The CofE leadership has now urged ministers to stop banning Jerusalem from weddings for being un-Christian and ‘too nationalistic’. The Rev Peter Moger, the CofE’s national worship development officer, said William Blake’s much-criticised lyrics can be used a springboard to explore deeper theological themes.

But he may have a hard time persuading many of the clergy. Their objections include that the hymn’s opening lines ‘And did those feet in ancient time/Walk upon England’s mountains green’ are inspired by the apocryphal story that a young Jesus visited Glastonbury in Somerset.

Donald Allister, now the Bishop of Peterborough, has complained: ‘What it is actually saying is, “Wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus lived in England?” Yet we all know he did not, so it is just nonsense.’


Apocryphal? Nonsense?

Teenage Jesus wept!!!

The next thing we know the revisionist scum will be claiming that King Arthur was Welsh!

Will somebody bring me my bow of burning gold?
I'm going heretic hunting.


WISH YOU WERE HERE — 18 Comments

  1. It doesn’t matter in the slightest whether it’s based on something that didn’t actually happen. It’s a damn good piece of poetry by one of England’s greatest poets set to a damn fine melody by an admittedly not-as-great English composer, but hey. It’s better than quite a lot of stuff people get to sing in churches and everyone likes it. Banning it is what’s just nonsense. You’d have to ban half the Christmas carols if you object to apocryphal stories.

  2. It doesn’t matter in the slightest whether it’s based on something that didn’t actually happen.

    Aussie revisionist scum!!!

  3. Next they’ll be saying that Jesus did not dictate the Bible in the King’s English. Oy, I despair!

  4. ‘everyone likes it’

    No they bloody well don’t. The old school hymn ranted by 650 of us at the start and end of every term for most of my teenage years does not engender affection. That and the nationalistic fervour with which it is accompanied coupled with it being a load of bollocks…but then I’m not everyone.

  5. Everyone except you, Theme 🙂

    (PS You’ll have to count me out of understanding or noticing the nationalistic fervour – I’m from Oz.)

  6. It’s a WONDERFUL tune. Of course, we have different words to it over on this side of the pond. Mind you, I’ve spent so much time over your way that I can never remember the words for over here….!

    Seems to me that if the Mormons believe that when Jesus comes back he’s gonna land in MISSOURI, then we Anglicans can jolly well believe he visited England as a boy. 🙂

  7. Piffle.

    It’s common knowledge that God is an Englishman. Such heresy must be strictly punished. No doubt the offender should be cast out from Christendom (which google informs me is a liberal arts college somewhere in Virginia).

    Upon reflection, that’s not nearly the condemnation it once was.

  8. Tim. Your rock solid orthodoxy is so refreshing, especially as I am usually surrounded by revisionist scum. There will be an exalted place reserved for you in the Kingdom of God (a.k.a. England Mk. II).

  9. seems to me it’s easier to believe that young Jesus went with Joseph of Arimethea trading for tin in the Emerald Isles than it is to believe in the resurrection! I love those old stories – who knows? We know nothing of the Lord’s youth… needless to say we don’t have the same version in our hymnal…

  10. needless to say we don’t have the same version in our hymnal…

    That’s just so typical of Americans. We happily sing “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic.”

  11. MP, I’ve been told that both “Star-Spangled Banner” and “America” are sung over there as well, albeit with slightly different words.

    Paul, That link seems more like it should be named Oxymoron U., I was referring to this Christendom College.

  12. As it happens, I have a niece who graduated from Christendom College a couple of years ago as salutatorian of her class (bright girl). Of course, I would have preferred that she attend some place more open minded but her parents are seriously conservative Roman Catholics. (Converts. My brother was brought up Episcopalian and his wife, Presbyterian.)

    What can I say? They needed stability and certain reference points. I guess they have them.

    Goodness, Tim, did you notice that the president of the college and his wife have NINE children???