IT is satisfying to know that the recent articles on St Francis Church in Salisbury have been met with such interest.

My thanks go to Nigel Rowe who has contacted me to say how St Francis Church played a huge part in his family’s life.

“My father, Jack Rowe, became organist and choirmaster from before the ‘new’ church was built. Although before my time, the church was a hut in, I believe, the rugby field in Castle Road.

“My brother, Bryan Rowe, tells me that when the new church was built, it was a little while before the organ was installed. When it was, Christopher Dearnley, who was organist and choirmaster of Salisbury Cathedral at the time, played the new organ at its inaugural dedication.

“My father then continued as organist and choirmaster until the mid 60s, celebrating 25 years of service to the church. As well as his duties, he also composed a score of the Te Deum.

“This lay forgotten in a cupboard in the church for decades, and it wasn’t until my brother contacted the vicar a few years ago, that a search brought it back to light! It has since been performed by another choir and I have a copy of the recording.

“I attach a photograph of the choir taken outside of the south entrance. This was taken in about 1948 – my father can be seen standing next to “Molly” - the affectionate name given to Rev Wyons Mauleverer (centre row right).

“Behind my father’s left shoulder (as we look at the photo) stands my uncle, Norman Swayne-Shaw and in the front row, immediately to the left of the boy in a suit, is my brother Bryan. Later, in 1959, I joined the choir, eventually becoming head chorister.

“Sadly, on my last visit to the church, the organ had been completely removed as the expense of a complete overhaul was deemed to expensive.”

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