The Diocese of Chelmsford has issued a Notification of Advice for our Faculty Application for the initial stages of the organ rebuilding. This is part of the process of getting approval for the proposed works and means that a consultation period has started. The Notice may be seen on display in the church.
Amongst the bodies that we will consult are Historic England (formerly English Heritage) who comment on all works on listed buildings. We will also be asking the local historical society about their views on the change to the appearance of the organ front once the design has been completed.
As the photo shows, the current organ front it rather dull in appearance and does not cover the whole width of the gallery such that the scaffolding access walkway is visible. We intend that the new design will solve these issues and greatly improve the appearance of the west end of the church.
We will make a second faculty application to the diocese one the design of the organ front is complete.
Mander Organs Ltd have been appointed to rebuild our Walker Organ following an exhaustive tendering process. We were very impressed by the similar rebuilt organ at St Michael’s Church in Bishop Stortford which Manders completed in 2016 and expect that ours will sound just as good.
On Monday, the team from Mander Organs, John Mander and Michael Blighton, joined organ consultant William McVicker and key people on the organ committee to start the process of finalising the specification.
The organ console (below) is due for an overhaul, with an upgraded combination system and new pedal sweeps.
This picture illustrates some of the challenges in the organ gallery; very cramped access for tuning and routine maintenance, caused by new sections being added on in the past. The rebuild allows us to start from scratch with the layout and optimise the use of space to makes access for maintenance much easier.
As well as the pipes here being rather dusty, some of them are supported with cloth ties where the original soldered loops have failed.
So, while Manders get busy on the design, we have started work on preparing a two-stage faculty application, firstly to enable a contract to be signed and dismantling work to start, and then to approve the final design including a new façade to improve the appearance of the West of the church.
Dear Visitors, Supporters and Enthusiasts,
Welcome to this blog site where we shall be posting regular updates about the progress regarding rebuilding the 1953 Walker Organ. We have exciting news in the pipeline but cannot say anything yet! Watch this space in the next couple of months.