Sunday, January 16, 2011


St. Paul’s is an attractive church, perhaps not a spectacular one, but certainly something parishioners can be proud of. Unfortunately, the music program—and particularly as it relates to the 8:45 Eucharist and Refuge—is filling the church with unsightly clutter.

The clutter is most apparent in the (liturgically) south transept, the place where our new bands situate themselves. Because of all the equipment in the transept, the area is no longer suitable for worshiper seating. Here is how the transept looked this morning:

South transeptWhat is not obvious from this photo is the fact that the modesty panel has been removed, which left an irregularly cut carpet.

In the next photo, we see the speaker that has become a permanent fixture next to the pulpit, as well as drums, a folding chair, and the cables taped across the floor in front of the doors to the hallway. These items are especially conspicuous.

Clutter next to pulpit
Returning to the transept, we see clutter that includes a mixer that is not being used because it is broken and no one seems inclined to do anything about it:

Broken mixer, etc.
On the opposite side of the pews, we see more chairs, music stands, cables, microphones, tympani, and a long power extension:

East side of transept
On the back two pews, we see more cables, a mixer—I don’t know if this one is being used or not—other equipment, and just plain trash:

Rear pews in transeptHere is more trash on the floor:

Trash on floor
Alas, not even the chancel is kept neat. Below, one can see the top of the organ console. Worshipers can see it also.

Top of organ console
Fortunately, the niche next to the console is not easily seen from the nave. I once suggested that we purchase some furniture to allow music and sound equipment to be stored neatly in this space, but nothing came of the suggestion. Actually, it was less messy this morning than it has sometimes been:

NicheI’m sure that some churchgoers do not mind the speakers, drums, and microphones (or even projectors and screens). This Episcopalian is not so understanding. I am particularly perplexed by the tolerance of broken equipment and paper trash stored in the church. Is St. Paul’s a house of God or perhaps something else?

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