Church receives new organ after five years of fundraising

Bishop of London celebrates new organ at St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park

Five years of fundraising has paid off for St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park,which celebrated its new pipe organ this week.

£850,000 was raised for the organ, which will be used by the growing church for its extensive musical programme.

The organ was made by Swiss specialists La Manufacture d' Orgues St Martin and has 1,667 pipes, comprising twenty-five stops over three manuals and pedals.

The previous Bryceson organ was no longer fit for purpose as the bellows had rotted, the wind chest and playing action were in bad shape, and the pipework itself was of a poor quality.

The new organ got its first proper airing at a service of blessing and thanksgiving last night attended by the Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres.

Around £170,000 still needs to be raised to cover the full costs of the organ.

The church has been imaginative in its fundraising efforts so far. Highlights have included Pipe Up!, which has so far raised £100,000 by inviting donors to sponsor an organ pipe. A Hymnathon in which fundraisers sang every hymn in the New English Hymnal over 30 hours raised £50,000 for the project.

Father Kevin Morris, Vicar at St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park, said: "This is a very proud moment for us. 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 has been a huge effort on the part of many people. The service gave us the chance to say thank you to them and we are delighted that the Lord Bishop of London blessed the organ and officiated at our Choral Mass of Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful occasion and we thank everyone who attended."

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