Percussionists in Farnham Parish Church

A cold afternoon in Farnham.

I cut through the churchyard. It is freezing, noticeable colder than the street.

No board outside the church, though lights on inside.

A man walks out of the church. I ask is it open? A sore point. He is not happy that he has been thrown out of his own church by a bunch of percussionists.  I say I will chance it. He wishes me luck.

I walk in, no on says anything. Then when I take a picture, a woman ask me to leave, says someone might steal their percussion instruments. I cannot see how, when they are there.  She is eating a takeaway, the smell permeating the church, another woman using her mobile.

I have often in the summer wandered in during rehearsals, no one ever objects.  I am careful not to disturb the rehearsal.  I am always made welcome, invited to attend the concert. They will explain who they are, what the concert is. Not this rude woman, I am asked to leave.  These though were musicians on tour. Obviously full of their own arrogant self-importance.

I ignored the woman who has asked me to leave, made my way out at my own pace, stopping to write notes in the visitor book to say how appalled I was by their behaviour.

This incident raises important questions on the use of Farnham Parish Church.

I am pleased that is is open, unlike most churches which are locked, I am pleased that it is put to use, I would not expect to walk in on a concert in the evening without paying, and if rehearsal, I  take great care not to disturb, but I take great exception to being asked to leave, especially by people who were showing disrespect to the church and those who use it, but acting as though they owned it.

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