Photo gallery: Bishop leads service for newly refurbished organ at St Guthlac’s Church

  Posted: 01.11.19 at 13:32 by The Editor

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Bishop Nicholas led a service of thanksgiving and rededication for the restored organ at St Guthlac's in Market Deeping.

The organ was installed in 1882 at a cost of £339 7s5d. It has had a number of tweaks and overhauls over the years, the last one being in 1993, but by 2017 the organ almost failed completely and it needed another major refurbishment.

Returned to its former glory, it is hoped that it will now delight listeners and organists alike.

Also launched on the day was Elizabeth Parkinson's book, A Celebration of musical moments and memories in St Guthlac's church 1818-2019.

The history begins between 1780 and 1830 with mention of the gallery musicians who were all male groups of musicians and sometimes singers who accompanied church services. While little is known of those at St Guthlac’s, contemporary sources often described similar groups as ‘shrill’ and ‘screeching’, using the sermon as a convenient time to tune up their instruments.

Unimpressed with them, the church decided at a vestry meeting in 1826 to dispense with the singers and employ someone to teach the children to sing instead. In January 1828, although not yet the first true choir, George Beaver was paid £10 per annum to teach the girls to sing in church.

Bishop Nicholas and Elizabeth Parkinson author of 'A Celebration of Musical Moments and Memories in St Guthlac's Church 1818-2019' - photo by David Pearson

The first recognised church choir is commemorated by a plaque in the church, dated September 26, 1878. It consisted of 22 men and boys - girls were not allowed.

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