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Songs Of Praise - The Organ


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He was sitting at what appeared to be an unaltered little H&H from the 1920s or 30s. At the time, I thought it might have been St.Sepulchre's again - anyway, seated at a 15 stop H&H, you don't demonstrate mixtures because there aren't any!

 

Thanks Paul but no need to shout :lol: . Anyway, your saying that reminded me that one of the finest, though little heard or little discussed, organs in Cardiff is also one without mixtures or mutations:

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=A00702

 

 

To my shame I must say that it is many years since I have played this instrument, a lapse in my musical life I must rectify soon.

 

Peter

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Yes I also set my video recorder because I was attending a railway Society meeting. I was disappointed with the Blackpool segment, and I would have preferred just hearing the organs without the hymn singers.

Many years ago I contacted the BBC with the suggestion that a "Songs of Praise" programme could be recorded from the Great Hall of Ally Pally.

The series producer was at that time a Michael someone, (forget his name), and he duly visited the Palace. I understand that he loved the venue, but was not impressed with the appearance of the unfinished organ.

Sadly nothing ever happened.

I have always enjoyed the programme, just so I can hear the impressive pipe organs.

Colin Richell

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I think we all appreciate the problems in some churches (and cathedrals), but there are many out there where there is no activity during the day, and where a pupil could practice (supervised by a parent), but the church authorities won't lend a key, because they cannot be trusted, or they don't want the organ played. To me this is just criminal. Firstly they are making the assumption that as they are under eighteen they must be untrustworthy, and secondly, they are ensuring that at some point in the future their organ is never played!

 

Jonathan

 

You may find that it is actually a case of a clause in the insurance policy or an insistence on the part of the insurance company of some of these churches. In such circumstances, there is unlikely to be anything that the church authorities could do - other than to risk violating the terms of their policies. With thefts and arson attacks on churches apparently increasing, many insurance companies are being much more strict in what they will and will not allow.

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You may find that it is actually a case of a clause in the insurance policy or an insistence on the part of the insurance company of some of these churches. In such circumstances, there is unlikely to be anything that the church authorities could do - other than to risk violating the terms of their policies. With thefts and arson attacks on churches apparently increasing, many insurance companies are being much more strict in what they will and will not allow.
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Attempting once again to return to the theme of the thread, I no longer play, but I was bemused by the organist who could not play the pedals even though he had tried to learn.

I would have thought that the hard bit was also to learn to play the keyboard. but is it essential to use the pedals when perhaps just playing for hymns in a half empty church ?

Colin Richell.

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Guest Barry Williams
You may find that it is actually a case of a clause in the insurance policy or an insistence on the part of the insurance company of some of these churches. In such circumstances, there is unlikely to be anything that the church authorities could do - other than to risk violating the terms of their policies. With thefts and arson attacks on churches apparently increasing, many insurance companies are being much more strict in what they will and will not allow.

 

 

Most churches are insured with Ecclesiasitical who have never put such a condition in.

 

Has anyone any direct experience of such a condition applying please? (As opposed to church officers SAYING that such a condition applies.)

 

Barry Williams

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=========================

They're far too busy making cooking and house-hunting programmes.

 

I must have complained a dozen times about the puacity of "Shaun the Sheep" episodes, but to no avail.

 

MM

 

No - they mostly complain about news programmes and the bias of items therein. There are usually an equal number of calls complaining about bias in either direction! When one draws the short straw of a daytime shift when all the DIY/home improvement/car boot sale programmes meld into one continuous stream of unadulterated mediocrity, one does sometimes wonder whether all those that these things are aimed at are unable to raise any complaints because their brains have all turned to liquid....

 

However, I rather like Shuan the Sheep (regrdless of the fact that neither you nor I are really in its target audience) so much so that the kids bought me the boxed set of DVDs for Christmas!

 

S

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Most churches are insured with Ecclesiasitical who have never put such a condition in.

 

Has anyone any direct experience of such a condition applying please? (As opposed to church officers SAYING that such a condition applies.)

 

Barry Williams

 

Yes - I have, Barry - which is why I posted my original reply. As I wrote, we are not permitted to lend our keys to unauthorised persons (i.e.: non-keyholders).

 

I am fairly certain that our poilcy is with Ecclesiastical and, after the most recent theft, we have been obliged to do the following:

 

1) Fit new locks to certain vestry doors.

 

2) Restrict the number of keyholders for certain locks to a bare mimimum.

 

3) Withdraw some keys - even from well known and trusted employees.

 

4) Restrict movement at busy times in certain parts of the building - for example near the safes before and after services. This has (for example) caused much upset and resentfulness amongst the choirmen, a number of whom have served at the Minster for several years (decades, in some cases). For the record, these choirmen are well known and trustworthy.*

 

May I write again that we were obliged to implement the above by our insurance company - as a condition of continued cover.

 

 

 

* Even I had a stand-off with one of our churchwardens regarding this. However, I would not back down under any circumstances and so I am still able to walk through the Verger's Vestry at any time when it is open during services. I insisted that, as a well known and trusted salaried member of staff (and a keyholder), it was unacceptable for the church officers to attempt to include me in this ruling. In the end, he had to give way.

 

No doubt you can understand that there are times when insurance companies are beginning to tighten-up the way they apply their policy clauses.

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Guest Barry Williams
Yes - I have, Barry - which is why I posted my original reply. As I wrote, we are not permitted to lend our keys to unauthorised persons (i.e.: non-keyholders).

 

Thank you.

 

I am puzzled by this. Is there any reason why a student organist cannot be an 'authorised person' and thus be within the conditions? No-one is suggesting that the organ is used without proper permission.

 

Barry Williams

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Thank you.

 

I am puzzled by this. Is there any reason why a student organist cannot be an 'authorised person' and thus be within the conditions? No-one is suggesting that the organ is used without proper permission.

 

Barry Williams

 

 

Yes - keyholders are limited to:

 

1) Authorised clergy

 

2) Salaried members of staff (myself included*)

 

3) A small number of other authorised personnel

 

Clearly, a student organist would not be regarded as an employee.

 

I must admit that I would not be happy to leave a youngster in the (locked) building unsupervised, particularly at night. Not because they may steal or damage anything; simply in case the student did not ensure that the organ, lights and any related switches were turned off, or that the building was inadequately secure on leaving.

 

 

 

* Despite having been associated with the Minster since September 1988 - and, if I may say so - being known to be completely trustworthy, the Rector has even been obliged, under the strictures of the insurance company, to request the return of one inner vestry door key from myself, my boss and one or two other trusted employees.

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Yes - keyholders are limited to:

 

1) Authorised clergy

 

2) Salaried members of staff

 

3) A small number of other authorised personnel

 

This is similar to the situation at the church near to where I live and where I used to practice - eventually I installed an organ at home and have not looked back - so to speak. It was either that, use the church when the (obliging) organist was doing her filing or do without.

 

AJJ

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I came home tonight fully intending to watch SOP which I record on my hard disk player on Sunday, only to find that "her indoors" had indavertantly erased last night. After some quiet gnashing of teeth I tried out this new-fangled iPlayer facility via the BBC website.

 

I have to say I'm really impressed. I was expecting very poor video and sound, particularly given that SOP is a music program. However it was perfectly listenable to peace is restored in our household. The only irritating thing is that the iPlayer recording "expires" after 30 days and becomes unplayable.

 

Give it a go if you haven't tried it already. Oh yes, and better still, it's free.

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Guest Barry Williams

This is far from the original subject matter, but it is clear that rehearsal facilities are not restricted by the insurance company so much as by the interpretation of the insurance terms by the church. There is no problem with that so long as it is realised that organ practice involves spending much time on an organ, usually in a church.

 

The pleasure of having just one rank of real pipes for practice was described in 'The Organ' by Dr Padgham in 1964. Alas, youngsters cannot always afford that, neither can their parents. Electronic instruments may not be an affordable alternative for many families. Those wishing to learn the organ are thus thrown on the mercy of church authorities.

Clearly, this is a difficult matter. It is good that many churches interpret the rules to enable students to practice. Some charge exhorbitant sums for rehearsal and then wonder why students are reluctant to play for services.

 

I am very fortunate in having a wife who insists on our having a pipe organ in the house so that I do not depend on any church for rehearsal facilities and can continue my love of organ music without a church affiliation.

 

Barry Williams

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I am very fortunate in having a wife who insists on our having a pipe organ in the house so that I do not depend on any church for rehearsal facilities and can continue my love of organ music without a church affiliation.

 

I can imagine what most wives would say about the suggestion of installing a pipe organ in the house! :)

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The programme is already available on iPlayer for those who missed it (or for any foreign readers who are interested: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/).

 

Unfortunately for us foreigners, you can only watch it from iPlayer in the UK at the moment. They say they are working on another version of iPlayer so we can watch these things, but it will be too late by then! :)

 

JA

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Yes - keyholders are limited to:

 

1) Authorised clergy

 

2) Salaried members of staff (myself included*)

 

3) A small number of other authorised personnel

 

Clearly, a student organist would not be regarded as an employee.

 

 

============================

 

 

The world has gone mad.

 

I had a church key at the age of 11 (a major PC) and held on to it until I was 17. The church, silver and organ still survive.

 

The same key fitted the bell-tower, and I could have woken everyone up Quasimodo-style, had I so wished.

 

The only naughty thing I ever did was to pop up the bell-tower, emerge on the roof of it and throw snowballs at people below.

 

Well, certain things just have to be done at that age.

 

:)

 

MM

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============================

The world has gone mad.

 

I had a church key at the age of 11 (a major PC) and held on to it until I was 17. The church, silver and organ still survive.

 

The same key fitted the bell-tower, and I could have woken everyone up Quasimodo-style, had I so wished.

 

The only naughty thing I ever did was to pop up the bell-tower, emerge on the roof of it and throw snowballs at people below.

 

Well, certain things just have to be done at that age.

 

:)

 

MM

 

Well, absolutely.

 

Unfortunately, some parts of Britain appear to have gone a little crazy with regard to the legalistic interpretation of policies, rulings and dictates from official bodies.

 

In the case of the Minster however, we were obliged to implement three of the aforementioned rules by our insurance company; it was not simply a case of the church being over-cautious.

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I guess that we all know that the EIG insurance policies are issued ON THE UNDERSTANDING that a church building is left open. After all it is cheaper for EIG to replace your brass candlesticks which have been nicked by someone walking into the building rather than climbing through a hole where a stained glass window was. Thus, in the centre of Prestatyn the parish church has been left open almost completely unguarded every day for the past three years or so. I was advised by a very pleasant person from the Lloyd Webber Trust that the biggest deterrant for the would-be opportunist thief is a big notice outside the Church saying THIS CHURCH IS OPEN. Far more effective than CCTV cameras and the likes, because it is thought that there's no use wandering in if people are around. (I admit that some thieves and vandals are more brazen than that, but thus far so good). So that is what we have done.

 

The only trouble we ever had was about 18 months ago. The pedal organ started a note cipher. Called in the tuner and he announced that we had a cat in church. There are one or two feral cats about. Said cat (who also pooped on the aisle carpet), walked into church through the open door, climbed inside the console via the swell pedal opening, had a look round, turned around, bending a contact in the act, and then found a safe hidey hole under the Lady Chapel altar. It took the organ builder a few moments to fix the fault, and forty five minutes to get the cat out of church!

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Well, absolutely.

 

Unfortunately, some parts of Britain appear to have gone a little crazy with regard to the legalistic interpretation of policies, rulings and dictates from official bodies.

 

In the case of the Minster however, we were obliged to implement three of the aforementioned rules by our insurance company; it was not simply a case of the church being over-cautious.

Yes, absolutely. It sounds like your church has also gone a little crazy interpreting conditions as well...

 

Your insurance company is not an official body or an authority. They provide the church with a service. I am astonished that they asked for conditions which have apparently so restricted the operation of the church.

 

If I had been in your church's shoes, I would have replied saying that the church had reviewed its security polices, changed locks, etc to ensure that the church is as secure as possible within the practical operations of the church. It may not have been necessary to withdraw keys from anyone or introduce further restrictions on access - that's partly my point. The main point is that you can argue the insurance company's requests are unreasonable if they interfer seriously with the operation of your church.

 

How can the insurance company ensure that their conditions are being met - or prove that they have not been met?

 

I would rather have a happy, well functioning church than a happy insurance company. Insurance companies can be changed or taken to court, you don't care about their feelings: you're stuck with the people in the church.

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Your insurance company is not an official body or an authority. They provide the church with a service. I am astonished that they asked for conditions which have apparently so restricted the operation of the church.

 

Yes, I know - but I had to go back to teach and I was in a hurry.

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