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ajt
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As many of you are probably sick of hearing, I have custody of a large and reasonably decent instrument that's in a very poor state, inside a church which is losing money, so is therefore completely unable and not interested in helping with funding to do any of the work.

 

I reckon, at a rough guess, that I need to raise at least £250,000 to get all the work done : full clean and overhaul, new leather/wind, and completely new electrics + a console restore. I don't want to make any changes to it.

 

It sort of works out as 3 projects, which could be done independently, I guess, but there would be reasonable time/cost savings over doing it all at once (e.g. remove the pipework and leatherwork at the same time, do the electrics as it goes back in).

 

How would you go about it? Getting funding, I mean...

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That new book "Everything else an organist should know" has a section on fund-raising. I can't recall what it said off-hgand (not having an organ in need of funds), but I'll have a look when I have time.

 

I seem to recall it mentioned the Heritage Lottery (?)

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That new book "Everything else an organist should know" has a section on fund-raising. I can't recall what it said off-hgand (not having an organ in need of funds), but I'll have a look when I have time.

 

I seem to recall it mentioned the Heritage Lottery (?)

 

I understand that the Heritage Lottery fund have provided grants for several organ restorations - but exclusively for instruments of historical significance. From what I've heard, ajt's instrument might be on this category?

 

This is a subject close to my heart. Our current instrument is on its last legs, but unfortunately has never ranked above second rate, so grants are unlikely. We're looking at a new instrument (or maybe rebuilt secondhand - but this is difficult due to limited headroom). I doubt we'll get away with less than £250k - and I'm of the opinion that a rich benefactor is the only way forward. Anyone know any? :D

 

JJK

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[

This is a subject close to my heart. Our current instrument is on its last legs, but unfortunately has never ranked above second rate, so grants are unlikely. We're looking at a new instrument (or maybe rebuilt secondhand - but this is difficult due to limited headroom). I doubt we'll get away with less than £250k - and I'm of the opinion that a rich benefactor is the only way forward. Anyone know any? :D

 

JJK

 

You need a thriving church seating over a thousand with superb heating and airconditioning, virtually full for morning, afternoon and evening services, a charismatic clergy leader with a surporting team of 2 clergy, many lay helpers, a robed choir of 56, a full and part time musical director, church functions every evening to keep the congregation together and a policy of church members donating 10% of their income to their church.

 

This it not a dream - it happens in the U.S.A - I saw it in a Houston church. There is money to spemd on music and the organ - you might even get an `en chamade' as well.

 

Please show me something similar over here.

 

FF

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You need a thriving church seating over a thousand with superb heating and airconditioning, virtually full for morning, afternoon and evening services, a charismatic clergy leader with a surporting team of 2 clergy, many lay helpers, a robed choir of 56, a full and part time musical director, church functions every evening to keep the congregation together and a policy of church members donating 10% of their income to their church.

 

This it not a dream - it happens in the U.S.A - I saw it in a Houston church.

Yes, this sort of thing is by no means unusual in the states. From what I have seen (which I grant may not be a fully rounded picture) the difference is that American churches regard organists/DOMs as professionals and music as a central part of the ministry. Churches in larger towns quite commonly have three or four choirs (e.g adult, a couple of youth choirs, pre-school choir, perhaps a chamber choir) and sometimes a handbell choir as well. In short the Americans treat church music very seriously indeed - and naturally that includes the organ as well. Have a look a the jobs on offer here. Most are only part-time, but you get a good flavour of what goes on: http://www.careerjet.com/jobs_american_gui..._organists.html

 

How much time is devoted to the study of church music in British theological colleges? I seems to recall hearing that it was something completely derisory like half a day in a three-year course? At any rate it is clearly not regarded as important and until there is a fundamental change in culture we organists stand little change of halting its overall, long-term, downhill slide. But the real problem liesa not with the churches, but with society. That fundamental change in culture needs to be nutured from the very start - in our schools and playgroups. How you go about achieving that I don't pretend to know.

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How much time is devoted to the study of church music in British theological colleges? I seems to recall hearing that it was something completely derisory like half a day in a three-year course? At any rate it is clearly not regarded as important and until there is a fundamental change in culture we organists stand little change of halting its overall, long-term, downhill slide.But the real problem liesa not with the churches, but with society. That fundamental change in culture needs to be nutured from the very start - in our schools and playgroups. How you go about achieving that I don't pretend to know.

 

You are so right! Many years ago, when I lived in Wales, I approached the Llampeter Parson Factory and suggested that I might give a one period lecture on 'Maintenance and Care of the Pipe Organs that will be in your charge' to their students. I was told that it was felt the subject was not important enough to sacrifice a lecture for it.

 

FF :D !!!

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As many of you are probably sick of hearing, I have custody of a large and reasonably decent instrument that's in a very poor state, inside a church which is losing money, so is therefore completely unable and not interested in helping with funding to do any of the work.

 

I reckon, at a rough guess, that I need to raise at least £250,000 to get all the work done : full clean and overhaul, new leather/wind, and completely new electrics + a console restore. I don't want to make any changes to it.

 

It sort of works out as 3 projects, which could be done independently, I guess, but there would be reasonable time/cost savings over doing it all at once (e.g. remove the pipework and leatherwork at the same time, do the electrics as it goes back in).

 

How would you go about it? Getting funding, I mean...

 

Hi Adrian, if you want to talk to the chairman of our fund-raising group (which has so far raised about £230,000 in 2 years) to pick his brains, then I'll happily provide details privately.

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You need a thriving church seating over a thousand with superb heating and airconditioning, virtually full for morning, afternoon and evening services, a charismatic clergy leader with a surporting team of 2 clergy, many lay helpers, a robed choir of 56, a full and part time musical director, church functions every evening to keep the congregation together and a policy of church members donating 10% of their income to their church.

 

This it not a dream - it happens in the U.S.A - I saw it in a Houston church. There is money to spemd on music and the organ - you might even get an `en chamade' as well.

 

Please show me something similar over here.

 

FF

 

I think I mentioned somewhere else the story of the priest at an RC place in Bournemouth, who announced to the congregation: "The organ repairs are finished, I hope you like the sound of it. It cost £55,000, and I'd like the money before you all go today, please." He got it, apparently.

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We are planning on restoring our 3-manual Holdich organ, to commence this October, at a cost of £100,000 or more and have managed to raise the money in six months. We are fortunate in that it is an historic instrument and we have attracted grants of over £30k. We also had a modest fund established before we began our campaign. However, we are only a moderately sized church (membership of c100) in a small town and the organ shares the musical load with a small (acoustic) worship band. This fact alone meant that some in the church didn't think it was worth preserving the organ. There was also opposition to applying for lottery funding.

 

But once the church voted in favour of the scheme, the response of the congregation (and the local community) was overwhelming and it just shows how generous people can be when given the opportunity. While we do have a small choir, we do not have as strong a choral tradition as some Anglican churches enjoy (it's a United Reformed Church), and yet people were still keen to see the organ restored for future generations. It's been an exciting few months and there is a real sense of anticipation loking forward to hearing the restored organ early next year.

 

I hope you have success in raising funds for your scheme.

 

Best wishes,

 

David

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We are planning on restoring our 3-manual Holdich organ, to commence this October, at a cost of £100,000 or more and have managed to raise the money in six months. We are fortunate in that it is an historic instrument and we have attracted grants of over £30k. We also had a modest fund established before we began our campaign. However, we are only a moderately sized church (membership of c100) in a small town and the organ shares the musical load with a small (acoustic) worship band. This fact alone meant that some in the church didn't think it was worth preserving the organ. There was also opposition to applying for lottery funding.

 

But once the church voted in favour of the scheme, the response of the congregation (and the local community) was overwhelming and it just shows how generous people can be when given the opportunity. While we do have a small choir, we do not have as strong a choral tradition as some Anglican churches enjoy (it's a United Reformed Church), and yet people were still keen to see the organ restored for future generations. It's been an exciting few months and there is a real sense of anticipation loking forward to hearing the restored organ early next year.

 

I hope you have success in raising funds for your scheme.

 

Best wishes,

 

David

Yes, this was exactly our experience too. We are not a large establishment at Twyford (circa 200 on the books) but for a country parish church we are very active and punch well above our weight. If the members of the church are shown what the problems are with the organ, what the case for doing the work is and are involved with the decision to do it, you'll find they're very generous.

 

We also had the same feeling of creating an organ for future generations - the lifetime of a real, well made pipe organ is a big selling point.

 

There's also another point, which is worth making to the clergy and church leaders. A project like this does draw people and the church together if they're involved from the beginning and builds a sense of community - it's a shared experience and there is a sense of shared pride in the organ when it's complete. Perhaps this would be a good way to pull together a city centre church where the sense of community and belonging to the church could possibly do with developing.

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We also had the same feeling of creating an organ for future generations - the lifetime of a real, well made pipe organ is a big selling point.
The trouble is that churches often forget that it doesn't end there: they still need to invest in the organ's maintenance. Five years ago one of our churches here spent a considerable sum of money on their organ. Not sure how much, but it must have been a six-figure sum since it was a substantial rebuild of a 32-stop three-manual, which included rotating it through 90 degress and expanding it to 39 stops. They got quite a nice instrument (if you can forgive the idiosyncracy of having a Bourdon on each manual, but no 16' manual reed). Since then maintenance has been only minimal and, partly because of the heating system, the organ very soon started playing up. You can almost guarantee that you will find missing notes or even, sometimes, whole stops, not to mention the inevitable out of tune pipes. Absolute madness! :( I once turned up there on a Sunday evening for a concert rehearsal and caught the end of the outgoing "voluntary" - it was a CD of rock music. I rather suspect the two facts are not unrelated.
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The trouble is that churches often forget that it doesn't end there: they still need to invest in the organ's maintenance.

 

Yup. Part of my budget plans will be to include both an ongoing maintenance budget, and a 10% extra lump, which will sit in a high-ish interest account, and be supplemented by a small sum each year, such that, next time there's something major that needs doing, there is a substantial sum in the bank.

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Just an idea or two:

 

Count up the number of pipes in the instrument, and ask people, within and without the parish, to sponsor one or more. Give the largest pipes a really hefty premium price, and attract young people to the smallest.

 

Talk up the project from the very outset with the congregation.

 

Network like mad - local press especially.

 

Offer sponsors the opportunity to be recorded in some way as such - local businesses like this, as do those who would like to make an In Memoriam donations.

 

Do your maths beforehand, perhaps on a spreadsheet, so that you get the balance right. It's surprising how such a sum can be divided into acceptable chunks.

 

Agree Special Collections (preferrably not of the 'retiring sort') during the period of fund-raising.

 

Finally, take advatage of Gift Aid, which is something all churches (I believe) should be able to attract for donations, throught the collection plate or without, to a project such as this. 28p added to every 'Gift Aid £1' donated.

 

I only had to raise £20,000 across 244 new pipes for an enlargement and refurbishment: I was humbled at the response, which comfortably exceeded this within the nine month fund-raising time-scale announced at the outset without further effort, and also provided for a new piano for the church. I was very fortunate in not having to drive things further.

 

It may well take more than this, but hopefully the words might prompt a helpful thought or two.

 

Tony

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