London, Apr.10 : Jerusalem, one of the country's best-loved hymns and a favourite of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has been banned from services at one of Britain's foremost churches.
According to The Telegraph, the verses, which were written by William Blake more than two centuries ago, cannot be sung by choirs or congregations at Southwark Cathedral because the words do not praise God and are too nationalistic, according to senior clergy.
Last week the Dean of Southwark, the Very Rev Colin Slee, advised guests at a private memorial service that the hymn would not be sung because it was "not in the glory of God".
The hymn Jerusalem is often used on national occasions, although rarely in Southwark, even on such occasions.
William Blake first composed the hymn, which begins with the words "And did those feet in ancient time", in 1804 as an introduction to one of his most famous poems Milton. Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, an English composer, later wrote the words to music in 1916.
Clergymen who do not believe Blake's poetry to be Christian have banned Jerusalem before.
In 1996, Brown made a memorable appearance on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in which he listed Jerusalem amongst his ten favourite records.