|A young Paul Inwood: He was considered a child prodigy on the piano|
Speaking on behalf of the NSS, Polly Toynbee said of Inwood, "Few musicians and composers have done more to aid the National Secular Society in our drive to turn the nation into a secular society and it is time his work was given the public recognition it deserves. For us, he has been as important in the secularization of culture as figures such as Lady Gaga, Madonna and the Rolling Stones because he is doing our work on the inside of the Church, despite the fact that nobody from the NSS asked him to do so. That, to me, suggests a great deal of generosity."
Inwood rose to fame in the world of Church music when, as a 14-year-old, he heard Allegri's Miserere Mei Deus in St Peter's during a Wednesday Mass. Astonished by its beauty and timelessness, Inwood decided to adapt it to a modern setting in the 1970s with guitar and keyboard as a four chord based Communion hymn. What emerged, the now famous 'Finger-Snap Allelulia' was so popular that some people would leave Mass early just to go home and listen to it at home more intensely.
|Grayling: Inwood an 'unexpected boon' for atheists|
"So, for us, the fact that a more contemporary musical reflection of religious themes has been widely incorporated into the Catholic Mass has been helpful - an unexpected boon. Some people have heard his music and almost instantaneously stopped believing that a loving God exists. That says something. It's time we at the National Secular Society recognised the work that Mr Inwood has done in helping the Church lose members through music and in helping people to doubt the ancient superstitions of the Catholic Church more and more. Mr Inwood is even challenging the Pope on whether the Latin Mass was abrogated or not. The Pope says it was not formally abrogated, while Inwood says it was. So who is Pope in all this? Such contempt for tradition, disobedience to the Pope and challenging of legitimate authority in the Church deserves public recognition from the National Secular Society."
|Did Inwood's music lower Catholic birth rates?|
"As a former president of what was known as the British Eugenics Society, but is now the Galton Institute, I welcome Mr Inwood's contribution to our cause because it has been said that not only did such secularisation of the Catholic Mass disguise the mystery of the Mass in an increasingly sexualised and contraceptive age, but it is also said that his music caused married couples to stop making love altogether. For us, and especially for those with an interest in what used to be known as eugenics, this is another positive contribution to the battle over the nation's...er...soul...or rather...gene-pool."
Paul Inwood himself was unavailable for comment.