Jump to content
Mander Organs
Sign in to follow this  
Aeron Glyn Preston

St James, Piccadilly

Recommended Posts

On a day trip to London this past weekend, I stepped into the aforementioned Wren church. At first, I was bowled over by the architecture, but, on turning to view the "West" wall, I was saddened to see the organ case, with many of the front pipes missing. How could the organ in such a fine church in a seemingly wealthy area be allowed to fall into this condition?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a day trip to London this past weekend, I stepped into the aforementioned Wren church. At first, I was bowled over by the architecture, but, on turning to view the "West" wall, I was saddened to see the organ case, with many of the front pipes missing. How could the organ in such a fine church in a seemingly wealthy area be allowed to fall into this condition?

Perhaps the incumbent cleric is more interested in carpeting the aisles or perhaps maintaining a 'worship band' (or whatever they're called)!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't remember this organ ever being played in the 40+ plus years I've been into such things, although I have a feeling Rushworths' did something to it many moons ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The NPOR confirms that the organ is in a bad state and also says that an electronic is used instead. However I know nothing of the musical orientation of the church and its clergy in terms of worship bands etc, nor whether its finances reflect the 'wealth' of the area as suggested above, so I feel that commenting on these aspects would be improper.

 

CEP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They have a plan, and appreciate the history of the instrument, but need to fund raise:

http://www.sjp.org.uk/restoration-project.html

http://www.sjp.org.uk/the-organ.html

 

The Rector, Rev Lucy Winkett, is perhaps one of the best-known priest-musician-theologians, and a former Precentor of St Paul's Cathedral: http://www.sjp.org.uk/lucywinkett.html

 

Her first book, Our Sound is our Wound, was the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book in 2010, is an excellent meditation on sound and spirituality: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherhowse/7224326/Hearing-alarms-listening-for-angels.html

 

For a quick introduction, see:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They have a plan, and appreciate the history of the instrument, but need to fund raise:

http://www.sjp.org.uk/restoration-project.html

http://www.sjp.org.uk/the-organ.html

 

The Rector, Rev Lucy Winkett, is perhaps one of the best-known priest-musician-theologians, and a former Precentor of St Paul's Cathedral: http://www.sjp.org.uk/lucywinkett.html

 

 

 

I would not hold your breath in anticipation of this restoration. Whilst having no desire to question the veracity of this statement, or the wishes or enthusiasm of the incumbent, there has been a restoration project here since at least 1982, when students from my college gave a concert in the church, for which a colleague played the toaster. After the rehearsal, I picked up a leaflet, which gave details of what was planned, together with a proposed stop-list, and an appeal for funds. Ths must surely be one of the longest-running (without anything actually happening as a result) organ appeals anywhere, ever.

 

I would venture to suggest that if the church has not managed to raise enough funds by now, then it is unlikely that this organ will be rebuilt or replaced in the foreseeable future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A link on the church's website shows an article including the old Rothwell console with stop-tabs between the manuals. This was replaced in 1954 with the present console which has two rows of tabs over the top manual. The Rothwell connection would explain why Rushworths' were involved later as they took over the firm in the fifties. John Norman wrote an interesting article for BIOS a while ago positing that the case at St. mary Woolnoth in the city was the original Chair case to the main case at Piccadilly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×