Author Topic: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset  (Read 55513 times)

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Jonathan Lane

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2011, 06:33:35 AM »
Welcome to the forum John, and thanks for your comments about Crewkerne.  As I've already more than hinted at, we would love to have a go out sorting out their problems.  Hopefully sanity will prevail!

Jonathan

Jonathan Lane

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2011, 06:41:28 AM »
Sorry, but I think the jibe on the name of the churchwarden at Crewkerne is not worthy of any forum. No argument can be won like that, more likely lost.  Let's stop behaving like kids, can we?

Maybe a moderator worthy of the name might feel moved to delete this post.

TG

I have to agree with this.  We are all, I hope, trying to change the situation at Crewkerne for what would be considered preferable by many, retention of a playing pipe organ!  We need to work with those at the church to show this is not only possible, but relatively straightforward and no where near as expensive as they think. 

On the second point, being a member of another forum which operates stricter policies, I feel that the freedom given to posters here is important.  A little care from posters is probably a good thing, but frank, open discussion, about salient points is more important than heavy moderation to be politically correct to the nth degree.  Just my thoughts!

Jonathan

revtonynewnham

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2011, 02:24:30 PM »
Hi

As one of the moderators, I decided to let the person concerned look again at his post and change it if he feels it's necessary.  As David says, (and he's the board owner) open discussion & free speech is what this forum is about.  Personally, I didn't find the comment that bad - but then, I hadn't noticed the churchwarden's name - or rather, it hadn't stuck when I read the earlier post several days ago. 

Damage to pipe organs by electronic installers (and others) is sadly, only too common.

Every Blessing

Tony

Barrie Davis

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2011, 08:01:43 PM »
As the post I made was meant to be funny and I did apologise after, I have deleted it.

David Pinnegar

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2011, 08:41:22 PM »
As the post I made was meant to be funny and I did apologise after, I have deleted it.

:-) It would have been sad if the funny thought had not brought a smile to anyone's faces . . .

Best wishes

David P

KB7DQH

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2011, 05:04:43 PM »
Quote
(Note to self - for total reset press the BURN button with the instrument off and hold it down whilst switching on . . . How obscure can that be? [Rude comments inherently invited but better left unsaid please!])

Well that bit did bring a  ;D to my face... It must be pointed out  whoever came up with that procedure HAS a sense of humor...  :o ;)

Eric
KB7DQH
The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

John

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2011, 05:26:17 PM »
May I assure Barrie that when I first heard the name of Crewkerne's churchwarden I nearly spilt my G & T.
The fact that he is also spouting such rubbish is both an added delight and aggravation.

I shall be trying to arrange a meeting with the gentleman, to point him in the direction of this forum and to explain the feelings of so many of us with regard to this impending tragedy. 

Jonathan - your offer is generous but I fear they are pretty much blinkered and deaf.

Incidentally, the demonstration 'organ' was a Makin and in the church for only a couple of weeks, much to the releif of quite a few members of the congregation.

Regards ................ John

Jonathan Lane

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2011, 03:48:29 AM »
Thanks for your comments John, I fear that too.  Unfortunately, my feeling is they have made up their mind that an electronic is the way to go, without spending much time looking at all the possibilities.  I am not going to specifically comment on the abilities of the organist, and I do not know him, but in general, electronic organs tend to be chosen where there is an issue with competant organists.  However, as I say, I do not know the gentleman, and as far as I know he is perfectly capable.  Generally the only other musical reason is because the existing organ is inadequate for the choir repertoire, surely not the case at Crewkerne.

I'm sorry to hear that it is Makin, not that I have anything against their organs, and have played a few, but it was Makin who vandalised the pipework I mentioned earlier. I already have some photographs of this, and will take some further ones once we start dismantling.  I was never impressed with the Makin installation at said church, pretty much a disaster from the outset and a far inferior organ to the instrument it replaced, a 1937 Walker!

Jonathan

David Pinnegar

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2011, 04:30:33 AM »
Hi!

I witnessed a leading concert organist playing a battle of the organs at a church in the south of East Sussex where, on account of the speakers used by Makin, their three manual instrument sounded not like an organ in real life but an organ through a hifi system. Accordingly the single manual pipe organ won the battle.

I fully support use of electronics for concert purposes and for practice instruments . . . but not for the displacement of pipe organs.

It's sad that Barrie removed his comment about the WORTHY gentleman in charge of making a decision as it might have caused his ire to be raised so that his attention might be drawn to this thread and engaged in informed discussion. There appears to be a BLOCK in communication . . . .  Can no-one associated with the church's decision making progress be contacted?

Is this not starting to look like an act of vandalism worthy of Albany New York?

Best wishes

David P

Barrie Davis

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2011, 01:43:34 PM »
HI

I will add it again David, I removed it in view of TGs comment. (If you wish!!!!!)

I have the contact details of the Archdeacon of Taunton if any member would like to write to him directly, I am unsure what he can do at this stage as I don't know if they have got as far as applying for a Faculty. Could I invite Barry Williams to comment on the legalities involved in both applying for a Faculty and the process involved.

Several years ago I helped with both the sales and installation of Makin instruments, I remember spending a couple of days at one Methodist Church removing, packing and storing the pipework of their old organ before Makins team arrived. I know at least this pipework is safe!!!

I regularly play one of Makins large 3 manual "Monarche" instruments, the tonal quality is very poor but this is simply caused by the poor speakers and amplification.

One of my friends is a Vicar to a group of Parishes within the Ilminster Deanery, I will try and find out who the organ advisor is, but if the Church has made its mind up to go the electronic route only lack of funds and a failed Faculty application can stop this.

I can only hope sense prevails and the pipeorgan is repaired, as Jonathan says work can be carried out without a major rebuild to keep it playing.

Barrie

Barry Williams

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2011, 04:00:33 PM »
The faculty process is straightforward.  The petition is usually submitted by the incumbent and churchwardens, though in certain circumstances other persons may do so.  A standard and lengthy form is provided for the purpose.  That form is sent to the Diocesan Registry with full details of the work proposed and a copy of the PCC minute approving the proposal.  (Sometimes, usually when non-church people apply for a faculty, that is not included.)

A Public Notice is displayed on notice boards and other places for two or three weeks.  This gives people living in the parish or on the Electoral Roll of the church an opportunity to enter objection.  Persons not so qualified may, for good reason, enter objection, such as a relative of the original donor of an item to be moved, etc.  Certain bodies, ('amenity societies') e.g. The Victorian Society,  may be invited to comment, or even to enter objection.  It is possible for persons to make comment without actually entering objection, though obviously, such comments carry very much less weight in evidential terms.

The Diocesan Advisory Committe is always asked by the chancellor to comment on the proposals, though in almost every caset the DAC has been involved well before the petitioners complete the petition form.

If there is formal objection the diocesan judge (the 'Chancellor' or, in the Diocese of Canterbury, the 'Commissary General',) holds a court at which the matter is tried in consistory court in the ordinary way, with witnesses, cross-examination, opening and closing speeches, etc.  The loser usually (but not always) gets to pay the costs, which can be significant.  (Sometimes upwards of £10,000, for in the eccelisastical jurisdiction, unlike the secular courts, petitioners pay for the correspondence, theregistrar's fees, as well as for the judge's time.)  In certain circumstances the costs can even be awarded to the winner if, as has sometimes happened, an 'amenity society' or even a consultee, has behaved in such a way as to cause the petitioners to incur costs. 

There has been a tendency on the part of objectors to 'have a go' and conduct the case themselves.  This can be very unwise, especially if the petitioners have instructed Counsel.  Occasionally, the court will 'hear the case on paper', so that the is no public hearing.  This requires as much, if not more, forensic skill than a full-scale oral trial.

It is doubtful whether someone without a specific qualification (i.e. residence in the parish, or name on the parochial electoral roll,) would be permitted to raise objection.  In any event, the chancellor will decide the case on the evidence, which will include he costs of restoring the pipe organ.  He or she may decide to grant a faculty for an electronic instrument whilst specifying that the pipe organ must remain.

The consistory court has powers of injuction and can order unauthorised works to be restored, occasionally at the personal cost of those at fault.  (There is case law on this, involving organs.)

There is a common law presumption that pipe organs are the norm, but this is tempered by the financial needs of parishes in the short term and often by other considerations.  There have been numerous consistory courts over electronic instruments.  I cannot think of one where permission, even for a limited period, was not granted.

I advise great caution before getting involved in the legal process by objecting.  The ecclesiastical law has teeth and sometimes will bite.

One Board Member has suggested that the churchwarden should be directed to this Board in respect of the issues over this particular instrument.  Given the tone of some of the postings that would, in my view, be counter productive.  It seems to me that there is insufficient information available to any Board Members at present to form a reasonable view of what is going on.

Equally, it is very unwise for anyone to suggest that the present instrument could be repaired or restored until a qualified organ builder has been invited by the church to undertake a full survey, the report of which would, of course, be sent as a confidential document to the PCC. 

I add one personal thought.  As much harm has been done to the cause of pipe organs by the installation of 'neo-baroque'
organs, unsuited to the accompaniment of divine worship, as has been done by electronic instruments.  The idea that tracker action and higher pitched stops are the answer to all prayers is a false and unhelpful notion.  Further, the track record of quite a few modern mechanical actions is far from satisfactory.

Barry Williams

« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 08:07:05 PM by Barry Williams »

Barrie Davis

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2011, 05:42:51 PM »
Thank you Barry for your post which detailed the procedure in great detail for us.

I agree with your comments about some mechanical actions.

Barrie

John

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2011, 06:29:20 PM »
 Barry  -  My sincere thanks too, your post clearly lays out what I (we all) should know.

 Barrie  -   I have just sent off an email to the Archdeacon of Taunton, he is well aware of what's going on.

............. John

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2011, 06:49:16 PM »
Jonathan  -  The organist at Crewkerne is perfectly competent and played a mean Buxtehude (on the Makin - eeekk) when I last heard him.   I believe he also has a background in electrical engineering!!!!!

As you suggest, the Rothwell is fine for choral accompaniment but because it it's position, the south transept, the sound does not quite so easily get to the nave.   Mark you, with shrinking congregations that is hardly a problem.   For such a large church the acoustics are not favourable.

.................. John

Jonathan Lane

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2011, 01:39:49 AM »

It seems to me that there is insufficient information available to any Board Members at present to form a reasonable view of what is going on.


My understanding is that two members of this board are very well qualified to comment on the particular instrument in question, having both been organists of the church, one also having rebuilt the organ!

Jonathan

Barry Williams

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2011, 03:38:38 AM »

It seems to me that there is insufficient information available to any Board Members at present to form a reasonable view of what is going on.


My understanding is that two members of this board are very well qualified to comment on the particular instrument in question, having both been organists of the church, one also having rebuilt the organ!

Jonathan






I wrote about 'what is going on', whereas you are suggesting that two Board Members can comment about the particular instrument. The two are quite different.  The issues are clearly wider than just the rebuilding of the organ. 

Familiarity with the organ does not mean that one is fully appraised of all the relevant issues.

Barry Williams





Jonathan Lane

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2011, 03:57:19 AM »
Having been in contact with one of those members, he is fully aware of what IS going on, and still resident in the parish.

Jonathan Lane

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2011, 03:59:15 AM »
However, to correct what I believe is a misunderstanding, this discussion, while being emotively driven by some about the church, is actually about the cost of the work to the instrument, as compared to the cost of an electronic organ.

John

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2011, 05:35:47 AM »
Let me try to clarify 'what is going on'.   Of the two previous organists at Crewkerne Brian Daniels still lives in the parish.   I am in the next town a few miles away.   Brian's wife is a member of the congregation.

Jonathan is quite right.   As well as upholding the tradional values of the pipe organ we are concerned about the rasining of funds and the eventual spending of same.   Our contention is simply that if they are having to raise money anyway WHY are they NOT willing to spend it on repairing or restoring the Rothwell action.  As has been noted on here, the churchwarden is now actively and SPECIFICALLY asking for donations to purchase a toaster.    I believe this to be nothing short of ludicrous and unwise use of public donations, especially when mis-information and fabrications appear to be the basis of their proposal.   The 'sweetener' being offered to the opposers is that the Rothwell will be 'mothballed' until such time as money is available for a restoration.   Can't they see that the money WILL be available, so why spend it on a short-term-fill-the-gap project.    We all know that pipes last for centuries, electonics don't - straight forward as that.

It is tragic that no reputable organ builder has been asked to inspect the action and submit a quotation.

Needless to say there have been a number of 'goings on' around the parish and in the local media.  Many members of the congregation are opposed to the scheme, unfortunately there are a couple of wealthy folk who are probably being persuaded to stump up. 

I intend to try and arrange a meeting with the gentleman - he of the glorious name! - and will report back  here.

.............................John

Jonathan Lane

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Re: St. Bartholomew's Church, Crewkerne, Somerset
« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2011, 01:48:09 PM »
Thank you John, from reading your post I am relieved there are people that do not agree with the electronic organ concept at Crewkerne.  As previously said, we would be very happy to meet the church authorities, if they desire such a meeting.  We spend a great deal of our tiime keeping instruments in playing order where funds are limited.  Whilst we enjoy the large jobs, we believe that the small scale work we do to help churches realise their dreams and aspirations about their pipe organ is equally important and we spend a great deal of time and effort ensuring the work is of the highest quality.  Our speciality is electrical actions and tracker, partly because my training was as a communications engineer, however pneumatics do not cause us any issues either.  My Budepest trained assistant has recently completely releathered the puffers for the Compton pedal chests we are using at Astwood Bank, and absolutely beautiful hey look too.  Ferenc is meticulous about ensuring the work is of the highest order, as am I.  Therefore, work on the action a Crewkerne, whilst probably extensive, is not an onerous task.  Anyway, here's hoping they church decides to have the work done to the pipe organ, rather than use a short term stop gap, whether they choose us or any other organ builder!

Jonathan

 


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