SILENCE fell in an Oswestry church last Monday when the organ was removed.
But fortunately the 138-year-old feature in St Oswald’s Parish Church has only been taken away for vital repairs that should ensure its atmospheric sounds continues for another century.
Fundraisers at the church had a race against time last year when they launched an appeal to raise more than £100,000 to bring repairs to the 1875 organ, including the swell division, which dates to 1911 and the electronics that go back to 1958.
The organ remained in place for the annual Advent Carol service but was then dismantled and taken to a workshop in Malvern for repair work.
Musical Director Mike Donkin, said: “It will mean we will have the organ that we have got now, but in full working order and in good service to last the next two or three generations.
“We have been very fortunate with donations and recent changes in VAT rules, which has given us an extra £20,000, as well as recent generous donations from the St George’s Day luncheon and Drs Tom and Daphne Madden, who were married at the church 60 years ago.”
Despite their best efforts fundraisers were unable to meet their £170,000 target, which would have seen the organ moved 90 degrees against the north aisle arches and add new pipework to provide more sound in the nave.
Mr Donkin said: “We were hoping to raise an awful lot of money and there are a lot of jobs we would like to do.
“It would be great if there was anybody generous enough to make a donation now, while the organ is in the workshop, but we will do it piecemeal over the next few years as the money comes in.”
In the meantime, the repair company Nicholson’s have lent the church two manual electronic instruments.
It is hoped the restored organ will be returned by Easter.
To donate to the organ fund contact Mr Donkin by calling 01691 649933, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org