The organ in St Mary's was 'economically' installed in the 1970s from parts of a larger instrument, and is now deteriorating towards the point where significant sums are required to replace it. This project presents the community with an extraordinary, exciting, and genuinely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we need your support.
We aspire to commission a beautiful new organ from organ builders F.H. Browne & Sons, of Canterbury, to be installed in time for Christmas 2021. We will need to find a total of £120,000 to make this project come to fruition.
The aspiration for St Mary's is for a brand new "mechanical action" organ, incorporating most (if not all) of the pipework from the existing organ. The visual impact of the proposed new organ will primarily be the new case, sitting slightly forward of the west arch, above the console. It will comprise a traditional case, made in oak, containing some of the pipework of the Great Open Diapason.
The new console, located in approximately the same location as the existing, is proposed to comprise two manuals (keyboards) each of 61 notes, and a pedalboard of 32 notes. The Great is proposed to have six stops (voices) and the Swell is proposed to have five. The pedals will have one. In particular, having two manuals, rather than the one of the current instrument, provides very much more flexibility, and is a requirement for much of the organ repertoire.
As a traditional mechanical-action instrument, the proposed new organ should, with appropriate maintenance and care, support and enhance musical life in St Mary's and the village of Reed now, and for many years to come. In total, an average of ten services are held in the church each month, and music plays a pivotal role in almost all of these. In particular, at special services such as weddings, baptisms and funerals, a fine instrument will allow families to choose from a far greater choice of music. And at major festivals such as Christmas, Easter and Harvest - when the village comes together at St Mary's - the new instrument will have the power and tonal variety to lead the congregation.
In addition, the new instrument will support the continued growth and development of Reed Choir, whose home is in St Mary's. Founded in 2014, Reed Choir has grown now to more than 30 members, and is increasingly ambitious in its repertoire. A new instrument will allow a broader range of this to be undertaken, to the benefit not only of the choir itself, but of the musical life of the church and the village, and of the increasing number of families who ask the choir to have a role in their special services.
With this project the community in Reed - and indeed the wider community for whom St Mary's is such a special place - has the opportunity to put in place an instrument of great beauty, character and integrity, for those of us here today ... and as a legacy for those to come. Please consider supporting our project. Thank you.