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St. Mary's Frizinghall


Lausanne
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As Reeds in the Grove had started one or two other topics. Here's one that escaped.

 

A rare story of an organ surviving in the Bradford Diocese, well physically at least, but I think the acoustics that MM remembers from his youth may have been well and truly destroyed by the wall to wall carpet. The only advantage of this sea of carpet (for it is blue) is so that babies can crawl anywhere they like and not hurt their knees - I think. I had hoped on seeing the earlier photos of the beautiful Victorian tiles they had found in the chancel, that at least this section of the Church would have been spared the rug, but apparently not. However, looking on the bright side, the organ still exists, but perhaps only because it would have cost too much to throw it away. Let's hope that eventually one of the babies grows up to hate the sound of the synthesiser and drum kit they use and proves to be a gifted organist (despite the carpet burns on her knees).

 

Here is a link to the plans of the church in its new state. I can fully appreciate the need to have all these facilities in the community centre that most Churches now feel they have to be in order to survive. I have just noticed that if they'd knocked a hole in the wall between the new church hall (old North aisle), they could have used the organ for Blackpool style tea dances.

http://www.smcf-church.org.uk/img/e2s/1972...20plan%2012.JPG

 

The organ doesn't seem to appear on the NPOR, but I hope this will soon be updated.

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As Reeds in the Grove had started one or two other topics. Here's one that escaped.

 

A rare story of an organ surviving in the Bradford Diocese, well physically at least, but I think the acoustics that MM remembers from his youth may have been well and truly destroyed by the wall to wall carpet. The only advantage of this sea of carpet (for it is blue) is so that babies can crawl anywhere they like and not hurt their knees - I think. I had hoped on seeing the earlier photos of the beautiful Victorian tiles they had found in the chancel, that at least this section of the Church would have been spared the rug, but apparently not. However, looking on the bright side, the organ still exists, but perhaps only because it would have cost too much to throw it away. Let's hope that eventually one of the babies grows up to hate the sound of the synthesiser and drum kit they use and proves to be a gifted organist (despite the carpet burns on her knees).

 

Here is a link to the plans of the church in its new state. I can fully appreciate the need to have all these facilities in the community centre that most Churches now feel they have to be in order to survive. I have just noticed that if they'd knocked a hole in the wall between the new church hall (old North aisle), they could have used the organ for Blackpool style tea dances.

http://www.smcf-church.org.uk/img/e2s/1972...20plan%2012.JPG

 

The organ doesn't seem to appear on the NPOR, but I hope this will soon be updated.

 

Hi

 

The organ will appear on NPOR when I get a minute to visit the church & do a survey.

 

Before there's too much criticism of the reordering of the church, it's as well to remember that this area of Bradford has a very large Asian population (and a lrage mosque in the area), and all the churches are struggling against declining numbers and lack of money. At least the building can continue in use as a Christian place of worship and provide facilities for the community - better than yet another church closing.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Patrick Coleman
better than yet another church closing.

 

Tony

 

Really? And turning churches into milady's boudoir is going to impress our Islamic brethren into respecting our worship of the awesome one God? Please - open up churches to community use by all means, but let us be spared boudoir style worship and worship spaces.

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Really? And turning churches into milady's boudoir is going to impress our Islamic brethren into respecting our worship of the awesome one God? Please - open up churches to community use by all means, but let us be spared boudoir style worship and worship spaces.

 

I certainly hadn't meant to criticise the enormous effort and fund raising that these church make-overs entail. At seeing the plans several years ago now, I had been relieved to see the organ chamber still there. But now having seen the carpet everywhere, even on the seat backs and given that so many churches have done the same or are considering it, perhaps just a little discussion involving all those DOAs on the Forum is urgently required. Assuming that it hasn't been done to death already.

 

Are all churches willing to listen to and act upon such details as 'carpets stop people singing, because all they hear is themselves and that wonderful sound of massed voices ringing out is lost'?

 

At the Church I attended whilst growing up in Cottingley (Bradford Disocese), a modern square building, all the floor was parquet. The acoustics were good AND there was a thriving youth group, invited rock bands and a real sense of welcome. All this was possible without a single piece of carpet. Of course the building was so modern (hyperparabolic roof) that it had to be demolished and a new one is being built surrounded by a whole community centre, housing, doctor's surgery and a Police station.

 

Perhaps in St. Mary's Frizinghall, given the variety of flooring (stone or concrete, wood, tile) the only cost effective solution was to carpet the whole lot.

 

And Tony, I hadn't meant to point the finger regarding the NPOR, I now realise that there are many organists and churches who still don't know about this very useful archive, so a few over-worked volunteers are having to do it all.

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Guest Barry Williams

Much has been written about the effect of carpet in churches. One incumbent told me, specifically, that the reason why he desperately wanted carpet in his church was that it would destroy the acoustic sense of the numinous that came from reverberation. He was aiming at a different type of 'atmosphere' that he felt would welcome families more. He got his carpet. The families did not come. He left. A wiser generation has removed the carpet and returned to more traditional things. The organ sounds a lot better without the carpet. At least he did not get rid of the organ.

 

Barry Williams

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Really? And turning churches into milady's boudoir is going to impress our Islamic brethren into respecting our worship of the awesome one God? Please - open up churches to community use by all means, but let us be spared boudoir style worship and worship spaces.

 

Hi

 

The main point is that many church buildings are just too large for the current congregations. St. paul's, Manningham have a similar arrangement where the North Aisle is blocked off and split into rooms for community (and church) activities, the South Aisle is also blocked off for use as a hall - but with folding screens so that it can be opened up and still used as part of the church. The South side has no carpet (or any other acoustic treatment) which makes it very "live" and difficult to use effectively. There is carpet in the former North Aisle, but that's a different matter. IIRC the main sanctuary has a carpeted aisle and open area/platform at the front, and the former chancel (still in effect part of the main space) is carpeted and used as a Lady Chapel. With these alterations (and I hear that additional outer aisles were demolished long ago) makes the place very long & narrow - and very tall, so at least there is a reasonable acoustic. I preached there last year, there were 20 in the congregation. The organ languishes, very little used and in poor condition (they are trying to dispose of it, and have a faculty - we are trying to persuade them otherwise!) - it's a much altered Bishop from the mid-1800's (possibily a little earlier - research is under way) rebuilt by Conacher and again by a local builder.

 

There is a monthly Asian language service which draws support from a wide area and can fill the place (and the after-church refreshments are something else!)

 

I have no problem with carpet in church as such - as long as the installation is thought through. Carpet and comfortable chairs do provide a more welcoming atmosphere for those who come to worship, and shouldn't be ruled out. There are maintenance issues as well as the effect on the acoustics (which may or may not be a problem). A number of years ago I was asked to advise a Methodist church on a sound system for their refurbished building, because no-one could hear the preacher any more. They had fitted a thick carpet and acoustic ceiling tiles. I discovered that it you sat next to the wall, you could hear perfectly - but more than a fott or so away, the furnishings were mopping up the sound - they were not impressed when I suggested removing either the carpet of the ceiling.

 

Whatever is done in the way of carpet - it should NEVER be layed in the area used by musicians (choir or worship band) - the early reflections from a solid floor are vital to good performance - I wish mre people would take that on board when thinlking about carpet.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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