After 40 years of extensive and continuous use our church organ requires some tender loving care.
Advice has been sought from the Diocesan Organ Advisers and our organ consultant Mr Ian Bell. The following essential work has been identified:-
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’.
THE ESSENTIAL REFURBISHMENT
To address this underlying wear and deterioration of the instrument before it severely disrupts the church services or becomes 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 provides the opportunity to further enhance the instrument and improve its effectiveness in supporting the liturgy.
THE PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS
Providing funds are forthcoming we would like to incorporate the following overall improvements to the instrument.
Extend the organ case forward by 600mm into the chancel bringing the main pipework from inside the chamber into the open chancel. The Great manual pipes are then in the chancel where they will be more effective in leading the congregational singing. The organ case will be carefully modified and the sight lines from the nave to the east window will not adversely affected.
To install the additional pipework:-
Provide the Great with a chorus reed – probably an 8ft Trumpet – and this will also be playable on the Pedals.
Provide the Great manual with two new ranks of pipes, a 2⅔ Nazard / Twelfth and a 1³/5 Tierce / seventeenth. These will prove to be very useful in providing more tonal colour.
Re-voice the bottom twelve pipes of the Swell 16ft Oboe pipes and use them instead to extend the Swell 8ft Trumpet where they will be of more use.
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, metal working and electrical 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. The total cost for the essential work and the improvements is approximately £180,000 – including VAT. To date we have raised £140k towards our target. We are now in contract with Mander Organs (formerly F H Browne of Canterbury) for the work to start in 2021
SPONSOR A TRUMPET PIPE
Now there's a great opportunity to sponsor an entire organ pipe! The organ has always lacked purpose made Trumpet pipes which add so much vibrancy to the music at major church events, weddings, etc. Trumpet pipes are fundamental to dramatic pieces of music. If you'd like to sponsor a pipe (for from £50) please clink the following link for details.
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