Now that churches are allowed to open and hold short services, albeit with countless limitations and restrictions, what is happening with your choir? I keep reading articles about singing being forbidden and it could be 2 years or more before there is any singing in our churches. So, where does that leave organists? At the moment, we have a short said service online every Sunday, without music. It is hoped that services in our church will start towards the end of July, but obviously all I can do is play before and after the service which I’m happy to do. Although the church has been closed for almost four months, they are paying me in full, not through the furlough scheme. Some organist colleagues are being paid 50% while others are receiving no pay at all. I guess what I’m wondering is whether there is a future for church organists. If there can be no singing, there will be no choir and therefore no work for organists. Most churches will struggle financially and many are unlikely to survive this pandemic. Even if singing was allowed next week, I don’t think I would have a choir as 75% are over 65 and most of them are anxious about going out, which I fully understand! Churches cannot afford to pay organists for two years when there is no work for them to do. As government Covid-19 financial assistance schemes seem to only cover 6 months, there seems to be no provision for churches and church musicians who are likely to be impacted financially for considerably longer. Sadly it looks like organists are inevitably about to receive P45s. I don’t expect my church to pay me when I can’t work due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, neither do I want to lose income for the same reason! As the government mandated this lockdown should they not be liable to provide some kind of financial support to people who will suffer financially for several years?
Any thoughts/suggestions welcome. How is your church dealing with the prospect of a music and choir free service? Many thanks!