Built in 1877 and barely touched since our unique organ is finally receiving some much needed attention.
Donate now to help restore it to full working order and to keep it working for generations to come!
Those of you familiar with the Union Chapel may not have noticed our Organ deliberately hidden as it is behind the stone arches and decorative screens; even the organist is tucked away behind the pulpit. But the organ is an integral part of the Union Chapel.
Specially commissioned for the opening of the Chapel in 1878 it was built by Henry Willis and is considered one of the finest unaltered examples of his work. Perhaps the foremost organ builder of his time, Willis built around 1000 organs including those at the Royal Albert Hall and St Paul’s Cathedral. What makes our Organ so special is the fact that is not only a beautiful example of Willis’s craftsmanship but it is also the only Willis Organ left in England to have an original hydraulic blowing system. This has been out of action since the 1930’s but survives intact in the bowels of the Chapel.
We are now embarking on the start of the first major restoration the Organ has undergone since its completion 1878. Each pipe will be painstakingly removed and taken to the Harrison & Harrison factory in Durham where the restoration work is being done. This work will not only allow us to keep using the Organ for many years to come but will also reinstate the original hydraulic bellows meaning that for the first time in 80 years the organ will sound as Henry Willis intended. The Organ will be taken out in July and August and then re-installed in all its glory between January and March 2013.