Sunday, June 08, 2008

Thank you St Helen's Church Abingdon


I do not have a piano. Thankfully the churches around the counties I visit DO have pianos, and if possible, I always ask whether I can play them. The answer is always yes. I asked St Helens in abingdon, and unfortunately they have said no. What I particularly dislike about the "no" is that I have had a series of emails from them: Firstly

"I am sorry you have not had a reply about having access to our piano - our Administrator is on holiday this week and was busy doing everything she needed to do beforehand last week. Your request was passed to me by MrsBarker and I referred it to our Director of Music for his view/permission.He emailed that he doesn't have a problem with your playing the piano and Ilet Mrs Barker know this but added we needed to think how to manage this.Eg: you come in when the church is being stewarded."

Secondly, and from the same person:

"I have now spoken to the Rector concerning your request to play the grand piano in church, and he has asked me to inform you that he does not wish to set a precedent for the playing of the piano, least of all from members of the congregation who may wish to avail themselves of such an opportunity.

With regrets etc."

I particularly like the 'with regrets etc' Especially as I can fill in the etc for myself.

I am livid, and I am cross. What on earth is it that makes the church so bad at communicating within itself and what is it that makes MY request something that sets a precident... yet I bet if I suggested a housegroup they would have jumped at the opportunity, or if I had offered to become a steward, or a bellringer, or whatever, they would have jumped at the chance.

I was in St Helens this morning and thoroughly enjoyed the service, so don't be put off! I thoroughly enjoyed the sermon this morning and the influence of Jesus on the community. Thank goodness his behaviour didn't set a precident for the community, otherwise he might have died... oh he did.


Blogger Miss T said...

I think it's rather crap that they don't want the congregation to be able to play the piano...given that they pay for its upkeep with their donations!

I guess they don't want the BOTHER of organising and supervising. However, I'd have thought that bothering about other people is exactly what the church is about!

As Ghandi said "the only thing wrong with Christianity is Christians".

3:23 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Yes, I love that 'least of all members of the congregation'. Do you think they have someone particular in mind who must be kept away from the piano at all costs?

3:39 PM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

It does rather amuse me that they dont want to encourage the congregation to avail themselves. I would havet hought they could have done the 'it is special circumstances' as I doubt there are many academics who live on boats who scour the countryside for pianos to play.

Miss T - the ironic thing is all the other churches give me the keys, and I lock myself in OR I take someone with me who can sit and make sure the church is safe. It seems St Helens is more selective about who it lets in! I tend to regard myself as a respectable member of the community so I am facinated as to how one passes the St Helens test - I suppose one has to ask for things like prayer, rather than the opportunity to exercise a god given talent such as playing the piano.

3:46 PM  
Blogger JayTee said...

I think you can interpret "with regrets etc" as "with regrets blah blah bliggedy blah". Saying without meaning.

I'm not surprised your angry!

3:48 PM  

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