Tom’s Journey – A Shared Vision
We were delighted to be re-united with an old Pipeline scholar, Tom, at the Formation in Ministry Summer School, Sarum College, Salisbury. The five-day residential course provides students with the opportunity to deepen theological reflection, grow in understanding and develop new skills.
We caught up with Tom in his fourth day to have a very quick chat with him as he grabbed a well-deserved cup of tea and slice of cake in the common room.
Tom trained on the RSCM Pipeline scheme but started out as pianist and almost fell into playing the church organ at his home church in Hampshire by accident, due to the ill health of the organist, at the time. Sadly, the organist’s health quickly deteriorated and he passed away.
Tom explained how this sad passing left a big hole in his church and how he then decided (with a lot of encouragement from his church!) to explore Pipeline training to give him the skills he needed to move from being a pianist to learning the organ. “Pipeline was great for me because it gave me amazing experiences such as being able to play different organs in different settings, including Portsmouth Cathedral and also meant that I was actually learning music that was especially written for the organ. After a period of time in my home church I then decided to explore other options and came onto the path that I am now on, which seemed another natural progression”.
Tom further explained ‘The fact that I had met other like-minded groups and people through Pipeline and learnt on lots of different organs, I couldn’t believe how different each organ was, meant that I could then take on the lead role of organist for my church. Learning music that is written especially for the organ means that I could adapt this to more well known hymns in any parish church. Learning was somehow made fun with the Pipeline course, especially as it wasn’t exactly seen as ‘cool’ to be a church organist and has definitely played a huge role in where I am today”.