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Organ Refurbishment Fund - SUCCESS!



With your help we have raised the £37,000 needed to have the organ refurbished
at St Mary’s Church Watton.

Our organ was built in 1877 by Norman Brothers; sadly no records exist as to the actual cost of the build.  In 1975, £5,000 was spent on a project in which the organ was significantly altered and enlarged.  This time the work was carried out by E & W Storr and was based on the thinking, opinion and fashion of the experts of the time.

Our much loved organ is used for Sunday services each week, not counting the funerals, weddings and Civic Services throughout the year, making it a vital resource in the church for the worshipping congregation and the local people.

In the past Julian Haggett, currently Organist at St. Peter Mancroft, a prestigious appointment in Norwich, gained his practical experience on our organ. At present we have one young student practising and having lessons at St Mary’s. In the future, the restored organ would enhance the wide range of musical life in Watton and the surrounding area including providing a vital teaching resource to young and the more mature students.

When the church was re-ordered in 2011/12, it was hoped that the organ would be refurbished too, but unfortunately, unforeseen additional work on the church building meant that this would not be an option.

Although the organ is maintained, our Organ Builder gave us a summary of the work to be undertaken in order to bring the organ up to a good standard. Work that will be undertaken includes replacing poor electro-pneumatic action, pistons, swell and great soundboards, installing a new switching system, re-making the pipe-chest, undertaking any necessary repairs to pipes and, finally, undertaking tonal alterations to be more sympathetic to the original specification.

A restored organ will be in keeping with the rest of the wonderfully restored church for many years to come.

The events held to raise the money is given below.

  • 9 Summer Lunchtime recitals (3 a year since 2013)
  • Quiz nights
  • Concerts
  • “Come and Sing” Handel’s Messiah
  • “Come and Sing” Broadway
  • “An Evening with Julian Haggett” cheese, wine and organ recital
  • Gift month
  • Auction of Promises
  • Individual donations
  • “Let’s Make History Together” Sponsor parts of the Organ and write a dedication or memory in a book which will be bound in leather and form a part of the church archive. The benefit of this fund raising activity not only raised money sponsoring a pipe etc. but will provide us with a social history for future generations. A big thank you to Alicia Eldridge whose imaginative artwork for the pages in the book will make the book even more personal and special.

We also were successful in obtaining grants from:-

  • RC Snellings Charitable Trust
  • Geoffrey Watling Charity
  • The ON Organ Fund
  • EDP Community Chest

Work to be undertaken by W&A Boggis of Roydon, Diss will start on 5th September, 2016 and hopefully
will be back in use by Christmas.

With sincere thanks



Page 1 of Refurishment pictures     Re-dedication Service


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