Letter: Save 'Jerusalem' from small-minded clerics

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Sir: Drop "Jerusalem" from the Church of Scotland's hymn book, or how to make yourself look silly in one simple step. And all because ("Ancient hymns fails the modern test", 29 April) "no one knows what it means".

No one knows what a considerable proportion of Scotsmen are saying, with their weird dialects, but I'm not aware that the Government intends to send them all back to Scotland. And the Rev Charles Robertson wants to exclude "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" because the word "gentlemen" breaches political correctness.

What then of the salutation "Ladies and gentlemen"? Would this clergyman have us say "Dearly beloved"? Surely the remedy is to have a section for "traditional melodies" in the Scottish hymnal?

I do not quite know what it is that is so offensive about the Rev Robertson's plans. It offends against something innate in me - a sense of history perhaps. Perhaps it is a sense of tradition, of continuity. All I can say is that if he carries his plans through, he is likely to be neither dear nor beloved by many of his congregations and make himself look small- minded, not to say idiotic, into the bargain.

Lord Broadbridge

House of Lords

London SW1

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