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Southwell Minster


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Just watched the Southwell Minster Carol service online - and wonderful it was! I was wondering why the screen organ has been wrapped in plastic? I can't find any mention of building work happening in the church on their website or anywhere else - mind you, that could be because I'm a Luddite...

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1 hour ago, undamaris said:

Just watched the Southwell Minster Carol service online - and wonderful it was! I was wondering why the screen organ has been wrapped in plastic? I can't find any mention of building work happening in the church on their website or anywhere else - mind you, that could be because I'm a Luddite...

New to me was the interesting arrangement of 'Ding Dong! Merrily on high'. Anyone know who wrote it?

 

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11 hours ago, undamaris said:

Just watched the Southwell Minster Carol service online - and wonderful it was! I was wondering why the screen organ has been wrapped in plastic? I can't find any mention of building work happening in the church on their website or anywhere else - mind you, that could be because I'm a Luddite...

They are in the middle of a program of works including re-roofing the quire and chapter house, and conserving some internal stone carvings. I'm not sure how this would affect the screen organ, but I suspect the fact it's shrouded in plastic is probably related.

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Thanks for that!

6 hours ago, michaelwilson said:

They are in the middle of a program of works including re-roofing the quire and chapter house, and conserving some internal stone carvings. I'm not sure how this would affect the screen organ, but I suspect the fact it's shrouded in plastic is probably related.

 

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Having looked at the recording, and knowing the building, it was definitely the screen organ being played, so it is still working as normal. I think it has been covered in plastic for some time, going back to pre-Covid.

And yes, the Nicholson arrangement is excellent!

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If building works are taking place, then it's sensible to wrap the organ to prevent the ingress of building dust. I believe that there are some organ builders that specialise in this, and that it is also possible to wrap the organ in a way that leaves it playable

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10 hours ago, Choir Man said:

If building works are taking place, then it's sensible to wrap the organ to prevent the ingress of building dust. I believe that there are some organ builders that specialise in this, and that it is also possible to wrap the organ in a way that leaves it playable

Indeed. When my local church - St. Mary's, Stoke Bishop (NPOR D07728) - was reordered and refurbed back in 2011 the organ was wrapped both on its main (choir side) façade and on the side (nave) façade. However someone doing the work managed, in mid-to-late 2011, to make a hole in the wrapping which, through ingress of dust, rendered the organ unplayable for some weeks. The remedial work was done in early 2012 IIRC, at no cost to the parish.

Although the organ remains with the same specification as it had when rebuilt in 1979 the accoustic, thanks at least in part to the reordering, is rather dry nowadays.

Dave

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13 hours ago, Choir Man said:

If building works are taking place, then it's sensible to wrap the organ to prevent the ingress of building dust. I believe that there are some organ builders that specialise in this, and that it is also possible to wrap the organ in a way that leaves it playable

Yes.  They did that at York Minster some years ago.

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I think I read somewhere that Southwell is thinking of dropping its use of the term 'minster' on the grounds that not many people now know what a minster is. Seems a pity, especially as a load of large churches have recently been designated minsters. Maybe as the new minsters are parish churches they think it is confusing.

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1 hour ago, Clarabella said:

I think I read somewhere that Southwell is thinking of dropping its use of the term 'minster' on the grounds that not many people now know what a minster is. Seems a pity, especially as a load of large churches have recently been designated minsters. Maybe as the new minsters are parish churches they think it is confusing.

I do find the use of the word Minster over-done now even if it does signify some kind of mother church in a particular area. It’s most associated, although not exclusively, with the north east of England and while I can see why Southwell might want to distinguish themselves as a cathedral church from other Minster churches, York Minster for example would never be mistaken for anything else and Lincoln is also referred to as a minster. 

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We discussed the subject of ‘Minsters’ on another thread not long ago.  New examples in the south and west include Croydon, Reading and Plymouth Minsters, but there are ancient examples as well, like Wimborne Minster.  The Saxon Cathedral at Winchester came to be known as ‘Old Minster’ and directly alongside it was ‘New Minster’, the original burial-place of Alfred the Great.  To this day the site is faced by Great Minster Street.  It’s for the good people of Southwell to decide how they want to be known, but (as an admittedly very traditional person) I would regret the ‘dumbing down’ of Southwell Minster.  However, the very fact that this is being discussed demonstrates how far many people’s knowledge of the church and history is lacking in present times.

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17 hours ago, Clarabella said:

I think I read somewhere that Southwell is thinking of dropping its use of the term 'minster' on the grounds that not many people now know what a minster is.

As reported here, it has abandoned the idea for the time being.

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1 hour ago, wolsey said:

As reported here, it has abandoned the idea for the time being.

Although the plans appear to have been abandoned, the suggested alternatives are interesting. Only one of the four suggestions actually drops Minster from the title, but all four have in common the addition of Nottingham. I wonder how many people are aware that it is the cathedral for Nottingham even with the recent change of name of the diocese?

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