This Christmas Eve, when people pour out of the pub and head in a delightful whisky-and-ginger fug to Midnight Mass to belt out their old favourites, they could get a shock. The church doors may well be shut, the vicar elsewhere, conducting a service in one of the other churches in his “mega-parish”.

“O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him…” Something so good, a precious piece of tradition and transcendence in our culture – the hopes and fears of all the years – is being “disappeared”. God help us, for the bishops of the Church of England won’t. The Messi-ah would never score such a dreadful own goal.

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