As you can see from the history of our organ, the organ has been at the heart of worship at St Barnabas from the first day of worship in the “new” church. It is now in dire need of attention.
The Organ Today
An extract from a recent report on the organ states: ‘This fine little organ…is well built and of solid reliable materials. At the present time it is very dirty and moving parts are worn, the original leather is at a stage where it is very dry and could easily fail.’
The bad news is that the organ is in a terrible state of repair and is in need of urgent restoration work. Other than minor repairs and tuning there is no evidence of any major work done on it since 1929. The good news is that not only can the organ be saved, it can be improved. In fact the Diocesan Organ Advisor recently said that this could be one of the most exciting restoration projects in the Diocese. He said: “The project is exciting because we hope to re-design an organ to meet new musical and liturgical needs. Further it is always more difficult to design a small organ than a larger one. That makes it an exacting task”
Over the past year a working group has looked at many options for the organ. We considered just making urgent repairs or replacing the current organ with an electronic one, but these were all interim options that at best had a maximum lifespan of 20 years.
The work that is planned will see the organ moved out into the chancel by 1 metre so that the majority of the pipes will sound into the church and not, as currently happens, into the choir vestry. This will increase the volume and effectiveness of the instrument. A second keyboard and more stops and pipes will be added which will add to the volume of the instrument and will also provide a greater range of sounds and tonal colour.
Consequently we have an opportunity not only to preserve our heritage, but in the true spirit of Stewardship regenerate the instrument to last for another 90 years at least. These improvements will not just benefit us today and congregations of the future, it will also enable the organ to be used to teach and inspire future generations of church musicians.
Our aim is to raise £60,000 in a variety of ways over the next 18 months. As well as asking for your donations we are arranging a number of fund raising concerts and events:
- you can ‘Sponsor a Hymn’ at the 9.30am Service
- several delightful concerts are planned, the first two are on 2nd and 30th November, see Autumn Concerts for more information
- there are postcards to buy with pictures of the church, past and present
- there’s an ‘Organ-izer’ to collect your loose change.
We have just launched our ‘Talents’ scheme. If you prefer to give of your time and talents then maybe you would like to take £10 from us and try to multiply it – 50 members of a Church in Huddersfield recently turned £10 each into a total of over £10,000 this way! For more information, see the Talents Form or talk to Robin Kent.
Making a donation
To make a donation please complete the Gift Aid Declaration and return it with your contribution to: Robin Kent, 6 Hafod, Emmer Green, Reading, RG4 8LZ. If you are a taxpayer you can make your giving tax-efficient by signing the Gift Aid section on the donation form.