Cathedral backs down in row over organist

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The Independent Online

Managers at Lincoln Cathedral have backed down over plans to lay off their world-renowned organist.

The removal of Colin Walsh had sparked an uproar. The Friends of Cathedral Music said his loss would be a "disgrace and a disaster" for the cathedral.

He has now been given the title Organist Laureate and moved from his role as day-to-day organist and master of the choristers to become an occasional organist and ambassador for the cathedral. He is also free to pursue his international career as a recitalist. His solicitor has indicated that Mr Walsh is happy.

The cathedral's clerk of work, Bill Roberts, 57, is to be paid off with a sum of about £60,000. He had earlier threatened to take the cathedral management to an industrial tribunal, alleging unfair dismissal.

The positions held by both men became redundant eight months ago in a restructuring of cathedral staff supervised by the Dean, Alec Knight. Mr Walsh's position was to have been scrapped and amalgamated with a new job of director of music, encompassing the management of Lincoln Minster School.