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London East and South East

To go electric or traditional? Fight to keep historic church organ

todayAugust 31, 2017 40

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The organ at St Paul’s Church in St Albans is 110-years-old and according to the vicar would cost the church £50,000 to get in right working order. The vicar wants to replace the organ with a new electric piano.

However, parishioners have launched have protested against the decision.

According to The Times, 46-year-old Jonathan Humbert, is the organist at St Paul’s and is leading the protest.

He told the paper: “This church used to be a traditional Church of England church but it’s all changed in recent years.

“Unfortunately that modern wing don’t care for anything that’s traditional – they couldn’t care less if the organ goes because they prefer bongos and guitars.”

Humbert claimed that the organ still plays “beautifully” and “the truth of the matter is that this pipe organ is simply out of vogue with the evangelical liturgy of St Paul’s.”

He added that it’s important that the church preserves its history as it’s gone for a more youthful vibe in recent years.

Humbert said: “Evangelical music is all very well but what happens when someone dies? People find solace in the sound of an organ at a funeral.”

Tony Hurle, the vicar of St Paul’s, told The Times: “The time has come for us to modernise. Electronic organs are very good and certainly better than the one we have.”

The diocese of St Albans will have the final say on whether the church will stick with the organ or switch to electric.

Some parishioners are angry at plans to remove an historic organ from a church in Hertfordshire.

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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