The much-loved organist at Christ Church, Mark Rotchell, who was well known in local choirs, in which he took an active part, tragically passed away at the end of 2017, after serious surgery. It was a real shock to many in the community.
The church is now trying to find someone who could take over this role in future. For the moment a number of volunteers are taking turns on Sundays to play the new Phoenix organ or the Klavinova piano, and they are doing a sterling job. But the church would like to recruit someone to be the regular organist.
The picture shows Mark at the new organ, surrounded by some of the choir, before his sad death.
The role of organist is key to helping the choir and the congregation in worship, and at Christ Church there are other events including musical productions which would add to the mix of music.
Mark was himself almost self-taught, with some guidance from an older man when he was young. And the church feels that this could be another good opportunity for a younger person who can play the piano to gain experience playing a three manual organ. There could be some mentoring available from others, to help someone if needed. And the organ has a helpful button which links the pedals to the keyboard, so that playing the keyboard also brings in the bass tones from the pedals without any feet!
The minister, Rev Ian Lucraft, said: “Mark’s contribution to the life and music at Christ Church was wonderful and he will be a hard act to follow. But the church is keen to welcome either an experienced organist or someone who is younger and is seeking experience, and to develop their own skills. We are a very friendly church and it will be an appreciative choir and congregation that welcomes a new person in this role.”
There is an advert in this week’s edition of Look Local, giving details about the role. The advert can also be downloaded here: