St Michael and All Angels Church, Bedford Park

St Michael & All Angels Organ and Parish Rooms Appeal

The Bishop of London blessed our new Organ at
A Service of Blessing and Thanksgiving on Thursday September 26th 2013

See also: The newly gilded Reredos (Altarpiece)

Inaugural Recital: Friday January 31st 2014

The new organ After more than six years' planning and fundraising, the new Organ at St Michael & All Angels, Bedford Park, was played formally for the first time at a service of Thanksgiving in the church.

The organ was blessed by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres.

The Choral Mass included Langlais' Messe Solennelle and Tavener's God Is With Us, with singing led by St Michael & All Angels' choir. Refreshments afterwards celebrated the completion of the project.

"This was a very proud moment for us” said Fr Kevin. “It's the culmination of five years' planning and fundraising, to replace our old organ with a magnificent new instrument that will enhance our worship and bring joy to our congregation and to concert audiences for many years to come.

"It's been a huge effort on the part of many people. The service gave us the chance to say thank you to them and we were delighted that the Lord Bishop of London came to bless the organ and officiate at our Choral Mass of Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful occasion and we were delighted to see so many people there including 2 members of the organ building team from Switzerland"

The organ was built in Switzerland by the specialist firm La Manufacture d'Orgues St Martin. It has 1,667 pipes, many of which have been sponsored by individuals and groups under the church's Pipe Up! appeal. Picture above: St Michaels' director of music Jonathan Dods at the organ, just before its completion.

The whole project, which includes the building of two new Vestry rooms, has cost about £850,000 and the fundraising continues, with £170,000 more still to be raised. To see how we've raised the money so far and how you can still contribute through out Pipe Up! sponsor-a-pipe scheme, go to: Organ & Parish Rooms Appeal.

The organ arrives in a lorry from SwitzerlandOur New Organ

Our organ arrived from Switzerland in this lorry and was assembled in the church by Alain, Cedric and Cedric (see pictures right).

You can see a video of Cedric building our organ in Switzerland .

The manufacturers

IAlain, Cedric & Cedricn order to choose an organ-builder, we approached ten firms, both English and European. Of these, La Manufacture d'Orgues St Martin came up with what the PCC, Organist and our organ adviser, Dr John Rowntree, thought was the best design.

They are a small firm in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, based near the town of Neuchâtel. A tour of their recent instruments in the UK, and their workshop in Switzerland, confirmed to us that they build beautiful organs of the highest quality.

Our organ parts in the workshop And you can see pictures of the organ they built for St Peter's in Petersham.

What is it like?

Our new organ is very flexible, able to play many different styles of music in recital, as well as accompany choir and congregation. It is being used to play music, in services and concerts, which would never have been possible on our previous organ.

Organ under constructionThere are 1,665 pipes, ranging in size from a few inches to 16ft depending on the pitch of the note.

The pipes are made of different materials (lead, tin or wood) and crafted in different shapes, which determines the type of sound they make. Each pipe is made and carefully tuned by hand.

The Organ and associated building works are expensive. The Church set aside monies over several years to Our organ under constructionoffset the costs, and the bulk has now been raised but about £170,000 remains to be raised from our congregation and community. See updates.

Back to our Organ & Parish Rooms Appeal page.