Amid the debacle left behind by perjuring priest Bob Malm, employees have been leaving Grace like rats off a sinking ship. Earlier this week, a well-placed source told me that Richard Newman has resigned as director of music. The news marks the departure of the last full-time employee from BAT (Before Anne Turner).
The news is bittersweet, as Richard’s a good guy, and came to Grace Church while I was serving as junior warden. But the cost of living in this area is very high, Grace is a shit show, and many of Richard’s friends are from Michigan, where he got his start in church music. Thus, it makes sense for him to move on.
Of course, finding qualified replacements will be difficult. Not only have several recent Grace hires been underwhelming (think Peter “Used” Hanke); but the unresolved conflict in the church; the propensity of parishioners to engage in hypocritical behavior like bullying, gossip, and defamation; and the dismal reputation of the church following Bob Malm’s perjury, spoliation of evidence, and other misconduct means few are willing to run the risk of damaging their professional reputations, or of doing something to be on the receiving end of bullying by the altar guild, choir, and members.
Grace really is in a bad way.