Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Little Hampden organ is on it's way

Our new (or restored) organ is nearly here! Ten days or so ago, I phoned John the restorer and was rather concerned to hear that he had a bad ankle and was not able to complete the last few tasks in the restoration of the organ. With a wedding on 27th August and plans afoot for a dedication service on the 29th, this was not the news I wanted to hear. Contingency plans were necessary – at least for the wedding. However another phone call last Friday brought better news: John was on his feet again and the organ would be ready in a few days.

After looking at various options, I've opted for a 'man with a van' and I'll go with them to Warminster to help collect the organ on Monday next week. John will come up to Little Hampden to install and tune the organ. So although there is still lots to be done, the outlook is positive.

The process of gaining permission for the new organ has been quite prolonged – but not too difficult. The first stage was to meet the Diocesan Organ Adviser. Fortunately, he was very positive about our plans and the organ itself – which had been found by our Director of Music. Armed with a supportive letter from the Adviser, the next stage was to apply to the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (the DAC) for a Certificate. Members of the DAC have a wide range of expertise in all aspects of church conservation work, reordering, furnishings, textiles and repairs. The Certificate is a statement by the DAC that they approve of the proposed change to the building. We were fortunate to have a Certificate issued fairly promptly with no conditions. The Certificate is dated 20 July 2009.

The next stage was to petition for a Faculty. This is issued by the Diocesan Registrar. The process involves a significant amount of paperwork but, most importantly, requires public notices to displayed for a period so that members of the Church can make their feelings known. I don't believe there were any formal objections and we received the Faculty in December 2009.  At this stage we could commit to the restoration of the organ – and get stuck into fundraising!

I'll keep you posted on activities of the next few weeks.

Meanwhile – I've quoted him before but it's appropriate here:

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.
Niccolo Machiavelli

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