Organ restoration project, update January 2024

In the summer of 2021 the PCC established a small fundraising group to lead a fundraising programme for the restoration of the organ in the church. Fundraising started in earnest in September 2021 by the small team comprising Howard Browning, David Wood and David Thackray, led by Leonora Rozee. Warwick Cole provided such expert advice as needed concerning the organ restoration process. The initial fundraising target was £205,000. However, by the time the contract was signed with the organ restorers, Messrs Goetze and Gwynne, in November 2022, the target had risen to £232,000, as a result of inflationary pressures. This target allows for the fixed price contract and a contingency to cover the cost of scaffolding and any other necessary related costs. The target has been reached and the fundraising programme for the organ closed at the end of December 2023.

The funds have come from a wide variety of sources:

Grants: David Thomas Trust; Lasletts; Langtree Trust; Cecil Adams Organ Fund; Church Care / Pilgrim Trust; Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust; Warneford Ecclesiastical; Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation; Rausing Trust; Renishaws Charities Committee; Ricardo Crawley Trust; Benefact Trust; O N Organ Trust.

Sponsors: 62 'sponsor a pipe' donations have been made.

Donations: by a large number of individuals and following a number of funerals.

Match Funding: David and Alison Wood generously matched the funds existing in the organ fund at the start of the fundraising programme (i.e. £22,014).

Fundraising Events: Teatime concerts put on by the Director of Music
Dr Warwick Cole in 2022/3; two Music in the Garden events held in July 2022 and 2023 (the idea of which was conceived by the late Clare Cooper in memory of her late husband Neil); a Quiz held in Spring 2023; a Craft Fair held in November 2023.

The work started in the week beginning 13 November 2023 when the organ was removed to Goetze and Gwynn’s workshop in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire. The restoration work is expected to take between 10 and 12 months. It is proposed to hold a celebration event once the organ has been returned and tested.

HTC is extremely grateful to all who have contributed to this fundraising effort, whether by donating, providing grants to the fund or by organising events, and to the fundraising group for their tireless efforts to ensure that the funds are in place to allow the organ to be restored.

Father Howard Gilbert
Dr Warwick Cole

January 2024