Celebration of Heacham church’s 100-year-old organ

PUBLISHED: 11:43 17 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:43 17 January 2014

St Mary's Church in Heacham is celebrating its 100th year - Organist Adrian Flower with some of the pipes. Picture: Matthew Usher.

St Mary's Church in Heacham is celebrating its 100th year - Organist Adrian Flower with some of the pipes. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

While this year marks the centenary of the First World War it will also mark another anniversary in a west Norfolk village.

St Mary’s Church in Heacham will be holding a number of events to celebrate 100 years since its organ was first built.

The pipe organ, which started out its life in East Finchley before moving to Heacham in 1970, has 1,865 pipes ranging from six inches to 16ft in size.

Church organist Adrian Flower, who has been playing since he was 15, said: “We thought it would be nice to do something to commemorate the organ’s centenary and to hold some events to showcase it.

“It is the second biggest organ of its type in the region, after King’s Lynn minster.

“It is so versatile which is what I really like about it.

“To replace it would probably cost £750,000 but it is very reliable. It gets serviced twice a year which costs about £120 but it has had very few faults.

“Church organists are a bit of a dying art; most young organists become recitalists rather than being tied down to a church.”

Over the years the organ has evolved with a number of pipes being added. In 2005 a humidifier was added to prevent the organ being damaged after a heating system was installed in the church.

To mark the centenary St Mary’s will be hosting a series of events starting off with a performance of Olivet to Calvary by a choir from local churches and groups.

The performance will take place at 7pm on Saturday, April 12. All singers are welcome to join and rehearsals are being held throughout March and the beginning of April at a number of churches in the area.

There will also be a concert by Norfolk Brass and a recital by organist Trevor Hughes.

St Mary’s will also be marking another centenary this year with a Festival of Poppies to commemorate the First World War.

The church will be hosting the festival from Friday, June 20, to Sunday, June 22.

As part of the event there will be poppy displays, artwork from the local schools and film and sound archives as well as a reconstruction of a trench in the church’s porch.

A talk by a local historian on the impact of the Great War on Heacham is also planned.

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