Renovation of the Organ at St. Mary’s Reigate

The new mechanism will make the instrument less sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, it will would require fewer adjustments than at present making it easier for less skilled musicians to enjoy playing the instrument.

We have consulted with Diocesan Organ Advisors as well as our regular organists and appointed Ian Bell as our project manager. We strongly believe that it is absolutely vital for action to be taken as a matter of urgency as we have been advised that the organ is in grave danger of giving up altogether at any time. This would affect not only the regular services, weddings, funerals etc., but also the well regarded Reigate St. Mary’s Choristers who sing matins and evensong each week in term time. Two schools use the church for assemblies. This means the organ is used most days of the week.

Once the organ has been renovated, we believe more music groups will wish to use the church for concerts and other musical events. We also want to make the instrument available for people of all ages to learn to play it.

Click here for a brochure giving more information

Click here for a gift aid form to donate

Our Norman and Beard organ, which is just over 100 years old, is located in a Grade 2* listed building. Little significant work has been done on the instrument during this time. Consequently major renovation work is now needed if present and future generations can continue to enjoy its magnificent sound. The organ chamber is small. This has always made access for identifying problems and then doing even minor repair work difficult, and so usually rather expensive. To reduce future maintenance costs, and to provide more flexibility in the organ’s use, when we applied for a Faculty to do the renovation work we requested permission to change the mechanism to an electro-pneumatic system. This request was granted when the Faculty was given. The beautiful sound from the organ will be maintained. The new mechanism will facilitate the playing of the organ with other instruments as there is no time lag once a note has been played. Organists will therefore feel more in touch with everything musically, including the conductor.

The instrument is becoming less and less reliable, and occasionally ceases to work at all. A number of the stops no longer work so we can no longer appreciate its full potential. It is sensitive to changes in atmospheric conditions and so there is always some tension before important events, such as weddings or concerts, as to whether or not the organ will deliver. Minor repairs have been done on an on-going basis to keep the organ functioning, but experts fear that it could stop completely at any time. People have said they would be more willing to choose the church as a venue for concerts if this uncertainty was removed.