The Organ & The Consultation

broken organ

This picture appeared on my facebook feed yesterday. It was posted by Peter Wakeford who was playing the organ yesterday morning. It shows what was going on during the service.

Now, if you had been there yesterday you would have heard some sumptuous music and would have had no idea that anything was going wrong. However, the last thing an organist wants is for the pistons to fly out when you give them a nudge.

This picture shows something fairly small going wrong with the organ but it is indicative of the state that parts of it are in. Much of the pipework – the bits that make the noise is fine. Indeed, much of the pipework is of significant historical interest. However, the bits that make the pipes play, not so much. There are huge problems with the console and with the transmission – that’s the gubbins that tells which pipe to open after the organist has pulled out a stop and attempted to play a note.

Thinking about the organ is just one bit of what the Vestry are currently consulting the congregation about. A new consultation paper called Releasing the Mission was launched last week at the Annual General Meeting. It is partly about the organ but is also about how we build capacity into St Mary’s so that we can do what we do well and even do more. We are so busy at the moment that the building is creaking at the seams. If we did a bit of development work, we would be able to help to secure the musical life of the place (which is a core part of our mission work), provide more space for the groups and networks that are buzzing, get better use of the building for the local community and also provide a more welcoming space when the diocese is holding big events at St Mary’s.

The consultation paper is available online on the website and the Vestry are hoping that lots of people will respond – whether people who are directly members of the congregation or indeed those who have a more tangential relationship with St Mary’s. The hope is that lots of different voices and constituencies can be heard. Responses can be made using the on-line form or in writing via the Cathedral office.

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