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

'I couldn't have done things differently as council leader'

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Thursday 5th March 2015

THE former leader of Oxfordshire County Council “holds his hands up” that it failed the victims of the Bullfinch scandal under his watch.

IPCC to consider action against individual staff

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:30am Thursday 5th March 2015

THE Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will investigate to see if any police officers or staff will be disciplined.

Support groups 'can help tackle abuse problem'

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Thursday 5th March 2015

VOLUNTARY organisations have called for the authorities to use them more to help tackle child sexual exploitation in Oxfordshire.

Bullfinch: Picture of abuse is put together piece by piece

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Thursday 5th March 2015

THE Kingfisher Unit was set up to deal with the sexual exploitation of children revealed by Thames Valley Police’s Operation Bullfinch.

Festival voice: Tom Jones to top bill at Cornbury

Oxford Mail:

12:10am Thursday 5th March 2015

CROONER Sir Tom Jones has been named as the big name headliner for this summer's Cornbury Festival.

Pedestrian seriously injured after collision with car used in petrol theft at Heyford Hill

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

2:38pm Wednesday 4th March 2015

A pedestrian was left with "serious injuries" after being involved in a collision with a thief's car, police said.

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