The Good Shepherd, Tadworth

Pipe Organ Restoration Appeal

After 35 years of extensive and continuous use our church organ requires some tender loving care.

Advice from the Diocesan Organ Advisers and the Organ Builders’ has identified the following essential work:- 

The above problems although unlikely at present to make the instrument totally unplayable, do cause our organists at times unnecessary difficulties in playing the instrument.  Although the organ to uninitiated ears may be sounding perfectly satisfactory,  in fact at times there may be some pipes not speaking when they should,  not speaking properly or very slow to speak.  While playing very softly the ‘action noise’ can be heard above the sound of the music.  Worst still is when we have what is known as a ‘cipher’ when a single pipe or many pipes speak continuously even though no key is being pressed.   This can cause a whole section of the organ to be temporarily un-useable. All the above conditions cause the organist severe frustrations in trying to lead the congregational singing, accompanying the choir or just playing music during the service.  All organists realise they are trying to lead the church in the praise and thanks to God and will always try to keep any disruptions in the service to a minimum.   So the organ may sound fine but often there are ‘problems’. 


To address this underlying wear and deterioration of the instrument before it severely disrupts the church services or becomes totally unplayable we are embarking on a major refurbishment project that will restore the instrument back to its full potential.We are employing the services of Mr Ian Bell as our technical consultant to advise the church on the best way forward for the organ's refurbishment and tonal improvement.The essential work will correct the present problems and involves:- 

The above work will be performed by skilled craftsmen from an English company who will put the organ in fine fettle for many generations to come.

This refurbishment work does give the opportunity to further enhance the instrument with additional tonal colours and improve its effectiveness in supporting the liturgy.


Providing funds are forthcoming we would like to incorporate the following overall improvements to the instrument.

To bring the main pipework from inside the chamber and position them into the chancel.  This would mean extending the present organ case approximately 700mm from the face of the chancel wall.  This brings the Great pipework  into the chancel where they will be much more effect in leading the congregation within the nave. The organ case will be carefully modified and the nave sight lines not be adversely affected.

Provide the Great manual with a 2⅔ Nazard and a 1³/Tierce stops.  These stops are flute pipes which sound the twelfth and seventeenth respectively note above the key actually being played.  These will prove to be very useful ranks of pipes providing considerable colour to the Great.

Provide the Great with a chorus reed – probably an 8ft Trumpet

To provide the additional pipework:- 


Pipe organs do not come cheap as they are all hand built.  Their design and construction is performed by highly skilled craftsmen. These craftsmen work to exacting joinery and metal working standards. Every re-used or new pipe will be carefully examined by the ‘voicer’ who ensures each pipe speaks the correct pitch, has the right tone and loudness, and blends then with all it’s neighbouring pipes.   To employ a company to carry out the full work of rebuilding and improving the instrument currently will cost approximately £140,000. 


If you can, please do help us in supporting this Appeal so that everyone can enjoy and be enriched by Tadworth’s great musical tradition. Methods of making a donation to the Organ Restoration Appeal are contained within this Church website.  There is a lively programme of concerts and events this year to raise money for the appeal.  We hope to see you at some of these events.

If you would like to know more about the workings of the organ or even venture inside,  or have any queries then  please do not hesitate in contacting  Richard Shipman and Tim Carey