F P Harton

A letter from the vicar of Baulking to Penelope Betjeman

My Dear Penelope

I have been thinking over the question of the playing of the harmonium on Sunday evenings here and have reached the following conclusion that I must now take it over myself.

I am very grateful to you for doing it for so long and hate to have to ask you to give it up, but, to put it plainly, your playing has got worse and worse and the discord between the harmonium and the congregation is becoming destructive to devotion. People are not very sensitive here, but even some of them have begun to complain, and they are not usually given to doing that. I do not like writing this, but I think that you will agree that it is my business to see that the divine worship is as perfect as it can be made. Perhaps the crankiness of the instrument has something to do with the trouble. I think it does require a careful and experienced player to deal with it.

Thank you ever so much for stepping so generously into the breach when Sibyl was ill; it was the greatest possible help to me and our results were noticeably better then than now.

Yours ever,

F P Harton

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