PS6,000 boost key to organ's revamp fund.
A PROJECT to repair a rare organ in a church has been given a PS6,000 boost.
The donation has been made by the Shropshire Historic Churches Trust, which helps churches and chapels in the county meet their repair bills.
The trust has made the award to All Saints Church in Castlefields, Shrewsbury, for the refurbishment of its Nicholson organ.
Richard Bifield of the trust said: "John Nicholson & Co was established in Worcester in 1841.
The organ at All Saints is believed to be the largest and most significant of Nicholson's organs in the country."
Since the charity was launched in 1991 it has given more than PS1 million to help Shropshire churches and chapels.
The total cost of restoring the organ in All Saints is about PS220,000.
Fundraisers needed to raise 10 per cent of that target before being able to apply for some other grants.
At the time of the application to the trust the fundraisers had raised around PS17,000, so the PS6,000 award takes them over their 10 per cent target.
Although the organ dates from 1849 it came to All Saints around 1878 as a gift to the new church from the architect and his wife.
Perished All the leather parts have perished and the whole organ has an accumulation of around 160 years or so of dust.
It needs to be stripped down and working parts repaired or renovated, and then all put back together again.
All Saints Church was today launching its organ restoration project, inviting people along to find out more about how the organ could be used to benefit both the congregation and the community in the future. One of the speakers was Andrew Caskie, managing director of Nicholson's of Malvern - the church's proposed team of organ restorers.
Jonathan Lloyd, a church organist and member of the All Saints organ restoration project team, said the PS6,000 grant was a big boost but that there was much work to be done to ensure the future of the organ.
He said: "It is used most Sundays for worship, for special services, funerals, weddings, civic services - but its condition has been deteriorating over the years because of its age.
"This will ensure the organ is usable for years to come.
"If we don't restore it, it will eventually become unplayable.
"We are keen that the organ should be used as a community asset. It could be used for concerts, recitals, maybe as an instrument people can learn to play."
The event at the church, at 7.30pm, aims to show visitors who are both part of the congregation and in the wider community how they can help. They will also have the opportunity to pledge a contribution to the cost.
Mr Lloyd added: "Perhaps the Wellington community have come to services at All Saints, or have been to the church at Christmas or Harvest, or for a wedding or other special service. Maybe they just live in Wellington or its locality and see the church building as they pass by.
Valuing "Whatever the reason for valuing Wellington's parish church, the project team encourages everyone to come and join them at this important event."
Johnathan Lloyd, from the restoration team
Rev Paul Lockett and the organ at All Saints Church, Shrewsbury, which has been given a PS6,000 boost towards its restoration