Villagers in Grimston launch campaign to raise £30,000 to restore organ at St Botolph’s Church
- Credit: Ian Burt
Villagers are launching a £30,000 appeal to save their much-loved church organ - to keep the joy of music alive in their rural community.
The Wordsworth organ has accompanied Sunday services at the 13th Century St Botolph's Church at Grimston, near King's Lynn, for 250 years.
But after playing every Sabbath and countless weddings and funeral services for more than two and a half centuries, organist Samuel Bone said it was now approaching the brink of disrepair.
'It needs a complete rebuild basically,' said Mr Bone, who has played the impressive instrument at the parish church for seven years.
'All of the pipes need recasting and replacing, all of the bellows that pump air through the organ need replacing.
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'Our aim is when the organ is restored back to its former glory to be able to teach the future generation of young budding organists and to keep the joy music alive in the village.
'Some people say why do you not spend it on an electronic organ.
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'Well, the answer to that is that we could do but it will not last as long and they only have a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years, when a fully restored organ will last another 100 to 250 if looked after, which is better in the long run financially.
'This is why we are starting a fund raising program for it.'
The Grade 1 listed church, which towers over Grimston, is the oldest building in the village. It has Saxon origins and is believed to have been built on what was the site of a Roman temple.
It has registers dating back to 1552, recording generations of villagers.
A new porch door was fitted at St Botolph's in 2013 and the South Aisle roof was refurbished in 2015.
The church, on Gayton Road, is staging a special benefit concert towards the appeal on Saturday, May 6 (7.30pm).
King's Lynn Male Voice Choir and the King's Lynn Brass Band will both be performing a selection of songs and music on the night.
Tickets will be available on the door, costing £10 or £8 for concessions.
Anyone who would like to donate to the church organ appeal can e-mail Mr Bone via: terencesamuel@Hotmail.co.uk.