Vickey's Travels
by Vickey Shepherd

A JEWEL of an Abbey Church with a new organ is L'Abbiatal Eglise de Morienval, south east of Compiegne and north east of Crepy-en-Valois, France. 

Wednesday, 7th May 2002 was Liberation Day in France. Do you remember all those old cine-reels of our troops in tanks going by the Arc de Triomphe and along the Champs-Élysée? We were staying in Compiegne. There were Tricolour Flags everywhere. We planned to follow the Tourist Scenic Route of the River L'Automne and arrived at Morienval at 8 a.m. having noted the three Towers of a church down in the village. We walked round the outside
of the Church and I said, "This is what Canterbury Cathedral must have looked like in 1200". We noted the mixture of Romanesque and Early Gothic styles.

Those preparing for a bike ride in the nearby Church Square informed us that the lady who looked after the key was not up! So we toured the rest of the L 'Automne villages and returned to Morienval at Noon.

We exchanged our car keys for the church key (that is an idea for those who hand over Church keys to visitors!). What a jewel we had entered. The interior of the church was a bright beige stone, a nave with aisles and early Gothic ribs but Romanesque pillars and arches. The apse had pillars with carved capitals similar to those in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral.

There was a 12th century music book, old interesting tombs and, in the nave, a new organ. The pipes reminded me of those installed by Colin Jilks at Our Lady of Mount Carmel R.C. Church, Faversham but you could walk round them.

There were wooden pipes round three sides then metal pipes within the square and boxed in to head height. The console with the name Cavaillé-Coll written on it was in the nave in front of the pipes. 

The organ was added between November, 1990 and September, 1991 and inaugurated for the last service of Pere Charles Leemans who was responsible for the acquisition. The organ was built by Roger Lambert of Mans of the Neo-classical School in collaboration with V.Gonzales.

Grand Orgue: 56 notes: montre 8; prestant 4; doublette 2; fourniture de 3 rangs; trompette 8
Recit Orgue: 56 notes: bourdon 8; flute 4, nazard 22/3; quarte de nazard 2; tierce 13/5.
Pedale: 32 notes: soubasse 16 and basse 8
Accouplement: Recit/ Grand Orgue. Tirasse Recit. Tirasse Grand Orgue.

No, we did not hear the sound it made but we got our car keys back !



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