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Organ Renovation Appeal - why is it important to us?

Leominster Priory is one of the dwindling number of churches that retains its historic and very active choral tradition. It has a Church Choir for the main Sunday Service and for a monthly Choral Evensong, as well as for special festivals within the Church year.

Under the guidance of the present Director of Music, Mr Vernon Thurgood, FRCO(CHM) training is offered especially to younger members through the RSCM scheme. When repaired the organ will function as a teaching instrument, used particularly with the Diocesan Organists Training Scheme and for other training opportunities.

The Priory, as the town’s largest concert venue, is used for a wide variety of musical events, including visits by the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra, as a venue for the Leominster Festival, concerts by the Leominster Choral Society, Organ Recitals, and many more.

The organ plays a vital role in offering an instrument of high specification and quality for these and other community occasions.

What is the situation?

It is generally recognised that a pipe organ requires a major refurbishment every 30-40 years. This is because they are extremely complex machines. They deterioratewith age and suffer from air leaks from reservoirs and pipe-work, deterioration of leather-work, rusting of wiring and relays, wood splitting, vermin damage, general accumulation of dust and dirt. These effects are minimised by regular maintenance which our organ has had over the years from Nicholson & Co. But even this cannot prevent deterioration. Our organ is overdue for a major renovation.

In addition, the effect of ingress of water due to the worsening condition of the roof meant that general humidity levels were high, affecting leather and wood components and hastening the rusting of relays and other electrical components. The organ is insured and the insurers have made a welcome payment but this is only around 15% of the total cost. The rest we have to raise ourselves.