We are delighted to announce the appointment of Malcolm Starr as the new co-ordinator of the the Methodist Organ Advisory Service.
The Organ Advisory Service (OAS) was set up in the 1970s as a much-needed service for the church. Today the need is even greater given the costs of repairing, rebuilding or replacing pipe organs, and the huge variety of none-pipe organs which are available. OAS also advises churches on the disposal of redundant pipe organs.
The service works through a team of advisors who between them cover the whole of British Methodism. Most Methodist districts have their own advisor. Advisors normally give their services free of charge with churches required to meet travelling and other expenses.
Most advisors are active organists who are therefore aware of the tensions which can occur when discussions about organs are raised in church circles. In addition, they have a good working knowledge of organs and access to more technical advice should it be required. They are aware of the particular competences of different organ builders and the advantages and disadvantages of the many none-pipe instruments available.
Churches needing advice on organs are encouraged to involve their advisor as early as possible in their deliberations. Whilst there may be a view within a church on the desired action to be taken, an outside, impartial advisor can often present an alternative solution which may be both technically more appropriate and cost effective.
The OAS should also be contacted at an early stage when a church wishes to dispose of an organ. In many cases pipe organs have been destroyed when they could have been relocated to another church.
An advisor will normally visit the church, discuss the situation with appropriate church officers and produce a report. Depending on the situation and the solution eventually agreed, the advisor may continue liaising with the church as the project progresses.
The OAS is run by a steering group chaired by a member of the ArtServe board.
Enquiries and referrals should be sent to the OAS co-ordinator, Malcolm Starr:
77 The Pastures, Long Bennington, Newark, NG23 5EG
Phone: 01400 281291