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St Mary's Balham


Guest Echo Gamba
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Guest Echo Gamba
Can anyone please remind me what happened here in 1977?

 

I'm not too young to remember, and I do have a good memory, but I think this one must have passed me by....... :D

 

 

Many thanks for reply received by PM.

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Guest Echo Gamba
And what was was the answer?

 

Alan

 

Reply by PM :lol:

 

(Seriously - an individual's name was mentioned, hence a somewhat delicate subject)

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Guest Echo Gamba
And me, please!

 

Stephen Barber

 

Oh what the heck! (But I am reluctant to name names in public, so I won't. I am sure PM's are different though!)

 

Apparently, some alterations were made, without a faculty, by a "non-bona-fide" "organ builder". The consistory court ruled that the alterations should be reversed at the "builder's" expense. I also gather that the "fire damage" mentioned on the NPOR survey was as a result of an IRA bomb in a neighbouring building.....

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Oh what the heck! (But I am reluctant to name names in public, so I won't. I am sure PM's are different though!)

 

Apparently, some alterations were made, without a faculty, by a "non-bona-fide" "organ builder". The consistory court ruled that the alterations should be reversed at the "builder's" expense. I also gather that the "fire damage" mentioned on the NPOR survey was as a result of an IRA bomb in a neighbouring building.....

The trouble with a ruling such as this is that making an incompetent person reverse the effects of their own incompetence could well have made things even worse - or do you mean that the 'non-bona-fide' chap was made to pay a reputable builder to make good?

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Guest Echo Gamba
The trouble with a ruling such as this is that making an incompetent person reverse the effects of their own incompetence could well have made things even worse - or do you mean that the 'non-bona-fide' chap was made to pay a reputable builder to make good?

 

I don't know I'm afraid

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Apparently, some alterations were made, without a faculty, by a "non-bona-fide" "organ builder". The consistory court ruled that the alterations should be reversed at the "builder's" expense.

So how does this relate to this document in the National Archives: "Faculty to rebuild and enlarge the organ P95/MRY3/272 1977 Mar22"? Did the builder simply jump the gun?

 

Paul

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Guest Echo Gamba
So how does this relate to this document in the National Archives: "Faculty to rebuild and enlarge the organ P95/MRY3/272 1977 Mar22"? Did the builder simply jump the gun?

 

Paul

 

:lol: Read down the page!! :-

minus.gif Correspondence, copies of the judgement and associated material concerning the Consistory Court case which was held as a result of reconstruction work on the organ being undertaken before a faculty had been granted P95/MRY3/289 1977 - 1986

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My good friend Barry Williams - known to many as a former regular contributor to this Board - has asked me to copy and paste the following message that he sent me. With his legal expertise and experience he considers there is nothing in this message which is confidential, outside the public domain, or which is inappropriate to a discussion board such as this. He advises me that no names have been used inappropriately. As requested, I have not made any alterations to his message.

 

Malcolm

Dear Malcolm,

 

Thank you for your telephone call. I am delighted to inform you about Re : St Mary's Balham.

 

It was a dire case in 1976/77, arising from the reconstruction of a Hill organ by the parish and a one man organ builder, without the authority of a faculty.

 

Putting the facts quite shortly, in June 1976 the churchwardens and certain parishioners sought a faculty to reconstruct a Hill organ that was reported as being musically inadequate for the needs of the church. The DAC felt unable to recommend the scheme, but the parish went ahead anyway. The parish was fully aware from the Archdeacon and correspondence with the DAC and Diocesan Registrar that the work was illegal, but they carried on notwithstanding.

 

The then Diocesan Chancellor, the Worshipful and Reverend Dr Evelyn Garth Moore, held that they had acted in flagrant breach of the law in causing the organ to be dismantled without permission. Because it was not possible to reconstruct the original instrument, (which was the Order the Archdeacon had sought from the Consistory Court,) the Chancellor held that the work should proceed with such 'improvements' as were indicated by expert advice.

 

Typically, Garth Moore gave a powerful and entirely appropriate judgment, reminding the parishioners etc of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 and the Archdeacon of the fact that he had failed to use the powers of the High Court to obtain an Injunction to stop the illegal work. (This would now not be necessary as the Consistory Court now has its own powers of Injunction, etc). He also commented that the incumbent (now deceased) "does not seem to have led his flock with any great determination. If he did lead them, then, like the Duke of Plaza Toro, he seems to have led them from behind, and was content to let them go ahead with something he must surely have known was a flagrant illegality."

 

The organ builder was forced to do future work on this organ work under the supervision of the Archdeacon: "..which I have no doubt the Archdeacon will exercise through the appropriate expert or experts." The costs of putting the organ into the state permitted by the Court were to be borne by the four petitioners, as were all the legal costs.

 

The late Michael Gillingham and the late Herbert Norman both gave expert evidence to the Court.

 

The Court reminded everyone that there is no such thing as a retrospective faculty. A confirmatory faculty does not make an unlawful act lawful. The illegal act remains unlawful for all time. The confirmatory faculty merely legalises the work from the date it is granted. The perpetrators of the illegalities remain personally liable forever for any wrongs that they have committed.

 

The full judgment can be found in the All England Law Reports [1978[ 1 All ER pages 993 to 998. It is well worth reading. (A few years later Garth Moore delivered the even more devastating judgment of In Re St Mary Barnes. That did not involve an organ, though the then Diocesan Bishop got it 'in the neck.' in the course of the judgment.) It was my great pleasure and privilege to appear before Garth Moore on quite a few occasions. He had an extremely quick and incisive mind, yet he was also pastoral and caring. Appearing before him was invariably exhausting yet always exhilarating. In these judgments, as in the earlier case of Woldingham Churchyard, (where a monumental mason had erected an inappropriate and unlawful memorial,) he showed that the Faculty Jurisdiction had teeth and could bite, albeit humanely.

 

I have not mentioned the names of the living as many of the folk involved are still around. However, the judgment is very much in the public domain. Indeed, the case was widely reported on TV, Radio and in the Press at the time.

 

If any of my friends from the Mander Invision Board would like a copy of the judgment please ask them to send me their snail mail address - through you if they do not have my details.

 

With every good wish,

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Barry

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Hi

 

This has set me thinking. As many list members may know, there is no such thing as faculty control in some denominations, probably most notably Baptist and congregational, where the local church meeting is the ultimate authority.

 

In Baptist churches, the minister & deacons (elected church leaders) are "managing trustees" (in most cases, the trust deeds for buildings are held by a trust corporation) and providing we keep within the terms of the trust, can operate without taking advice from anyone. I'm just wondering if there is any mileage in the legal requirement of trustees to protect the assetts of the trust which can be applied to prevent - or at least require proper professional advice - before the removal of a pipe organ. I know of several cases where churches have used "reordering" as an excuse to dispose of quite reasonable instruments (in 2 case the organ chambers are in positions where it would be difficult to see any sensible alternative use!). The more difficult situation - but one that is becoming increasingly common - is where pipe organs are just left in situ, unplayed and unloved.

 

Any comments?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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What if BIOS put one if its wretched Historic Organ Certificates on it? Do they have any sort of binding over non conformist denominations?

 

I know the sort of scenario you describe. The organ I first played in Leeds (in a Pentecostal church, though one that was enlighted in the 1920s to have a proper two manual pipe organ in itwas taken out early 80s, to be replaced by a Hammond (quite a good Hammond, but a Hammond, nevertheless), and not even the building appears on NPOR.

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What if BIOS put one if its wretched Historic Organ Certificates on it? Do they have any sort of binding over non conformist denominations?

 

I know the sort of scenario you describe. The organ I first played in Leeds (in a Pentecostal church, though one that was enlighted in the 1920s to have a proper two manual pipe organ in itwas taken out early 80s, to be replaced by a Hammond (quite a good Hammond, but a Hammond, nevertheless), and not even the building appears on NPOR.

I do not believe BIOS have any binding over anybody. It is a voluntary body whose aim is to identify and raise the profile of worthy instruments. As I understand it, it is nothing like the situation of a listed building.

JC

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What if BIOS put one if its wretched Historic Organ Certificates on it? Do they have any sort of binding over non conformist denominations?

 

I know the sort of scenario you describe. The organ I first played in Leeds (in a Pentecostal church, though one that was enlighted in the 1920s to have a proper two manual pipe organ in itwas taken out early 80s, to be replaced by a Hammond (quite a good Hammond, but a Hammond, nevertheless), and not even the building appears on NPOR.

 

Hi

 

Send an e-mail to the NPOR office with the details and we will raise a survey! We rely on people with local knowledge telling us what's going on/has gone on.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

This has set me thinking. As many list members may know, there is no such thing as faculty control in some denominations, probably most notably Baptist and congregational, where the local church meeting is the ultimate authority.

 

In Baptist churches, the minister & deacons (elected church leaders) are "managing trustees" (in most cases, the trust deeds for buildings are held by a trust corporation) and providing we keep within the terms of the trust, can operate without taking advice from anyone. I'm just wondering if there is any mileage in the legal requirement of trustees to protect the assetts of the trust which can be applied to prevent - or at least require proper professional advice - before the removal of a pipe organ. I know of several cases where churches have used "reordering" as an excuse to dispose of quite reasonable instruments (in 2 case the organ chambers are in positions where it would be difficult to see any sensible alternative use!). The more difficult situation - but one that is becoming increasingly common - is where pipe organs are just left in situ, unplayed and unloved.

 

Any comments?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Hi

 

Further to this, Barry Williams has very kindly clarified the legal position in Free churches (and took the trouble to phone me about it). I had forgotten that our listed buildings do have some controls, but the others (the majority) have no outside control - or even requirement to take unbiased professional advice. We could, for example, have scrapped our c.1820 chamber organ in the church and put in an electronic (the idea was suggested by one of the members), and no-one could have interferred.

 

With his permission, I paste Barry's e-mail to me below.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Quoting Barry Williams:-

Dear Tony,

 

Thank you for your email and telephone call.

 

There is control in other denominations. Indeed, the ecclesiastical exemption has been reviewed a couple of times to ensure that in the case of Listed Buildings in ecclesiastical use, the final decisions are made outside the local congregation. One denomination lost the exemption for a while because it did not have adequate controls; all the decisions were made and approved locally. The system of ecclesiastical exemption provides reasonable control.

 

The ecclesiastical exemption only applies in respect of Listed Buildings in use for worship. The Faculty Jurisdiction operates on all Church of England places of worship, whether Listed or not. There is no external control over organs [or any other items] where the building is non-Anglican and not Listed. Thus 'Free' churches can make their own decisions. The Methodists, [in strictness not actually a 'Free' church] for example, do so by Trustees; the Baptists, by their Church Meeting, etc.

 

Much harm has been done to the cause of pipe organs in recent years by a rather badly focused letter-writing campaign. Members of Parliament and their professional civil servants became thoroughly fed up with repetitive correspondence suggesting that pipe organs should always be listed as an item in every church. [The actual Listing is for identification purpose and the items mentioned therein do not necessarily include all that is important. This point is frequently misunderstood, as is so much about ecclesiastical Listing.]

 

Far more worrying is when there is a fine pipe organ, but the church building has ceased to be used for ecclesiastical use. The control then reverts to the Local Authority. Several fine organs have been lost in this way and another is rotting.

 

You may post this email on the Mander Board if you wish.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Barry

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Guest Voix Mystique
Hi

 

Further to this, Barry Williams has very kindly clarified the legal position in Free churches (and took the trouble to phone me about it). I had forgotten that our listed buildings do have some controls, but the others (the majority) have no outside control - or even requirement to take unbiased professional advice. We could, for example, have scrapped our c.1820 chamber organ in the church and put in an electronic (the idea was suggested by one of the members), and no-one could have interferred.

 

With his permission, I paste Barry's e-mail to me below.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Quoting Barry Williams:-

Dear Tony,

 

Thank you for your email and telephone call.

 

There is control in other denominations. Indeed, the ecclesiastical exemption has been reviewed a couple of times to ensure that in the case of Listed Buildings in ecclesiastical use, the final decisions are made outside the local congregation. One denomination lost the exemption for a while because it did not have adequate controls; all the decisions were made and approved locally. The system of ecclesiastical exemption provides reasonable control.

 

The ecclesiastical exemption only applies in respect of Listed Buildings in use for worship. The Faculty Jurisdiction operates on all Church of England places of worship, whether Listed or not. There is no external control over organs [or any other items] where the building is non-Anglican and not Listed. Thus 'Free' churches can make their own decisions. The Methodists, [in strictness not actually a 'Free' church] for example, do so by Trustees; the Baptists, by their Church Meeting, etc.

 

Much harm has been done to the cause of pipe organs in recent years by a rather badly focused letter-writing campaign. Members of Parliament and their professional civil servants became thoroughly fed up with repetitive correspondence suggesting that pipe organs should always be listed as an item in every church. [The actual Listing is for identification purpose and the items mentioned therein do not necessarily include all that is important. This point is frequently misunderstood, as is so much about ecclesiastical Listing.]

 

Far more worrying is when there is a fine pipe organ, but the church building has ceased to be used for ecclesiastical use. The control then reverts to the Local Authority. Several fine organs have been lost in this way and another is rotting.

 

You may post this email on the Mander Board if you wish.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Barry

 

"The control then reverts to the Local Authority. Several fine organs have been lost in this way and another is rotting".

 

What's rotting, where? I'm on the lookout for an organ for my church (presently has IIP/13 Henry Jones, needs something like IIIP/35 Father Willis to fill the space).

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