My grandfather Alwyn Surplice was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Winchester 1949-1971. 

He was an immensely kind and gentle man who built up the music as best he could in those difficult post-war years. 

As a young child I would often sit on the organ bench with him during services, pulling the curtain aside to peep down at the choir. My grandfather could only have dreamed of the international recognition the choir would come to enjoy, expertly nurtured by his successors. 

There is now a fight for the choir’s very existence. The last few years have seen a mass exodus of professional musicians, the latest being Dr Lumsden, the much loved Director of Music for 22 years, whose sudden and unexpected departure remains unexplained. At the centre of all this are serious allegations of bullying, intimidation, gaslighting and poor governance on the part of the clergy. The documented evidence of this must be given the consideration it warrants. The clergy’s attempts to cover up their behaviour is further undermining the trust and respect that should be the cornerstone of our religious communities.

I want to thank those who are working tirelessly to uncover the truth. On behalf of Alwyn, thank you from the bottom of my heart. The news of the Bishop commissioning an inquiry is encouraging and I hope it will lead to an open acknowledgement of wrongdoing and compensation to those affected. 

Anna Dichmont,
Coach Road,

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