Now – as you probably know, as well as the usual platforms (this site, soundcloud, iTunes/Apple) you can get to Sweetman Podcast on Spotify – follow it there and have it saved in your Spotify library. It’s on most of the podcast platforms besides the ones mentioned here.
This one is a little different from many of the chats here. I wouldn’t expect you to know or know about Chris Orczy. He is a Facebook friend – and in fact this is the first conversation we’ve had in person, our first time meeting.
We are fellow music nerds – and have conversed online, following each other, Facebook friends, with a few mutual real-life pals. As part of the Facebook way of life we’ve been aware of each other and followed the journey – so Chris asked me questions about my son Oscar. He’s seen him grow up on my pages in his Facebook feed. Likewise, I’ve become aware of Chris’ spiritual journey, his vocation. I wanted to know about the path he took. And how it happened.
Chris is now Father Christopher Orczy, he is the vicar at St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church in Christchurch. He didn’t grow up with religion. He had an epiphany, an awakening, he felt a calling in his late-30s. He grew up a music man – including listening to death metal. He worked in a music store and was obsessed with prog and synth pop (still is). He was composing music and noticed it was moving more towards the spiritual and devotional – but can only see that now in hindsight. He quit his job and told his wife the (good) news: He would study to become a priest. With her support they moved to Australia and he studied – returning to his home of Christchurch, carrying the guilt of not being there during the earthquake.
This is a deep conversation with many candid asides.
I was so grateful for the time Chris took and the patience he had with me – I’m not a religious person, I’m quite possibly a religious sceptic, but my aim, these days, is to be very respectful of anyone’s spiritual journey. And I was genuinely curious about his role, how he saw it – how he came to it.
We do talk about some of the problematic aspects of religion’s backstory and its portrayal in media; reasons for people to be un-aligned and even angry and the church’s sometimes very poor comms around this.
In and around this religious story you’ll hear and feel Chris’ passion for music – and there are a few music asides. Our next conversation – likely unrecorded – will be an even deeper dive into music. I hope.
Chris continues to compose music – now almost entirely his music is devotional, he uses it in his work. He creates soundtracks and moods for his sermons but this music is accessible for people to listen to outside of church. Here’s a link to his YouTube channel and I’d urge fans and followers of ambient music to subscribe. I’ve found Chris’ music to be a balm in this world.
Some big topics here – so a trigger warning: the earthquakes, Mosque shooting, systemic abuse, even religion itself could be triggering for some. But I’m thrilled by how this conversation turned out and was so grateful to Chris for even considering it. So I hope you enjoy this
This is episode 261 of the podcast. My conversation with Father Christopher Orczy.