New Organ Arrives Like “A Phoenix Rising from the Ashes”

The new organ for St John’s arrived today in two trucks – although it will be some time before it is installed and working.

The instrument, which was kindly gifted to the parish by Trinity United Reformed Church in Plymouth, was identified by a working group as being ideal for the Church. It has used several times for the National Young Organists’ Competition.

The group has been working to get a pipe organ back in the Church for the first time since the fire of 2006. An electronic organ installed then as a temporary solution is still being used, but is ageing rapidly, requires increasing amounts of servicing, and will soon need to be replaced.

Rector of St John with St Mary, the Rev’d Jonathan Poston, said, “It’s great to have the organ in Church!

Lady with a hand vacuum in a church
Sarah Stevens was one of a large group of parishioners who helped move the organ and clean the church before the bishop’s arrival this evening.

“We’re all exhausted because we’ve been here since 8.15 this morning unloading it and it has been two wagon-loads of stuff. We’ve managed to get it in church and packed away.

“We’re really looking forward to our campaign to get our new pipe organ back in place. It’s going to be fantastic for the choir, and great for our church.

“Realistically it will take at least 12 months to get the organ working, as it is a huge project, but it will be well worth waiting for.”

Mike McClelland, the churchwarden who facilitated the setting up of the organ working group, said, “This is a phoenix rising from the ashes of the ruins of the old organ which was burnt.”

“We are now preparing for a faculty, or permission from the Diocese to make significant alternations to the Church, building on faculties granted in 2002 and 2008. We can’t start work until we get the faculty, and we also need to raise some money for the project. We do hope to both start and finish work during 2024.”

Teams of parishioners worked hard to move the pipes into the church and clean up afterwards. This had to be done urgently as this is just the first part of a busy day at St John’s – the Bishop of Ramsbury, the Rt Rev’d Andrew Rumsey, will confirm five young people and one adult in the church this evening.

The project is being led by Lance Foy Organs of Truro.