Another thing they didn’t teach us at Tisec…

How much training do you think clergy get on buildings, organs, property, Health and Safety? Yes, you’re quite right. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

So this last year has been a steep learning curve for this little flock-carer who only really wanted to love people and now has to wrestle with much less exciting things in the parish. First there was Health and Safety – and yes, I know we haven’t yet had that extra fire drill.  (And on that note, how awful do those big alarm bells look on our walls where lovely icons should hang?)

Fortunately, I have an excellent Property Committee who take care of all the day to day building crises. Before I came the exterior of St Mark’s was cleaned and made watertight. The interior ceiling has just been replastered and repaired leaving a rather fetching patchy effect. (Mind you, the rest of the paint is peeling and about to drop and decapitate some unfortunate wee lamb.) So we had thought that we might have an appeal at St Markstide for redecoration. That was until the boundary wall started to cave in and threaten the lives of innocent passers-by. Then the handrail at the few steps from the side gate started to rot and wobble and the steps are unsafe so the vast amount of complaints have meant that we have had to address this, putting the redecoration further down the list.

Then last week the organ decided not to play some notes so poor Andrew had to leap like a gazelle over to the (out of tune) piano after the Gloria. The organ tuners came in this week and did what they could but sadly yesterday it was worse. Piano again made an appearance – not just out of tune but some notes not playing either. (Do you think this counts are persecution?)

So now we need to find an organ of sorts to hire over Lent. We need to see how much money we have and prioritise it. Aagghh, I hate property issues!


12 thoughts on “Another thing they didn’t teach us at Tisec…

  1. Oh Ruth never a truer word was spoken.. the inadequacy of TISEC training…

    Its not just the technical / building stuff, I don’t remember the syllabus even mentioning music…

    When my organ gave up the ghost I got some folk in to dismantle it and hired a skip, I found asbestos and did not know what it was, looked odd, so I a put a carpet over it and someone came the following day and it cost us a fortune in testing, cleaning, removal,

    Its a serious issues, health and safety in church… I also used to be forever plagued with birds stuck inside and my elderly flock wanting to feed them, my farmers offering to shoot them and ladies of the church worried about bird droppings and health….

    Good luck Ruth !!!

  2. We have an working (if not particularly nice) electric organ which is yours for the taking, but we are a long way away. You are welcome to it as a stop gap.

  3. Sister Therese, that’s all we need – asbestos, birds and bird droppings. It will be bats next. Thank goodness we don’t have a bell tower.

  4. Might I add another problem that never came up during TISEC training.

    What use is a course if it does not teach you what to do when you encounter squirrel tooth marks in the altar candles?

  5. Well, the squirrel incident happened during the iterregnum before I got here. It was not my problem though I heard much about it.

    There were sightings of the aforesaid squirrel.

    And ultimately a cadaver.

  6. Fr Dougal, will keep you in mind and pass on your kind offer to our organist. He is in the middle of all sorts of negotiations but this could be just what we need. Will get back to you.

  7. Would you crisis be averted a little by your congregation becoming particularly pious and observing the tradition of letting the organ be quiet during Lent.

    Although it is not a common practise now, there is precedent for having either unaccompanied music or perhaps piano accompanied music during Lent.

    Here at St Mary’s we will be having an unaccompanied setting for the holy period, the organ used for the hymns.

  8. leckky piano has no organ sound but does harpischord and clavichord, plus two piano and electric piano noises (of each) and a nasty synthesiser noise.

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