Church drops controversial EBACH plans

General Synod’s plans to introduce new EBACH qualifications for church musicians have been dropped, it was announced today. The proposed qualifications would have seen Associated Board organ exams and Royal College of Organist qualifications replaced by a new qualification, the brainchild of Michael Pob, the Church of England’s Secretary of State for Worship.

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Pob’s vision for the EBACH failed to win the hearts and minds of church musicians

Pob’s plans for the new qualification would have meant that all church musicians, from Cathedral organists, to choirmasters and worship group musicians, would have to sit the EBACH examination after a 2 year course prior to being allowed to be involved in music making in Church of England services. “Standards are way behind those of other countries,” explained Pob, “and by narrowing the curriculum and focussing on the core skills of improvising in the style of J.S. Bach, accompanying hymns, reading figured bass to accompany Purcell anthems and composing fugues, my vision is of a return to a golden age of church music, probably the 1950s, or the 1740s.”

Worship groups had warned Pob that the proposed qualification was too narrow and did not reflect the range of musical idioms being used in Church of England services. “The EBACH did not meet the needs of most parishes,” explained Reverend Rock Sunderland, whose worship band Bon Jehovi employs a range of musical expressions lying somewhat outside the Baroque tradition, “and the idea of asking all members of worship groups to learn how to improvise double, inverted fugues is very old hat. Bass guitarists, you might be in with a chance of explaining that to, but for most worship group members, frankly, it’s enough of a challenge to get all of them to keep to the beat. Has Pob ever even met a drummer?”

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Snow shuts churches. Government to intervene.

ImageIn an article in today’s Maily Fail, the Secretary of State for Policy Based on Whimsy, Mr. Brian Jove, criticised clergy who had closed their churches due to snow last Sunday. “It really should be the case that churches are kept open wherever possible. Many hardworking people rely on churches being open to have somewhere to send other members of their family while they catch up on their X-Boxes and read the papers on a Sunday morning, and this kind of over-cautious approach panders to the sort of idle scroungers who enjoy having a lie in.”

Jove will introduce a Bill creating a new Sunday on a Wednesday in the summer for each snow Sunday missed. These days will be named Jove Days. Bri Jove’s draft bill will be consulted upon by his friends at dinner parties, and by leaders of private sector churches including G4Sunday but not by the Church of England as Jove points out that he “wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise for them, like we did over the gay marriage legislation.”