NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CHURCH MUSICIANS

The National Federation of Church Musicians was the brainchild of the late Eric Hayward and James Holt, but before it could be properly established both sadly passed away. They had planned to create four levels of membership: Member, Associate, Licentiate and Fellow. A simple website was created for the NFCM and a scheme of academic dress was drawn up by Messrs Ede & Ravenscroft. The hoods were planned to be in a similar pattern to the standard NCM simple shape hoods, but with a gold lining instead of lavender.

After the untimely death of Eric Hayward, this sub-division of the College was discovered to be in a rather disorganised state and so the Council decided to withdraw the FNFCM until a decision could be reached about its future purpose.

In 2020, following representations from former recipients of the award who were anxious to see it keep going, the College decided to reinstate the FNFCM but only at Fellowship level. In order to qualify, candidates are expected to demonstrate at least twenty years of fully-documented service in the field of church music in any denomination of the Christian church as an organist, choir director or singer, making the award of the FNFCM a formal recognition of long and distinguished service.

The hood, which is currently being redesigned by Ede and Ravenscroft, will be in a full shape similar to the FNCM but lined with gold throughout and fully edged with fur. Like the NCM gowns, there is also the opportunity for members to purchase a black gown which will have gold facings at the front, although it is recognised that most would be wearing the hood over cassock and surplice. The 2020 price of an FNCM hood is £95 and it is expected that the cost of an FNFCM hood will be similar. A letter of authority for purchase will be supplied by the college.

Application may be made to the college Principal, Dr Michael Walsh, via principal@ncm-london.co.uk for consideration of this award. Although there is no reason why candidates should not self-nominate, there may well be occasions when an award might be sought at the instigation of others. Such an approach would be welcomed and discretion assured.

It is hoped that applicants will be prepared to contribute a minimum of £30 to the work of the National College of Music and Arts, London.