Organ fundraising

The organ at St Andrew’s Leytonstone has been in need of repair for some time. Before I got there, a first stage of repairs was done; the second stage was deferred. Here’s a quote from our organ builder’s estimate on the second stage:

“The four remaining bellows up in the main organ chamber are very awkward to access (being sited on floor level) and require dismantling/removal of the Choir division (i.e. pipework and soundboard mechanisms) to facilitate their removal. The six case pipes on the right hand side would need to be removed and a small tower scaffold erected in order to safely extract the bellows from the organ. It could be possible to undertake the re-leathering of these bellows one at a time, but for practical and financial purposes, it would be more economic to restore these in one operation.”

The current estimate for the cost of the work is £21000 plus VAT at 20%. So we need to raise £25000.

St Andrew’s is one of the most deprived parishes in the country, according to the Church Urban Fund’s poverty calculator. In addition to that, we’re small, with about 3000 people residing in the parish, and only around 70 on the electoral roll. I am not sure where we’re going to get that amount of money. There are 1714 pipes on the organ; it would be around £15 to sponsor a pipe.

The organ itself is a beautiful instrument. Most of the pipework dates to 1914 when Lewis enlarged the instrument significantly; it is one of the last unaltered examples of the company’s work before its amalgamation with Henry Willis and Sons in 1919.

This is what it sounds like:

The whooshing noise is the leaky bellows. I’ve set that track up with a “pay what you will” price on Bandcamp, starting at £1. All profits from sales of that track will go toward the Organ Fund.

If you prefer not to use BandCamp you can donate via PayPal:

I will forward all payments to the Organ Fund.


Ideally, though, we’d rather have the money direct. I hope to have details in the next few weeks about the current state of the Organ Fund and how else people can contribute (that is, how to send us a cheque so we don’t pay PayPal fees!)

Suggestions are welcome!