Methodist Church concert in Bridlington to raise money for Organ Restoration Fund

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St Johns Burlington Methodist Church is preparing to host a Music for a Summer Evening concert to raise money for the venue’s Organ Restoration Fund.

The event, held on Friday July 26 at 7pm, will feature soprano Jessica Kneeshaw, Heidi Kneeshaw (accompanist) and church organist Stephen Parker.

Jessica Kneeshaw is a 19-year-old soprano who comes from Beverley.

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She is currently in her first year of undergraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music as a scholarship student and studies with Professor Kate Paterson. At RAM, she is the recipient of the Warne Family Award for 2023-24.

The organ at St John's Burlington Methodist Church.The organ at St John's Burlington Methodist Church.
The organ at St John's Burlington Methodist Church.

Stephen Parker is a Fellow of the Guild of Musicians and Singers. He has held many organist posts over the years – his longest was as Director of Music at Dewsbury Minster for more than 23 years.

He moved to Bridlington in 2022 and became the organist at St Johns Burlington Methodist Church.

In June last year, the church launched a fundraising appeal to fully restore the organ to ensure its future at an estimated cost of £115,000.

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A spokesperson said: “We have managed to raise £45,000 in donations and grants so far and have completed phase one of the project – installing a replacement motor blower at a cost of over £5,000.

"We are continuing to raise funds to carry out the full restoration.”

In 1891, the annual St Johns church meeting resolved that in celebration of the centenary of John Wesley’s death, that a new organ be erected.

It was built and installed by Forster and Andrews of Hull at a cost of £431.15s.

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The spokesman added: “The official opening of the new organ took place on June 16, 1893 in the chapel then known as Bridlington Wesleyan Chapel, now known as St Johns Burlington Methodist Church.

"The organ is listed on the National Pipe Organ Register.

“The organ is a good example of one of Foster and Andrews finest instruments and boasts a good selection of high-quality pipework.

“As a result, it is paramount that the instrument is cared for as it is now approaching 131 years old with very little alterations from its original specification.”

Admission to the concert is £8 and includes light refreshments.

Contact Dave Wilcockson for further details about the concert and how to donate to the fund by calling 07540 705886.

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