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Mander Organ Builders Forum


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  1. Ladies and gentlemen It was suggested to me that, as a trustee of the RCO, I should read this forum and, having done so, let me add a few thoughts. First of all, it is no secret that the RCO no longer operates from bespoke premises. I refer members to the Presidential Address given by Peter Wright at the conferment last March, subsequently printed in the May RCO News, in which he says that the decision had been taken “to move out of Millenium Point within the next few months” because maintaining an office had become “the chief drain on our resources”. Those who worked in that office did not consider it to provide any material advantage for the delivery of services to members and the premises were vacated on June 30th. Of course physical headquarters would be ‘reassuring’, but the RCO is not about buildings. Buildings are expensive, and in these days of health-and-safety and disability legislation they require a complex staffing infrastructure before the front door can even be opened. It is also worth bearing in mind that maintaining a building reduces the potential for work in other places for obvious reasons. So, like the IAO, AGO, GCM and countless other charities, the RCO does not have a front door. Maintaining a building has never been one of the objectives of the RCO’s Charter and in no way does the absence of one hamper its work as a body of colleagues. In fact, this has proved to be a remarkable effective way of working. The corollary of all this is that the RCO is now run by a small team of dedicated people who give much more than their contract requires and who do so from their homes. I am extremely grateful to paul@trinity for making the point that these people are not responsible for where the College currently is; rather, they are the ones who are working their socks off to secure its future by making it a relevant and responsive body. However, his words have had but scant acknowledgement. Whilst the debate contains some genuinely thoughtful views, there are also postings which question the location of office space (someone’s home) and suggest violence. No doubt tongue-in-cheek, but actually rather personal in the context and in my view sufficient to warrant the closure of this forum and referring this to the police. I hope we all share the mutual aim of strengthening both the College and the overall community of organists for the future. If so, please (i) give the RCO a break and allow it to move forward, (ii) think beyond what it “is offering to me” just now and remember it is a charity not a club and (iii) stand as candidates in the next governance election. Or resign. David Saint RCO Trustee
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