Dr Clorinda Goodman, Clive Wilkinson and Rev David Muir respond to the announcement by the National Musicians’ Church, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in London, that amateur and professional musicians will no longer be permitted to hire the church for rehearsals and concerts
Your report (Musicians protest at ban on ‘non-religious’ concerts, 24 August) describes the attack on traditional church music by the recent decision to exclude musicians from St Sepulchre’s, where my own father is commemorated. We have a similar local example in St Albans. Here the evangelical congregation has persuaded the vicar of St Paul’s church to apply to remove the church organ completely, on the grounds they need more space and it is “not tuned to concert pitch”. Apart from his very ill-informed stance, surely ripping the heart out of one’s parish church goes completely against the incumbent’s duty to preserve the fabric of both building and worship? It is all very well these Holy Trinity Brompton evangelicals enjoying their current popularity, but such attacks on church music and musicians deprive the rest of the community permanently of any chance to enjoy more traditional forms of both worship and music-making. Removing an organ just when choral evensong is enjoying a well deserved resurgence in popularity is amazingly shortsighted and deplorable.
HTB and others getting on this particular bandwagon should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. I hope many more musicians will oppose such action.
Dr Clorinda Goodman