Jonathan Pipe and me
In this tiny building in a waning hamlet, I'm running through hymns for the service. I've taken on the role of
organist to save the locum priest and congregation from tyranny of the ghetto blaster. Pedals are my most pressing
problem. Not that they'll be used much, because most are out of tune. We have three organs here, Father, Son and
Holy Ghost, all donated. I play the Ghost. Both the others have passed their use-by dates and there's no money for
lungs and voices
While practising each hymn, sourced from the popular TV show Songs of Praise, I recall last Sunday's service in the
city. Every line of liturgy was intoned by the priest, who had a beautiful, tuneful voice. Led by esteemed
choirmaster Jonathan Pipe, the choir, all music students on scholarship, sang like angels. Both anthem and
psalm were exquisite, as was the majestic organ voluntary that transported us out of the church.
At morning tea I was introduced to the great man "as fellow musical director". Red-faced, I explained that
there are only ten regulars in our congregation.
gin on tonic...