Singing organist all set for Cuckfield church

Michael Maine is the new Reverend at at Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150224-162105001
Michael Maine is the new Reverend at at Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150224-162105001

A reverend who is renowned for being told off for playing his organ ‘too loudly’ at Westminster Abbey and Cathedral is set to join Holy Trinity Church.

The collation and induction of the new vicar of Cuckfield, Reverend Michael Maine will take place at the recently restored church at 7.30pm tonight (Thursday, Feburary 26).

As organist he was told off for playing too loudly in both Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

“I guess I got rather carried away,” Michael explained.

“The fact that they have fine organs meant I did get a bit carried away, you pull out all the stops.

“Before you know it the whole room is shaking and there’s someone running down the stairs to tell you off!”

Michael said his passion for music drives his enthusiastic organ playing.

His recordings are regularly broadcast on Radio 2’s The Organist Entertains, and he is known in the Netherlands as the ‘singing organist’.

Though he will not be playing in services, he does plan to share his music with the community.

“I’m willing to make use of my talents for concerts, definitely,” he said.

Holy Trinity will be pleased to have such a formidable reverend joining the church, as Michael once fought to save the instrument he loves.

Michael continued: “I’m also playing at Brighton Dome soon, on an organ which I saved during a redevelopment about 12 or 15 years ago.

“The organ hadn’t been used for several years. I thought it’s an important instrument, from the 30s.

“The committee came around quickly when I contested it.

“I blew them to the other side of the building!”

Michael played the Saint Saens Organ Symphony with the Brighton Philharmonic, Barry Wordsworth, to a capacity audience when the organ at Brighton Dome was restored.

His choir made history by singing in both Westminster Abbey and Cathedral.

“We were the first choir to sing in both buildings on the same day, which was an amazing experience, it was splendid,” he said.

Born in Cornwall, the reverend was a chorister at Truro Cathedral when he was young.

Michael and his dog, a Labrador called Archie, moved to Cuckfield on February 1.

There will be another opportunity to meet Michael at his first major service in the parish, the Family Eucharist at 9.45am Sunday March 1.

Michael continued: “It’s a lovely parish and large church community.

“I look forward to getting to know people. The church is of the community and for the community. I hope to be very visible.”

Having made a lasting impression in his previous positions leading the ministry at Willingdon and as organist at Hove Parish Church, Michael has many visitors to Holy Trinity tonight.

“It’s brilliant, I’ve got over 100 people coming from Willingdon, and 60 from Hove,” he said.

Michael owns the longest embroidery in the world made by one person - the Narnia Tapestry which is 1,600ft long.

Tonight’s ceremony will be The ceremony will be conducted by the bishop of Horsham, the Rt Rev Mark Sowerby and the new archdeacon, the ven. Fiona Windsor.