Fabulous: On Ilkla Moor baht 'at?!

Tue, 15/12/2009 - 09:15 -- James Oakley

I have once had the fortune to take part in a carol service where While Shepherds Watched was sung to the tune of On Ilkla Moor baht 'at. It was a slight novelty: "Did you know that these words can be made to fit to this tune? What fun - let's do it!"

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Hymn tunes and meters

Mon, 07/12/2009 - 08:59 -- James Oakley

I recently received an e-mail asking about how you work out what the "meter" for a hymn is, and how you go about finding a tune that fits the words of a particular hymn.

In case my reply helps anybody else, here's what I said:

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Majoring on the Minors

Sat, 05/12/2009 - 22:13 -- James Oakley

Doug Wilson says some very helpful things about getting major issues and minor issues the right way around in theology.

Specifically, how sad – and how serious – when people take a minor issue (one on which we may quite respectably agree to disagree) and turn it into a major issue (one on which we do not have the latitude to disagree). As Wilson argues, at that point the issue has to become a major one on both sides. It is a major issue to mis-classify a minor issue as major.

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Children see things so clearly

Mon, 29/06/2009 - 09:57 -- James Oakley

“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” (Luke 10:21)

I have always read this, but subconsciously read Jesus to say “and revealed them to those who are not terribly wise or understanding — in fact, some thoroughly unexpected people”.

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Their cry goes up, 'How long?'

Fri, 19/06/2009 - 13:43 -- James Oakley

The Church's one foundation
Is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
She is His new creation
By water and the word;
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride,
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.

Elect from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation—
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses
With every grace endued.

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Psalm chants

Wed, 03/06/2009 - 17:05 -- James Oakley

Anyone wanting to learn how Anglican Chant works as a musical style for the Psalms could look at a couple of introductory webpages.

There is a helpful one on the BBC website at

There is a helpful one on Wikipedia at, where I particularly like the example given - with a colour-coded musical stave that can be matched up to the text of part of the Magnificat printed in the same colours. Nice.

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Colin's on his way over here...

Wed, 27/05/2009 - 16:21 -- James Oakley

G'day everyone!

Many readers of this blog will already be familiar with the Aussie Christian children's entertainer / singer / song-writer Colin Buchanan. We possess 4 of his CDs in this house, and enjoy them regularly.

Well, Colin's heading over to Blighty to go on tour, so there is a rare opportunity to take the children in your family / church to go and hear him live. (And if you are an adult who wants to go, but doesn't have any children in your church or family, you must know someone to go with, surely - if not, I'd go anyway!)

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Which Parish do I live in?

Tue, 07/04/2009 - 17:09 -- James Oakley
Parish Map


Are you trying to find out which Church of England Parish you live in? Simply visit the link below and put your postcode into the search tool. Note, they've changed their website. You now have to wait after entering your postcode, and select one of the autocomplete entries served by Google maps; only then can you click the arrow button to begin your search.

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