A dozen or so members of SOCA with their associates gathered at the fine Victorian church at Buckland St. Mary to hear and play the Sweetland organ in the church. Most of us met up first for an excellent lunch at The York Inn, in Churchinford. Thanks are due to David Yates for setting up this visit, and testing the quality of pub food beforehand: a tough job, but someone has to do it!
On arrival at St. Mary’s, Buckland, the benefice curate, Nick Jerrett, greeted us, and led us in a short prayer. This included a thank you to church musicians, which was very satisfying to hear for people whose contribution to worship is sometimes taken for granted. Those not playing had an pportunity to admire the workmanship in this large church: in particular the polished marble and ornate tiling in the chancel.
John Crump, a SOCA committee member, is an admirer of the work of Sweetland, and has had long association with the instrument in this church. He gave us a detailed account of the organ’s history, and spoke of the relatively few changes made over the years. This organ is in many ways an original, sounding much as it did when first built. After this, members were free to play. Tea and coffee were provided at the West end of the church.
SOCA members who were unable to attend are invited to try this splendid organ by getting in touch with John Crump or the benefice to check availability.
In the pictures below, David Bidgood and Andrew Carter try the organ.