic” name) REPUBLICAN Governor.

      This is what gives me hope.

      As for human beings with black skin – well all people of good will wish Candice Owens and “Blexit” every success.

    • Paul Marks

      Silly me – it is Ron DeSantis not DeSantos, Italian rather than Hispanic.

      I find all this racial stuff baffling – for example Hispanic did not count as different “race” before the 1970s, and Spanish counts Hispanic and Portuguese does not. Why?

      There does not appear to be a racial basis for any of it, including the black stuff – after all Africans are very diverse genetically, they have very little i common and different Africans look wildly DIFFERENT.