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West Berkshire church pipe dream a reality

Generous donation sees organ restored

West Berkshire church pipe dream a reality

A WEST Berkshire church is alive with the sound of music once again thanks to an anonymous donation. 

St George the Martyr in Wash Common received a £207,000 donation from a generous donor to refurbish, overhaul and expand the organ over the last two years. 

Walker & Son Organ Builders, which built the original organ, was commissioned for the re-build of the original extension organ, which creates different pitches with a minimum number of pipes.

But, even at full volume, the previous organ was never a powerful enough instrument for the church. 

Church warden Norma Murray said that the organ would add immeasurably to St George’s strong musical tradition.

“We were bowled over by the generosity and ‘no holds barred’ attitude of the donor, who urged us to make it the best it could be in the space,” she said. 

St George’s has embarked on a project to become one of the country’s first carbon-neutral churches by installing a ground-source heat pump.

And, following this green ethos, many original organ pipes have been retained and reused, and now form part of the swell organ.

The number of pipes has increased from 289 to 935 and local craftsmen were employed in the work to install the organ.

Organist and director of music at St George’s, Clive Grant (pictured with retired vicar at St George's Paul Cowan), will be giving a recital at 4pm on Saturday, March 11, and all are welcome to attend. 

For more information, contact the church office on (01635) 41249 or 582340.

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