I already knew about your background before I posted, Tony. I don't believe you can safeguard the pipe organ by encouraging the use of other instruments because at some point the cost of maintenance will be called into question. There is an oft-repeated myth that there is a shortage of organists. There isn't. There are plenty of people on the organ tutoring programme of Liverpool Cathedral for example. But they don't want to be church organists. Why is that?
You commented on the organ being used with other instruments and stated that you saw nothing wrong with that. Well, I see everything wrong with that. The organ does not need other instruments to play along with it. It is designed to supply everything itself. It is true that organs are used occasionally with orchestras, but in a church setting it is usually guitars and electric basses that form the accompaniment. When I have been asked to help out in a music group I have often avoided using the organ and used an electronic keyboard instead which went through the P.A to blend with the other instruments. I don't have a problem with music groups. After all, in many parishes the pipe organ has already gone, so music of some means still has to be provided. If there is no organist then the vacuum must be filled. However, some clergy find the pipe organ to be an utter embarrassment and an anacronism that is at odds with their zeal for reform. I suppose I was just venting my frustration with the idea that the organ by itself is no longer sufficient, that it would be best buried under amplified instruments to perform its role. Perhaps I went a little too far. Perhaps my little diatribe was akin to a Daily Wail rant. Maybe I should learn not to post when I have had ale. But it was genuine feeling of frustration that unfortunately wasn't watered down before publication.