Organ Appeal

Why is the appeal necessary?

There are several missing notes on both manuals and the pedal board. This is due to age-related failure of components usually resulting from the cracking and splitting of leather.

The low-voltage control system at the console is untouched since its installation in 1937 and therefore obsolete and unreliable. There is a 35 year accumulation of dust and grime. It is accepted that organs should be cleaned every 20-30 years so this is well overdue. Audible wind leaks are a distraction and the swell pedal does not function fully.

The instrument cannot now properly fulfil its role in leading the congregation, accompanying the choir and playing organ music. There are particular problems with the latter two functions due to the restrictions placed on the organist by the current state of the instrument.

Music at St. Mary’s

The organ plays a major part in the weekly round of services as well as on special occasions such as weddings and funerals. There is a well-established musical tradition at St Mary’s. (see Choir and Coming Up sections of the website).

What have we done so far?

It is clear that we have had extremely good value from our organ with minimal expenditure for more than 70 years. The PCC agreed to a full restoration rather than the potentially false economy of merely carrying out essential repairs.

The PCC and successive incumbents have wisely maintained an organ fund. Since expenditure on the work carried out in the 1980s the fund has built up to £30,000.

At the time the appeal was launched the tender price was £68,000 for a complete overhaul with an optional extra of £2,750 to respray the front pipes with gold paint. This left another £38,000 to be raised. The Organ Appeal Group was established to move things forward.


Individual Donations. We are most grateful to present and past members/friends of St. Mary’s for their generosity.

Sponsor a Pipe’ scheme. There are 1000 pipes in the organ so the sum of £38 will fund the infrastructure required to make one pipe ‘speak’. It is hoped that pipes will be sponsored but any gift, large or small, will be recorded on the progress chart in terms of pipes.

Fund- raising Events 2019:-

  • St. Mary’s Players 60th anniversary concert
  • Flower Festival
  • Organ Elevenses
  • Disco
  • Spring Fair and Cream Teas
  • Concert by the St. George Singers

Merchandise. A variety of appeal-related items and other sales initiatives have been available throughout 2019.

The Organ Appeal Group would like to thank all who made donations, gave freely of their time and talents or helped in any other way.

Where are we now?

The appeal progressed really well during 2019. A generous grant of £2,500 from the Garfield Weston Foundation enabled us to reach the significant milestone of £60,000. More events were planned and we had compelling reasons to begin the work during 2020. Due to ‘lockdown’ our plans are now either cancelled or postponed but we continue to receive donations including one from the On Organ Fund.

However we were fortunate to have an opportunity to ‘bridge’ the shortfall and work has now commenced. Active fund- raising will begin again when things return to normal.

Total on 26 October 2020 is £65,378

There are three ways to make a donation to the Organ Fund:

  • Transfer directly into the Church bank account 30-98-06 02034848
  • Put your donation into one of the envelopes marked Organ Fund. Cheques should be made payable to St. Mary, Fishponds PCC – Restricted Funds
  • Donate to our JustGiving campaign

If you are a UK taxpayer, please complete and sign a Gift Aid declaration and include it with your donation.

We intend to keep a list of all who donate to our appeal. The amount donated will not be recorded as we value small and large amounts equally. If you would prefer to remain anonymous, please mark your envelope or let one of us know.

If you are making your gift in memory of someone or for any other specific reason and would like this recorded on the list of donors, please let us know.


When the work is completed, we will have fulfilled our responsibility in terms of our stewardship of the organ which will be ‘fit for purpose’ for the next two to three generations.