With apologies to Dylan Thomas, it's been organ, organ all the time with Morgan, they've been martyred to his music!
In a few day's time on 8th November, Llandaff Cathedral will echo to the sound of music played on the magnificent newly completed £1.5m Nicholson Organ. The timing is unfortunate. Just before the grand event a press release has announced that "The 'Dean' and Chapter are proposing slimming down the Cathedral Choir in order to save nearly £50,000 which would significantly cut down the anticipated deficit of £81,000. Seven men – five lay clerks, one choral scholar and the assistant organist– are at risk of redundancy and will be invited to take part in consultation meetings over the next few weeks." [Additional report here - Ed 6/11/2013]
Matthew 23:17 springs to mind!
The 'Dean' will be the Morgan Jackson duo. As former temp Dean and minder they have been busy papering over the cracks in Llandaff Cathedral in the hope of attracting another candidate to sort out the mess created by organ Morgan and his cronies - see comments under previous entries here, here, here and here among others.
From the Organ Appeal site:
"Music is an essential part of the worship at the Cathedral. Llandaff is the only Anglican Cathedral in Wales with a dedicated Choir School and a professional choir that consists purely of boys and men. The Cathedral Choir sings at six services each week during term time as well as at the Christmas and Easter services. The organ accompanies the choir and therefore needs to have the tonal variety and subtlety for this purpose. It is also essential that it can lead large congregations in the singing of hymns, as well as being flexible enough to allow the playing of a worldwide organ repertoire."
Some amendments required there! The organ project was a considerable act of faith. It was initiated in 2007 when Church in Wales average Sunday attendance figures had already slid by a third from over 60,000 in 1990 to under 40,000 in 2007 (see graph in earlier entry here). By the time the organ was completed sixteen years later in 2013, the CinW average Sunday attendance looks set to fall to below 30,000, a 50% drop on 1990 figures and representing a mere 1% of the population of Wales yet the Archbishop retains the title of Archbishop of Wales giving him the political clout he would not otherwise enjoy, rather like an unelected member of the House of Lords. In fact the Church in Wales has become Morgan's organ.
In his word "the Cathedral is the Bishop’s church, the place where he has his chair – the place, in other words, where he has his home but the place from which he exercises oversight over the wider diocesan family". Where music is an essential part of the worship in fact. There is no hint of contrition in the press release, just a spokesperson's "very heavy heart". Weighed down by guilt?
Where else in public life would you find a Chief Executive or Overseer and board answerable only to themselves with a governing body stuffed with members who loudly applauded the planned demise of brothers and sisters in their midst? The Archbishop would do well to follow the example of the other Nicholson in the news, Sir David Nicholson, the man in charge of the NHS who also thought he was indispensable but is to be replaced by a well respected 'opposition' man. What an excellent idea! Dr Morgan is past retirement age. He has been Archbishop for 10 years and has overseen nothing but decline.
The Church in Wales should be looking outside Wales for an 'opposition' man without all the CinW political baggage to be the next Bishop of Llandaff and Archbishop of Wales. A bold decisive step is needed to save the Church in Wales. The rest of us are accountable for our failures, why not the Welsh bishops?