The present organ, installed in 1970, is a splendid three-manual instrument giving much enjoyment and satisfaction (and not just to the organist!).
Originally, it is thought that the installation of a small instrument in the tower, the details of which are not known, may have coincided with the formation of the Parish in 1855. A larger instrument of three manuals by Bryceson Brothers of London was installed in 1865, also in the west gallery within the tower. This organ was moved to the new organ chamber north of the chancel in 1893 when the west gallery was removed and structural under-pinning work to the tower carried out.
By the end of World War II this organ was in serious need of rebuilding and the campaign to raise money included the amusing poster, which even appeared on the buses: “Said Vicar Scutt to Organist Bown, ‘Christ Church organ’s falling down . .’ ” Unfortunately it seemed impossible to raise the sum needed to rebuild the instrument and it was decided to purchase a Compton Electrone and to replace the pipe organ. This was done in 1951. This electronic organ was in use until succeeded in 1970.
Due to the deterioration of the Electrone and the need for constant repair, in 1966 the senior choir members made a collection among themselves and handed £5 to the Treasurer to inaugurate an Organ Fund. A few months later it was learned that Alexander J. Chisholm had left a bequest in memory of his wife (who had died in 1962) for the provision of a three manual pipe organ. This bequest amounted to almost half of the eventual sum required.
The organ, which was originally built by J.J.Binns of Leeds in 1892 for Baillie Street Methodist Church in Rochdale, was obtained in 1967 through Percy Daniel & Co. Ltd., who had heard of the instrument being for sale due to impending demolition of the church, and was eventually rebuilt by them, with some additions and a new console, and installed in 1970. It is sited in the south transept gallery with a detached console on the north side of the chancel. (A record of its original specification and siting in Baillie Street Methodist is held.)
There is an entry in the National Pipe Organ Register for this organ, click here for the link.
R.V. Waters, Organist and Choirmaster until December 2016
Ralph Waters has, over the years, maintained the organ, and remains, following his retirement, as curator of the organ. Even though it continues to produce a wonderful sound, it is in need of major work to ensure its future.
The Parish Council have agreed these works. This will take place as soon as possible, and a major fund raising programme is underway. If anyone is interested in making a donation, please do get in touch with the Treasurer, through our contact form.
In June 2017, we are happy to say that John Collins joined the parish as organist.