St Oswald’s Organ Appeal

Appeal for funds for the restoration of the organ in St Oswald’s Church

The pipe organ in St Oswald’s Church is about 100 years old, although it has only been in this church for about half of that time, having been transferred from a previous church. It was selected only after careful searching for a good instrument. It was well-built, which is amply demonstrated by its longevity, having performed over this long period with mostly routine maintenance. Some minor changes were made when it was installed in St Oswald’s by the Manchester organ builder Charles Smethurst in 1967.

In construction, the organ consists of an electrical blower providing air from outside the building to a set of bellows. The sounding of each individual pipe is controlled mechanically from the keyboards and pedals by a series of levers, wires and leathered valves.

The organ is now in need of some fairly modest restoration which could easily prolong its use for another 50 years. The main concern is the bellows which have been patched up in recent years when leaks have appeared due to the ageing of the leather. To avoid repeated patching and even possible failure of the bellows it is now necessary to remove, refurbish and re-install them. The bellows are large enough to provide a steady air supply even when many pipes are sounding simultaneously.

The organ is an ideal instrument to accompany choral singing and is regularly used, mainly for church services and occasionally for concerts. Since the loss of the lovely Renn organ from the former parish church of St John (which was transferred to Nailsworth) the St Oswald’s organ is now one of the only two remaining church pipe organs in Bollington.
The current estimate for the repair of the organ is about £7200, which although a considerable sum, is comparatively little in the lifetime of the instrument. Quite a small donation from enough people would be sufficient to meet this cost.

If you would like to be convinced of the beauty of the organ and the worthiness of it’s restoration and would like to see or even to play it, this can be arranged.

It is intended that this appeal will also be used to comemmorate Sue Bennett and her contribution to the music of the church, alas, cut short by her untimely death.

There is a donation box in the church if you wish to help. Please mark your envelope “for the Organ Fund”. Donations can also be addressed to “The Anglican Parish of Bollington PCC – for the Organ Fund”

St John’s church organ

After our former parish church closed in 2003, the Diocese of Chester had to look for appropriate new homes for various artefacts, including the organ and the bells. Finally in 2011 St George’s Church in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire showed interest in acquiring the 1836 Samuel Renn organ. Thanks to various bequests and a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, St George’s PCC were able to raise the necessary amount (of over £100,000) to cover the costs of dismantling, transportation, renovation and installation of this historic instrument in their church.
On Sunday 15 June 2014 a small group from our parish travelled down for the Dedication Service held at St George’s, conducted by the Bishop of Tewkesbury, the Rt Revd Martyn Shaw.
Here are some photos taken in Spring 2011 as the organ was being dismantled and taken away from St John’s Church. These are followed by photos taken at the Dedication Service at Nailsworth, during which the Interim Vicar of Nailsworth acknowledged the gift of the organ from Bollington and thanked both the organ builder and the representative of the Lottery Fund who have enabled the organ to be welcomed into a new home. After the service St George’s delighted organist was pleased to allow Paul Broadhurst to give an impromptu recital (Paul is the Chester DAC Secretary who helped arrange the re-homing of the organ) encouraged by one present and one former Churchwarden of Bollington!