An article

As you may recall, following the publication of my project ‘Inspiring Organists of the Future – does more need to be done? and the launch of The Organ Manual, I was been invited to write a piece for the Church of England Newspaper on a ‘regular’ basis. I’ll be putting three or four together a year. I’m proud to have my second article published by them today and am very grateful for such a fabulous opportunity.

One comment

  1. As a former member of the Official Church (of England), I couldn’t help noticing things and concluding the shortage of young organists whilst older organists are leaving one by one is caused by attitudes therein. In general, I’ve found that Anglican Church Musical Directors are so fiercely protective of their instruments, cordoning off and locking their instruments when not in use, guarding them with their souls, there’s even one of their churches near me that levies a £10 fine for anybody it finds ‘tampering’ with the organ!

    Yes indeed, it is very good security which shouldn’t be scoffed at, but it is very very intimidating for younger musicians wanting to learn about Church music, the organ and to gain confidence and enjoyment as a musician, which includes exploring one’s natural curiosity surrounding it…..all because these over zealous restrictions and regulations along with over-insular and conservative attitudes that the queen’s church impose that actively scare people away. Before my wife and I were bullied out of two different Church of England churches here in the Midlands, I was told sternly by two different organists, I was not allowed anywhere near their instruments, even to play a simple four line hymn!

    I know organists in Protestant churches in the United States of America, where there is no Government churches and complete freedom of worship, that have absolutely no qualifications whatsoever, they’ve learned because their parents have taught them the basics of playing…and they get by! In Britain, church musical directors would generally want to see your ABRSM exam certificates and references before they even allow you to sit on the bench!!! Attitudes.

    The only thing that can solve this is radical change, something that I believe the Official Church and British denominations subordinate to it is incapable of. The initiatives that you have been a part of, such as the one in Salisbury needs to be far far more widespread and the idea of being an ‘organ scholar’ does seem to be shrouded in typical British elitism that restricts and isolates.

    Can we change or not?


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