Organ Restoration Project

The St Chad’s organ is playable at the moment, and continues to produce a fine sound. However, it is gradually deteriorating as more and more faults develop and parts wear out. Ideally a full restoration is needed. Otherwise, at some point in a few years’ time, the organ will become unplayable because so many faults will have developed.

The initially-proposed solution would have cost in the region of £135,000 at 2014/15 prices. Although we have a small Organ Fund of our own, carefully raised over the years through fund raising efforts and donations, to achieve a full restoration we would need to heavily rely on grants.

We made two attempts to tap the grant source, but both were unsuccessful. The Heritage Lottery Fund people were sympathetic to our case, and could have covered up to £100,000, but needed prior reassurance that the remainder of the cost would be covered. Although we received two small grant offers from other bodies, other grant sources rejected our applications, and we could not show that we had successfully covered the entire cost of the project either by cash-in-hand or firm grant offers.

We have therefore come up with a somewhat smaller scheme, still a reasonably comprehensive restoration of the instrument, but one at a lower cost, considerably improving the chances of getting grant-aid for the project, with a total cost of just over £105,000. A number of small grants and grant-promises have already been received from the Pilling Trust and the Allchurches Trust. We have also raised over £2000 from a ‘Sponsor a Pipe’ scheme, which will continue to yield extra moneys over the next few months. Please get in touch with us via our priest, Rev Mark Hewerdine, if you are able to contribute anything towards this very worthwhile project.

At the current point in time (January 2018), we are applying to the Diocese of Manchester for a Faculty for the work. On receipt of this we will submit a fresh application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grant-aid under their ‘Our Heritage’ scheme.

Click here for an account of the history of the organ.

There are photographs of the organ in its current state here.


General view of the organ from the Nave. Most of the front pipes are decorative only. A full restoration scheme will not alter the general external appearance.



Part of the problem !  The spaghetti-like pneumatic pipes. If a problem develops in or behind these, it is impossible to fix. In a full restoration scheme, they would be replaced by an electro-pneumatic system, which will make access much easier.



Part of the problem. The 'drunken' pipes in the Swell Box. These are squashed together because of the 'mitre-ing', go out of tune and break easily. Our restoration scheme would provide an increased height will provide an increased height for the Swell Box, reducing the need to 'mitre' the longer pipes, and improving both sound output and ease of access for maintenance.



General view of the organ console.