28th December 2023

St Clement Danes as people arrive for The Organ Club’s annual Organ Competition

December has been an extraordinary month, ending by judging the first day of the Organ Club Annual Organ Competition in St Clement Danes.  The organ is unchanged – Ralph Downes and H&H in RFH mode – and pretty fine it remains.

Ruth Massey Tribute – front cover

Just a few days before, on Thursday 21st, it had been my privilege to give the Tribute which Dr Roy Massey had composed (with additions by David Briggs and myself) at the funeral of Roy’s beloved wife, Ruth, in Hereford Cathedral.  It was a truly beautiful service, with inspirational singing from the cathedral choir conducted by Geraint Bowen and some stirring congregational singing, led in no uncertain way by Peter Dyke at the famous Father Willis.

Morgan rehearsing singing the Torah

During the month there has been my usual organ consulting work but our most important family event was the ceremony on 2nd December in the Manchester Reformed Synagogue, at which our son Morgan (who is director of music there) was taken into the Jewish faith. The photograph shows him rehearsing singing the Torah at that service.  Quite a day.