Raising funds to help repair church organ

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A fundraising drive has been launched at St Martin’s Church in South Cliff to raise £1,000 for repairs to the church organ.

Church warden Cathy Cook explained that the Father Willis Organ is in need of necessary repairs and that it is difficult to fund enough money just from the church’s common fund.

Cathy said: “St Martin’s realistically needs £50,000 per annum just to keep the door open and that does not include any expenditure on repairs.”

She added that last year, the church launched a Friends of St Martin’s group, which is proving popular so far.

New members are being encouraged to join the scheme in 2014 and leaflets are available from the church.

A recent coffee morning at the church raised the impressive sum of £844, giving the church a great boost towards its target.

Cathy said: “It went extremely well and we were absolutely delighted with the amount raised.

“There was a good turnout and we had lots of lovely home-made cakes and hand-knitted garments.”

She added that her work colleagues at Moore Stephens Chartered Accountants had been very supportive in buying raffle tickets and donating prizes.

It is now hoped that the remainder of the £1,000 needed for the organ will be raised with an Easter egg raffle and organ recitals.

Newly appointed organist and choirmaster for St Martin’s church, Eric Hewes, said: “The Father Willis organ at St Martin’s is absolutely superb and is a great joy to play.

“Although it was restored in the Year 2000, the ophicleide stop - which was only installed in 1984 and therefore not included in the 2000 restoration - needed repair work recently.

“The ophicleide is played on the pedal organ and makes a loud deep powerful sound reminiscent of a bass trombone.”

Eric said he was delighted with the amount raised at the coffee morning, adding: “It was absolutely magnificent! A huge thank you to all concerned. Any further donations would be most gratefully received.”

He said he is also thankful to both the congregation and the choir for the warm welcome he has been given.

He said: “It is a great privilege to be here in this beautiful church and I will work hard to enhance the quality of music in worship.

“Already the choir has responded very positively in working on vocal technique and ensemble, leading the congregation in the singing of hymns and psalms, and by singing anthems.

“The general response to the recently introduced setting of the Mass by Herbert Sumsion is also encouraging.”

There will be two organ recitals given in aid of the organ fund later in the year. The first will be on Friday July 18 at 7pm by 21-year-old Edward Hewes.

Edward was the organ scholar at Canterbury Cathedral last year and is now studying at The Royal Academy of Music in addition to being Director of Music at both the Church of St Silas the Martyr and Holy Trinity Church, Kentish Town, London. Edward is a brilliant, dynamic young organist who has already given numerous recitals in churches and cathedrals in various parts of the country.

And on Friday August 29 at 7pm, Dr Colin Walsh, Organist Laureate, Lincoln Cathedral, will play. Eric said: “Colin is internationally renowned as one of the greatest organists of his generation and it is a tremendous privilege that he has agreed to play here.”