St Mary's Organ Appeal

Patron: The Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans

Preserving the music tradition of St Mary's for the next generation

Why does St Mary's need a new organ?

Our current organ is older than the church! It was built in 1885 for the old St John the Baptist church (located where the War Memorial now stands). When St Mary's was built in 1915 it was installed as a temporary measure. The last major work was done in 1991 and the organ is now in need of major repair:

  • Much of the pipework has collapsed and is beyond repair
  • The wooden components have warped
  • The shutters on the swell box no longer close properly
  • Many notes no longer sound and others stick (meaning the sound lasts after the key has been released)
  • It is becoming increasingly difficult to tune and maintain with some pipes being untunable
  • The piston action (which controls combinations of stops) is unreliable
  • The console is falling apart

After taking expert advice from our Organ Adviser, Mr Paul Hale (ex-Organist at Southwell Minster), and the Diocesan Organ Adviser, Mr Andrew Lucas (Master of Music at St Albans Abbey), the PCC has decided not to repair our current instrument. It has given faithful service to our parish for over 130 years but it has come to the end of its life and repair would be expensive and not a good use of our funds.

Fortunately a perfect instrument has become available and this will be transferred to St Mary's by Henry Groves and Sons during 2019 at a cost of just over £97,000 ex-VAT.

The new organ

The new organ is currently located in St Alkmund and St Werburgh's church in Derby. It was built in 1888 by TC Lewis and then rebuilt in 1972 by JW Walker and Sons, both organ builders of high repute. St Alkmund's no longer requires the organ so it is available. It is a fine instrument which will work very well in St Mary's excellent acoustic and is the sort of instrument which would have been installed had St Mary's been completed to its original design. It will substantially increase interest in the musical life of the church, providing opportunities for recitals and concerts, as well as contributing considerably to the church's worship.

Some basic stats

Number of pipes:2,250
Number of keyboards:3
Number of stops:50
Length of largest pipe:18 feet
Length of smallest pipe:3 inches
Organ console
The new organ's console
Organ pipes
Proposed pipes in the north-facing organ loft arch

Organ specification

Pedal1Open Diapason (wood)16
2Violone Bass16E
3Sub Bass16D
4Salicional16B
5Quint Bass10 2/3
6Principal8E
7Bass Flute8D
8Salicet8B
9Fifteenth4E
10Octave Flute4D
11Recorder2
12Mixture19.22
13Trombone16C
14Fagotto16A
15Trumpet8C
16Horn8A
17Zink4C
 Swell to Pedal
 Great to Pedal
 Positive to Pedal
 Great and Pedal Combinations Coupled
 Generals on Swell Toe Pistons
Positive18Bourden8
19Salicional8B
20Spitzflöte4
21Nazard2 2/3
22Block Flöte2
23Tierce1 2/3
24Larigot1 1/3
25Crumhorn8
 Tremulant
26Trumpet8C
 Swell to Positive
Great27Contra Salicional16B
28Open Diapason8from existing organ
29Stopped Diapason8from existing organ
30Octave4
31Waldflöte4
32Twelfth2 2/3
33Super Octave2
34Sesquialtera12.17
35Mixture19.22
36Sharp Mixture26.29
37Trumpet8C
 Swell to Great
 Positive to Great
Swell38Geigen Principal8
39Rhorflöte8
40Viole de Gamba8
41Voix Celeste8TC
42Geigen Principal4
43Flauto Traverso4
44Fifteenth2
45Scharf22.26.29
46Contra Fagotto16A
47Horn8A
48Oboe8
49Vox Humana8
50Clarion4A
 Tremulant
 Octave
 Unison Off
 Sub Octave
Console Accessories
 6 divisional thumb pistons on Great
 6 divisional thumb pistons on Swell
 6 divisional thumb pistons on Positive
 6 general thumb pistons
 reversible thumb pistons for
 Great to Pedal
 Swell to Pedal
 Positive to Pedal
 Swell to Great
 Positive to Great
 Swell to Positive
 setter, cancel, advance and retard thumb pistons
 6 toe pistons to Pedal
 6 toe pistons to Swell
 reversible toe piston for Great to Pedal
 advance toe piston
 balanced swell pedal
 MIDI in
 MIDI out

How you can help

Over the last decade or so we have raised a staggering £100,000. Thank you to everyone who has so generously contributed. However we still need a further £10,000 to cover VAT.

By contributing you will be helping to ensure the future of our musical tradition for God, our church and our town.

You can help in many ways:

  • Buying a pipe (£20), an octave of pipes (£100) or a full rank of pipes (£1,000)
  • Visiting our EasyFunding site where you can donate while shopping
  • Offering accommodation or meals for the organ builders whilst they are on-site
  • Above all, remembering the organ project in your prayers

If you would like to make a donation you can do so electronically ('PCC of Potters Bar', a/c 20712337, sort code 20-92-54, please use the reference 'Organ Appeal') or, if you would like to pay in cash of via a cheque please download the Appeal Leaflet and complete the form on the last page.

If you would like to know more about our Organ Appeal please email to organist@stmaryspb.org.uk.