Inventive churches turn to Bob Dylan

Mainstream Christian churches in England are not allowed to have community sung worship at the moment, because of the necessary rules imposed by the government during the pandemic.

The churches in England are still allowed to open and of course, the singing of hymns has been a staple of the major denominations for centuries.

Some of the churches that are still open are being inventive. Because solo musicians and singers and small groups are still allowed, here’s one that in previous weeks has incorporated jazz and classical music into his menu of musical items and this week adapted some Bob Dylan songs into the heart of its service.

Here are some of the service highlights:

The Enigma of Larry Norman

What: Why Should The Devil Have All the Good Music: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock

Author: Gregory Alan Thornbury

Publisher: Convergent, NY

Publication date: 2018

“Larry Norman…”

(Bob) Dylan replied.

“Tell your brother I’m a fan.”

Gregory Alan Thornbury “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock” p.253

I am a fan of Larry Norman’s music also. Seems I might not be in bad company.

I was never quite sure what to make of the man himself.

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Larry Norman – 1947-2008

Only Visiting this Planet
So Long Ago the Garden
In Another Land
Something New Under the Son
Stop this Flight
Stranded in Babylon

Larry Norman probably released way too many cds. I pretty much own them all. But if I was new to his music I’d probably want to buy one (or more) of the seven I’ve listed above. There were others….. Bootleg, Upon this Rock, Home at Last…. which I could use to round out a ten but seven seems a good number when you’re thinking about Larry. I first heard his music in 1982. I first met him in 1984. I brought him to London to play a concert in 2001. He was an inspiration every step of the way and I don’t think my life would have worked out the way that it has without the soundtrack of his songs – which is tough when you think he’s not going to be recording anymore. I found Larry difficult in many ways but this was out-weighed massively by his contribution to my life in many, many ways.