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This is terribly sad news for music in Wales. I can't help but think that the problems lie here...

Earlier this year, new facilities – costing more than £600,000 –were opened. A third of a million-pound extension and refurbishment of the cathedral’s vestries created a new Translators’ Tearoom, gender-neutral toilets and a community meeting space. The project was funded by more than £130,000 of grants secured from various bodies, including WREN – £50,000 – and the Garfield Weston Foundation, £25,000. The rest of the money was raised by the cathedral or had been left as legacies.

A £286,000 grant from the National Lottery went towards the creation of a major interactive project that features interactive displays.

 

All this points to the low regard in which church music and musicians are held in this country.

The exceedingly wealthy, in terms of invested assets,  Anglican church is, in my very humble opinion, appallingly badly run. Two of the churches in my own benefice are set to be abandoned within the next 2 or 3 years. The tiny congregations are expected to contribute over £4000 each per annum to the diocese. For what? We see nothing other than pastoral letters and last year another Bishop appointed. There is no "backflow" of support and is hard to see where our money goes. In most forms of business the "branch offices" are supported by "head office". Not so in the Anglican church...

 

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1 hour ago, handsoff said:

This is terribly sad news for music in Wales. I can't help but think that the problems lie here...

Earlier this year, new facilities – costing more than £600,000 –were opened. A third of a million-pound extension and refurbishment of the cathedral’s vestries created a new Translators’ Tearoom, gender-neutral toilets and a community meeting space. The project was funded by more than £130,000 of grants secured from various bodies, including WREN – £50,000 – and the Garfield Weston Foundation, £25,000. The rest of the money was raised by the cathedral or had been left as legacies.

A £286,000 grant from the National Lottery went towards the creation of a major interactive project that features interactive displays.

 

All this points to the low regard in which church music and musicians are held in this country.

The exceedingly wealthy, in terms of invested assets,  Anglican church is, in my very humble opinion, appallingly badly run. Two of the churches in my own benefice are set to be abandoned within the next 2 or 3 years. The tiny congregations are expected to contribute over £4000 each per annum to the diocese. For what? We see nothing other than pastoral letters and last year another Bishop appointed. There is no "backflow" of support and is hard to see where our money goes. In most forms of business the "branch offices" are supported by "head office". Not so in the Anglican church...

 

Hear hear.  A sign of the times, I'm afraid.  How much longer before we return to common sense?

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Posted on the Cathedral Website on 13th August.

The Dean and Chapter of St Asaph Cathedral have released the following statement:

“Following a reduction in the budget, which has been under financial pressure for some time, we have had to review our financial position.

“We have already put in place a number of different cost cutting strategies, including non-staff related cost saving.  However, it is with the greatest regret that we now have to consider further cost-cutting measures, which are likely to involve making a small number of redundancies unless any viable alternatives can be found.  We can confirm that we have begun the redundancy process but in the interest of those affected, we cannot comment further until that process has been completed.

“We can however give our assurances that arrangements will be put in place to ensure that the Cathedral continues to provide the same high standards of music and worship for principal cathedral and diocesan services.

 

I think the last paragraph is the telling one but, perhaps, it would be better not to make comment until the full facts of the matter are known.

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Whilst not pre-supposing owt, it is to be inferred that this must mean that only the ‘major church festivals & more important diocesan gatherings’ will be musicked. Inevitably, the music establishment will become part-time, with part-time musicians - organists, choirs, etc

To state, therefore, that the same high standards of music will be maintained is misleading. In fact, this will be impossible to achieve, with the concomitant diminishing in the frequency of rehearsing and the ensuing lack of continuity.

This makes the second Welsh cathedral to cull its music establishment in recent years - albeit for different reasons.

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Notice that it says "the same high standards of music and worship for principal cathedral and diocesan services." not "the same high standards of music".

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14 hours ago, John Furse said:

Whilst not pre-supposing owt, it is to be inferred that this must mean that only the ‘major church festivals & more important diocesan gatherings’ will be musicked. Inevitably, the music establishment will become part-time, with part-time musicians - organists, choirs, etc

To state, therefore, that the same high standards of music will be maintained is misleading. In fact, this will be impossible to achieve, with the concomitant diminishing in the frequency of rehearsing and the ensuing lack of continuity.

This makes the second Welsh cathedral to cull its music establishment in recent years - albeit for different reasons.

I suppose that this might be due to a reduction in interest in the Christian religion these days.

A similar situation, as I'm sure many are aware, is the amalgamation of three dioceses in Yorkshire: Ripon, Wakefield and Bradford, to form a single diocese which I believe is now called the Diocese of Leeds. A fair decision, I suppose, in order not to suggest the pre-eminence of any one of the three constituent parts.  There still remain three cathedrals, though... for now!

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So sad - and not without parallels at all levels, not just cathedrals. In my own modest (though quite well remunerated) post, I no longer have a music budget, and deputies cannot be paid in my absence - owing to a new "parish centre" having been built. It has totally disheartened me - I never thought I would want not to be an organist anymore but am seriously considering giving up.

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is some speculation and information in this topic which is misleading and is causing offence.  Consequently, I am locking this topic.

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