One of the trickiest bits of continuing to provide worship during the pandemic has been getting to grips with how we define “a service”. This might seem like a pretty clear-cut thing on the surface – it’s a time when we come together to worship, and there’s a set of words which are said.
When we were able to worship together, this was pretty easy to manage. We had an entry in the calendar so we knew when services were, there was a rota so we knew who was responsible for things, and we had some orders of service that people could follow.
And then the world turned upside down, and we found ourselves delivering almost every single aspect of our services in a whole new way. Most of these relied on some form of technology, and since we had to throw things together in a hurry what we ended up with was a bit of a tangled mess.
As part of our Cameras Project, we had to run some cables through the organ loft, and this gave us a chance to take some photographs from rarely-seen angles inside the organ case itself. We asked our director of music Giles to talk us through what the pictures show.
Although you can see fifteen of the organ pipes from the church floor, the instrument itself extends right the way back into the tower and contains over a thousand pipes (1,350 to be exact) measuring from a few inches to several feet. It also contains bellows, piping, and hundreds of wires to connect the console to the valves, which control the airflow. The organ even uses part of the floor above, which holds the pump to fill the bellows with air.
The organ itself mostly dates from 1931, but some of the pipes were originally made for an earlier organ built in 1869. The electronic parts were added in 1982, replacing an entirely mechanical set of linkages, and most recently in 2010 the entire instrument was repaired and rebuilt.
If you’re interested in helping us take care of the organ, then the best way is to send a donation and drop us a note saying that you’d like it to go towards our organ fund. We use this to cover the costs of annual maintenance and ongoing repairs, and to save towards future upgrades as the organ enters its 90th year of making music.