News Archive

Friday 27 January 2017

Recorded Music in Church Services

Statement by Fr Richard Duffield, Parish Priest

A number of people may have read the article in the York Press (27 January 2017) about recorded music in church services in St Wilfrid's and St Joseph's.

The York Press reported yesterday that a local family has recently been upset by this policy.

The first thing I would like to say publicly is that I am very sorry to have been the cause of distress at a time which is sensitive by its very nature. I would like to renew my condolences to the family and my assurance of prayers for them in their loss. One of our main tasks as priests and as Catholics is to pray for the repose of the souls of those who have died. We will continue to do this.

I am grateful to the York Press for their professional integrity and politeness in contacting me before running the story. For obvious reasons I can never comment on the planning that goes into any particular service. These are very private matters.

We have a policy at St Wilfrid’s and St Joseph’s Catholic Churches in York not to allow recorded music in church for any services.

I do believe there are good reasons for this policy. It avoids difficulties with performance rights legislation and helps keep music live. It also provides a clearly defined and objective criterion which is easily recognised and can be fairly applied to everyone. This helps to remove the danger that these decisions are to be made by anyone on the grounds of personal taste or force of feeling alone.

Causing upset is always a matter for regret. But this is a clearly stated policy on our website and I believe that  (all other things considered) it is best for everyone when it is implemented even-handedly.