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James Dawson

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  1. Our clergy seem to do the opposite to this: they like to choose hymns that nobody knows or likes, and nobody but the clergy can sing, (and even they struggle sometimes). The only exception is baptism services, where they like happy-clappy hymns played on the piano so that the un-churhed don't feel out of their depth. Some years ago the Vestry decided to ask the congregation whch hymns they liked singing, and a list of some seventy or so hymns was compiled, but the clergy refused to use them. Next week we have a PCC meeting to discuss whether 'Back to Church Sunday' was a success. I k
  2. I wonder whether the limited hymn repertoire might have something to do with copyright? I have noted on many programmes (not just the BBC) that the same music seems to be repeated over and over again, (think of Vaughn Williams 'The Lark Ascending' and the Widor Toccata on Classic FM). I realise that this has a lot to do with the programme makers perceived ideas about listener preference, but I have also heard that broadcasters buy a licence to perform/play certain music, which is why we hear the same music repeated, especially during the working week. In the case of SoP, they al
  3. I note that the Antiques Roadshow came from Beverly Minster yesterday, and again showed some fine shots of the organ. I wonder whether it was just coincidence that both came from Beverly, or whether the Beeb were killing two birds with one stone whilst the camera crews were in the area? Shock horror, they might even be trying to work more efficiently these days.
  4. This weekend is Heritage Open Weekend, when a number of municipal buildings and works are open to the public. I have been informed that there is to be a rare opportunity to hear the City Hall organ in Newcastle upon Tyne this weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday. The City Hall organ was built by Harrison & Harrison in 1928, and has been little altered since then. The Newcastle instrument was one of the last great town hall organs built during the early part of the 20th century, and is of national importance. It also has some very loud Orchestral Trumpets, operating on some 20" of
  5. I have heard that Morrisons have bought up a few redundant, or unmanageable Victorian churches in urban areas to build their supermarkets on. They have then built smaller, replacement churches nearby to a very high specification, complete with pipe organs. On the subject of 'successful churches', I cannot help but feel that some Clergy and PCC's would destroy a successful church within five years even if it were handed to them on a plate. The main problem seems to be a tendency to destroy any musical tradition in favour of happy-clappy hymns, and ultra low church ideology.
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