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Guest Lee Blick

Nightmare Parishes

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Unless my Tort tutor was wrong,

 

I am only guessing but I sense that your tutoring in the law of tort took place a long time before the Defamation Act 1996. I think, too, that you are forgetting that "malice" is factored in, now, in court.

 

it is important to remember that we are essentially guests of John Mander and his Company here. As he has pointed out, the Company carry a legal responsibility for what is published here and it is in our own interests, as well as those of our host, to refrain from anything that could be construed as defamation. I think it is always better to err on the side of caution. If you feel that your story should be published then by all means go ahead and make your own website detailing the case in such a way that you will be obvious as the sole publisher. This forum is too valuable a resource to risk on the, however genuine, vented spleen of its members.

 

Thank you. There is a quick introduction to defamation here

 

http://www.paradigm.ac.uk/workbook/legal-i...defamation.html

 

 

Moderator, Mander Organs

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Guest Barry Williams

Perhaps I could remind everyone of certain incontrovertible facts.

 

1. There are some dreadful employers around in the church music business.

 

2. It is right and proper that we should share accounts of what has happened.

 

3. In any defamation action the onus of proof and the evidential burden rest with the person making the

statement who has to prove that the defamatory remark is true.

 

4. Competent witnesses disappear like the mist in the morning sun when court action is mentioned.

 

5. If the living are mentioned by name, our Moderators are likely to remove or block any postings. Indeed,

I would advise them to do so for rather obvious reasons.

 

It is perfectly possible to give others the benefit of our experiences in an objective way without dragging our hosts into potential legal suits.

 

I therefore invite everyone to consider this carefully before posting specific personal details.

 

Barry Williams

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Guest Hector5

I am painfully aware that a number of our company have fallen foul of church authorities by venting their spleen against their parish priest, pcc, other members of the church etc on this forum. This seems to have resulted in members being either forced to change their names on this site to avoid being identified and others disappearing completely. Have none of you learnt from others' mistakes? It would appear that a large number of people 'watch' this site, and often search for over-emotional posts from some contributors speaking their mind as ammunition in trying to trip them up, and sending a random copy to churchwardens or even vicars. I think those that start posts like this enjoy sitting back and watching the fireworks as members respond, sometimes with heartfelt emotion - and sometimes too much. We have all fallen foul of incumbents and PCCs, together with petty-minded individuals, but still we plough on. COME ON GUYs - please can we have an end to this dreadful baiting, and apparent deliberate mischief-making in order to see some more musical blood-sports.

 

Best wishes from sunny Dijon!

 

Hector

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"It would appear that a large number of people 'watch' this site, and often search for over-emotional posts from some contributors speaking their mind as ammunition in trying to trip them up, and sending a random copy to churchwardens or even vicars. "

 

******************

 

"I think those that start posts like this enjoy sitting back and watching the fireworks as members respond, "

 

 

Just how do you come by that statement Hector? I can't imagine that this happens on this site! And with regards to the second comment, eventhough Lee blick does often add very colourful posts which, whether you agree with them or not, certainly add a frision to the case in point (!) I don't think that he can be accused of what you are intimating with regards to this particular post...........I thought it was an excellent idea so long as names and places were kept out of it. We all have our stories, and whilst I haven't (yet) added my two, this is the perfect place to air them.

 

Lastly, I dont think it is a good idea to close the board unless you are a subscriber - I too joined after many visits reading what others were saying about things and by making it private we certainly would be taking a backwards step - we should just be mindful to think before we comment.

Richard

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Have no fear, we are not going to close this board to all but subscribers for any number of reasons. If it were to get out of hand, I am afraid we would then have close it completely. We clearly don't want to do that as it seems to serve a purpose. So could I ask you all to be mindful of what you are posting. By all means be provocative, please be interesting, but do try not to be either frivolous or defamatory. The general tone of the discussion board is in your hands and the higher the standard of discussion, the more interesting participants we will attract to our mutual benefit, I would suggest. Please accept that we, the moderators, do have a legal responsibility in hosting the board and have to act accordingly and responsibly.

 

John Pike Mander

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Have no fear, we are not going to close this board to all but subscribers for any number of reasons. If it were to get out of hand, I am afraid we would then have close it completely. We clearly don't want to do that as it seems to serve a purpose. So could I ask you all to be mindful of what you are posting. By all means be provocative, please be interesting, but do try not to be either frivolous or defamatory. The general tone of the discussion board is in your hands and the higher the standard of discussion, the more interesting participants we will attract to our mutual benefit, I would suggest. Please accept that we, the moderators, do have a legal responsibility in hosting the board and have to act accordingly and responsibly.

 

John Pike Mander

 

 

And that, I think, should be that: Please, chaps and chapesses, we only end up stirring and possibly reminding some of us (certainly myself) of arguments and things which we could well do with forgetting!

 

Pretty please, with sugar and a cherry on top! END OF!

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Guest Lee Blick
I think those that start posts like this enjoy sitting back and watching the fireworks as members respond,

 

Hector, I really do hope that comment was not aimed at me. I have been very clear in my motives for this thread. Organists and choirmasters do come across difficult parishes and I think a forum like this can offer advice and comfort through dialogue and a sharing of experiences, whether good or bad.

 

I think this forum could be a good outlet for people to express their frustrations in a controlled way without naming names or telling us where it happened. Of course the private messenging facility is probably a useful way to tell other organists which parishes to avoid if people are that desperate to warn others.

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I thought the british knew a lot about humor....In Belgium, any child

learns when he has something awkward to say, he needs to make

a joke of it.

"Nightmare parishes" lacks of diplomacy as a thread title. This is a red

flag in front of a bull.

Actually, the "Nightmare" isn't specific to parishes.

It happens of course in parishes, but it is an human behavior,

or behaviorS, that you will find everywhere, in shops, workshops,

marriages.....Sole exception: the....Cemetary!!!

 

So the fact is whenever you gather several people round something,

according to the characters of them and the way they interact, you can

end up with a nice team or a disaster.

It is like with registration, some choices will blend, and others not.

 

And now if we commence to talk about the Michel, the Jacques and the Célestin

(foreigns names intentionally!), we start a "game", just the kind of which we

intend to criticize...

 

Do it the belgian ways, guys. Joke about cemetaries, worms, all imaginable

horrible things. It works!

 

Pete Flowers

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I am only guessing but I sense that your tutoring in the law of tort took place a long time before the Defamation Act 1996. I think, too, that you are forgetting that "malice" is factored in, now, in court.

Thank you. There is a quick introduction to defamation here

 

http://www.paradigm.ac.uk/workbook/legal-i...defamation.html

Moderator, Mander Organs

 

 

:o No, my tutoring was not so long ago; I may sound 100, but many organists do...

 

I'm a PG law student, tho' not in the area of Torts, so am by no means an expert on Defamation (my partner, who is a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law isn't much help here either). You're quite right about the burden of proof, but a claimant would be very unwise to pursue an action in Defamation if the statement were true...

 

I don't wish to argue tho', and to be honest I have not followed this thread properly.

 

We're very grateful to you as hosts; the discussion is always lively. Very happy to abide by your rules!

 

Cheers.

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:o No, my tutoring was not so long ago; I may sound 100, but many organists do...

 

I'm a PG law student, tho' not in the area of Torts, ... We're very grateful to you as hosts; the discussion is always lively. Very happy to abide by your rules!

 

Cheers.

 

Oh, OK.

 

I am sure that it is time for a new subject. Here's one (and I haven't seen it used yet here):

 

If you want to become a traditional Irish dancer, you should start at the age of about three. When are you too old to start learning to play the organ?

 

(A great many years ago, an organist told me that I was - then aged about 32 - too old because, he said, I was past the age of being able to learn to master playing both the keyboards and the pedals at the same time.)

 

Moderator, Mander Organs

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If you want to become a traditional Irish dancer, you should start at the age of about three. When are you too old to start learning to play the organ?

 

(A great many years ago, an organist told me that I was - then aged about 32 - too old because, he said, I was past the age of being able to learn to master playing both the keyboards and the pedals at the same time.)

There might be something in that, but I've no evidence either way ie I don't know of anyone who started to learn the organ aged over 30 who either succeeded or failed to achieve an independent pedal technique. People take up extraordinary challenges much later that 30 and succeed though.

 

I wish I'd worked harder in my teens, mind you. Someone should have told me I should be doing 2 hours practice a day. Then I might have made something of myself :o

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Guest Cynic
There might be something in that, but I've no evidence either way ie I don't know of anyone who started to learn the organ aged over 30 who either succeeded or failed to achieve an independent pedal technique. People take up extraordinary challenges much later that 30 and succeed though.

 

I wish I'd worked harder in my teens, mind you. Someone should have told me I should be doing 2 hours practice a day. Then I might have made something of myself :o

 

 

While I accept that the advice given to John Mander above and by innate here makes some sense, I think they're wrong where it really matters: You both might have reached a higher standard of facility, but it wouldn't

1. have made your playing any more musical; you either have taste and rhythm or you don't.

2. that if something really attracts you, does it matter if you're not totally brilliant at it? I think not.

The equivalent would be a sports teacher telling a kid that because they'll never make the England Team there's no point in playing any sport.

 

My advice to anyone who is interested in the organ is to go for it, regardless of age, physical aptitude or mental condition! There is some very fine music written for our instrument which demands very little technique, and all you need is a good teacher and the humility to be satisfied in the early stages with pieces other than the famous few well-known war-horses.

 

It has been mentioned here before, but some fine solo players seem incapable of playing a hymn sensitively whereas I have heard folk who consider themselves not to be players at all who can put on a far better show. As a consequence, they are 'of use' on the organ and can get a lot of satisfaction from playing. The oldest student I have started on the organ began in his 70s after a career in medicine. He had played the piano fairly well before, also the piano accordion. He has had the fun (since) of being organist for two churches, both of which have really appreciated his help. This new challange has given him a highly important new interest and given the CofE another faithful servant.

 

My favourite story about whether and how to start playing the organ: A friend I have known for over thirty years in the organ-building trade doesn't read music and one day (only a few years ago) greatly surprised me by sitting down and playing two pieces. They were short but attractive things: one piece was a Bach chorale prelude and the other was a slowish romantic piece about three pages long. He made a good job of both and I was fascinated to know how he had suddenly 'become an organist'. It turned out that, fed up with not being able to demonstrate/try instruments in public, he had settled on two little pieces he could live with, bought the scores, written in the name of every note (since he still does not read music) and over a period of weeks had carefully taught himself a bar at a time until he had the whole of each piece under his belt.

 

If there's anything (legal) you've always wanted to do (outside of becoming a professional acrobat, dancer or jockey, I suggest) don't let anyone put you off. Actually, I think that goes for more-or-less anything in life. All you need is real determination; of course, finding a patient teacher helps.

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I agree with this. I think the crucial thing about mastering both keyboards and pedals simultaneously is your definition of mastery. If it means playing to diploma standard you are less likely to achieve it than if you set your sights on, say, grade 4.

 

Last year Organists' review published three articles by a chap who had done some research into the factors influencing effective learning among adults. Basically he found that, while the age at which students started learning did play an important part in determining how far they progressed it was by no means a decisive factor. What I wasn't clear about (possibly because I didn't study the articles closely) is how far the level of existing piano technique correlated with the standard of organ playing attained, i.e. how far those adult learners who achieved higher grades or diplomas were excellent pianists to begin with.

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HEE HEE HEE

 

(Ever dealt with any nightmare organists????) :(

 

Hi

 

Yes - same church. I'd probably better not say too much on list - but suffice to say he had little musical training - read the treble clef only (makes harmonies "interesting" to say the least) and had no intention of improving.

 

I was warned that the organist here could be a problem (he's over 80, has been playing here for almost 60 years and still plays one service a month) but I have no problem. I suspect it's because he knows that I appreciate what he does - and he knows that if he says he can't/won't play something, I can! The week he's scheduled to play we have a more traditional (Baptist) communion service - the other weeks, musical style is more "blended".

 

To be fair, the Sunday I "preached with a view" here (for non-Baptists, that's last stage in the Baptist appointment process - followed by the church meeting that says "yes" or "no" to the appointment) I was told that he had been ill and wouldn't be around, and the music group would be playing, so I planned the music accordingly. Well, D. decided he would come and wanted to play - and considering he only saw the music (a mix of hymns and worship songs) the day before, he coped well with everything - and we've got on well ever since.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I am only guessing but I sense that your tutoring in the law of tort took place a long time before the Defamation Act 1996. I think, too, that you are forgetting that "malice" is factored in, now, in court.

Thank you. There is a quick introduction to defamation here

 

http://www.paradigm.ac.uk/workbook/legal-i...defamation.html

Moderator, Mander Organs

 

 

I do not want to start this all up again but I followed up the quoted link and looked at the site in question. Not every lawyer with knowledge of this area would accept some of the statements it contains without further explanation or expansion. For example, contrary to what is implied, a statement does not cease to be defamatory if proved to be true, but it does cease to be actionable . This is a significant distinction. To say someone is a paedophile is clearly defamatory (it takes away the fair fame of the person) at the present time in our culture (in other cultures at other times it might not have been) , but no individual of whom this statement can be proved to be true can sue successfully in respect of it. That said, I fully agree with the approach which avoids courting trouble in the first place. prevention is in almost all circumstances better than cure.

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It is not clear to me whether this topic is now about nightmare parishes or nightmare organists. Rather the latter, it seems.

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