AN unholy row has broken out over a village church choir.
According to team rector of Holy Trinity Church in Bothenhampton trouble over the church choir has been brewing for ‘a considerable time’.
The Rev Andrew Evans has now ordered a period of review which means the church will fall silent until after Lent.
Meanwhile two of the choir have resigned and all remaining members have written to him saying personality clashes and lack of consultation and communication were the root of the dissension.
Rev Evans said: “We are having a period of review as to what the future of the choir will be.
“There have obviously been some difficulties over a long period of time which have needed to be reviewed. We are hoping in due course the choir will be able to reform.”
He said everyone involved would be part of the review, from the organist to the choir and the congregation.
He added: “I wouldn’t as team rector take action like this unless I considered the situation to be serious and in need of resolution.”
Colin Sparkes has been a member for 30 years before his recent resignation. He said there had been personality clashes and a lack of consultation over the appointment of organist the Rev Peter Aves.
Mr Sparkes said: “We are all very upset about it.”
He said all ten choir members signed the letter to the vicar.
The letter said: “There has been a clash of personalities that could have been overcome but it is not the sole reason why two members have resigned.
“Your duty of care should extend to the choir which has been deeply affected by the situation. It is regrettable that the choir was not included in any consultation with you and Holy Trinity mission partners.”
The letter goes on to say some choir practices have been ‘really very uncomfortable’.
Mr Sparkes said the choir has represented the church at the Salisbury dioceses choir festival and members intend to hold up this tradition in June whether or not the choir has been reinstated.
In a letter read out to the congregation by the Rev Evans he said the situation with the choir was ‘unacceptable’.
He said: “I have a duty of care and have come to the conclusion that the Lent period of reflection is necessary for the choir.
“With a heavy heart I believe it is necessary for the choir to cease taking part in worship.”
Rev Peter Aves was unavailable for comment.