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St John's Pipe Organs

The present organ has 3 manuals, 34 speaking stops and pneumatic action throughout. It stands on the south side of the chancel.

The original organ, which stood on the west end gallery (long since removed), was built by Holdich in 1849, fifteen years after the completion of the building, and had 16 speaking stops. The fate of this instrument is not known but some of the pipework from it was incorporated into the new organ of 1895.

St John's Pipe organ_edited.jpg


This organ, built by Lewis, had 26 speaking stops and was housed in the chancel, which had recently been built onto the original structure of 1834.

In 1920, Hill, Norman and Beard rebuilt and enlarged the Lewis organ. A plaque on the organ case records the dedication of the instrument in its present form.

Having given excellent service for many years, it suffered considerable damage in the early 1980s when water leaked into the organ chamber through an opening in the roof. The damage to the Great was such that this part of the instrument became almost unplayable.

In 1988 the damage was repaired by Martin Cross who attended to many long-standing faults at the same time. Sadly, Martin passed away in 2017. We are grateful to him for the personal interest he took in the 'Old Lady', and are pleased that his business partner, Richard Sheppard, will continue to maintain it.

In 2012 the organ was awarded a certificate Grade 2 by The British Institute of Organ Studies and was listed in the Institute's "Register of Historic Pipe Organs" as being an instrument of importance to the national heritage and one deserving careful preservation for the benefit of future generations.

Many have praised St John's organ for its glorious sound. It continues to give excellent service as an aid to worship and as a recital instrument of distinction.

Past organists: Percy Taylor; Arthur See (1960-1980); Paul Brown (1980-1984); Darryl East (1984-1987); Geoffrey Hobbs (1987-2007); Jacqui Mwaniki (2007-2009); Geoffrey Hobbs (2009-2019)

**Recent Update: As the organ is significantly aged, we have encountered ongoing maintenance issues. The recent quotation for the repair revealed that it would cost between £350k and £450k. Sadly, St John's cannot afford it. The organ is still playable, but many of the stops do not make sound anymore. If you are interested in our organ or have any suggestions, please feel free to contact our office. 

Organ Specification

Organ Specification

GREAT

Double Diapason (16')*

Open Diapason no.1 (8')

Open Diapason no.2 (8')

Harmonic Flute (8')

Clarabella (8')

Principal (4')

Flute (4')

Twelfth (22/3')

Fiteenth (2')

Mixture (3 ranks)

Trumpet (8')

Ch/Gr and Sw/Gr

SWELL 

(enclosed)

Double Dulciana (16')

Open Diapason (8')

Camba (8')

Voix Celeste (8') 

Rohn Flute (8')

Principal (4')

Fifteenth (2')

Double Trumpet (16')

Horn (8')

Oboe (8')

Vox Humana (8')

Clarion (4') 

Tremulant 

Sub Octave, Unison Off and Octave

CHOIR

(only reeds enclosed)

Dulciana (8')

Salicional (8')

Lieblich Gedecket (8')

Flauto Traverson (4')

Orchestral Oboe (8')

Sw/Ch

Sub Octave, Unison Off and Octave

PEDAL

(top note F)

Open Diapason (16')

Bourdon (16')

Octave (8')

Bass Flute (8')*

Trombone (16')*

Ch/Ped, Gr/Ped and Sw/Ped

4 non-adjustable thumb/toe pistons to Gr/Ped
4 non-adjustable thumb/toe pistons to Swell
2 central, balanced swell pedals

* New stops added in 1920 by Hill, Norman and Beard (8 in all)

Specification of the Holdich Organ (1849)

This instrument stood on the west end gallery which was later removed.

It had 2 manuals, a short-compass pedal board and 16 speaking stops with, presumably, tracker action throughout.

GREAT

Open Diapason

Stopt Diapason

Dulciana

Principal

Flute

Twelfth

Fifteenth

Sex III

Trumpet

SWELL 

Double Diapason

Open Diapason

Stopt Diapason

Principal 

Trumpet

Hautboy

PEDAL (1 1/2 octaves)

Open Pedal Pipes

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