Singers silenced as church organ goes up in smoke

Left to right: Francis Rumsey, director of music and the Reverend Toby Wright, vicar of St Mary’s Church, Witney.  Picture: OX68806 Mark Hemsworth

Left to right: Francis Rumsey, director of music and the Reverend Toby Wright, vicar of St Mary’s Church, Witney. Picture: OX68806 Mark Hemsworth Buy this photo

First published in News

WHEN the organ at St Mary’s Church, Witney, started smoking in the middle of a hymn, the congregation was stunned into silence.

It was lucky the church was already half way towards raising the £20,000 it needed to buy a new one. The faithful were in full voice when smoke began to curl from under the keys of the organ during Sunday evening’s service.

An acrid smell filled the air as the electronic components breathed their last. Members of the choir and congregation were ushered into the nave while the organ console was checked for flames.

The choir then completed the service, accompanied by organist Terry McNamara, after he switched to the electronic keyboard.

Director of music Francis Rumsey said: “We were already well into a fundraising project for the organ at St Mary’s. Sunday’s drama focused our attention on doing something more quickly than we expected. We are aiming to replace the ageing electronics with the best modern technology, so that good church music can continue to happen here.”

  • Anyone wishing to making a contribution can contact the parish office on 01993 779492 or email wtparish@btinternet.com

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Our top stories

Widow Twankey laces her boots for panto dates

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

PANTO season may feel like a long way off, but for some the work has already started.

‘Piazza’ dream for city’s Gloucester Green area

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

GLOUCESTER Green in the centre of Oxford could soon be revamped into a “piazza”.

Man has broken jaw after attack near nightspot

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

A 28-YEAR-OLD suffered a broken jaw and fractured eye socket when he was assaulted outside a former lapdancing bar.

MPs join call for Oxford to Bristol train service

Oxford Mail: Ed Vaizey

6:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

MPs Ed Vaizey and Nicola Blackwood have joined a coalition of 10 MPs calling for a train service from Oxford to Bristol.

Autumn colours in all their glory

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

HARCOURT Arboretum has begun to melt into a rich medley of autumnal shades.

Protesters hope 60-year-old covenant will thwart road access plan

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

NORTHWAY people are trying to use a 60-year-old covenant to stop land being turned into an access road for the new Barton Park estate.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree