2006 - New Organ

Colin Harvey was appointed organist in September 2001. A meeting was soon arranged between the organ tuner, Geoff Griffiths, Diocesan Organ Advisor Jeffery Williams and organist to look at the organ. Although the quality of the Walker pipework was apparent, it was clear the organ was in dire straits overall, while the wind leaks and haphazard arrangements internally were alarming. Over the next few months the extent of the organ's problems were investigated further and the history of the instrument uncovered.

Stephen Bicknell was commissioned to report on the organ and his report was presented to the PCC by Colin Harvey. Out of the meeting, a Focus Group was set up to investigate the options further and gauge the direction the church wanted to take.

The focus group, led by George Medd, looked at the options and inspected the work of five leading organ builders with a view to inviting two or three to tender. The Focus Group felt there were only two builders they felt happy inviting to tender and accepted the Harrison and Harrison proposal on grounds of cost and appropriateness to the church and organ. A paper was presented to the electoral roll about the organ before a presentation and vote at the church APCM to gauge the feeling of the church.

The vote was a landslide in favour of a full restoration of the organ and the PCC decided to go ahead with work, subject to the funds being raised. A fund raising team, led by Stanley Crooks, launched the fund raising appeal in January 2004, with a short organ recital by Andrew Lumsden, Director of Music at Winchester Cathedral.

Fundraising progressed well enough to sign the contract in June 2004. Construction of the organ started in January 2005 and the organ was effectively completed in the workshop in Feburary 2006. The old organ was dismantled on 26 September 2005, to fit the organ case and its Walker pipes to the new organ. The old organ's last duty to play for the wedding of the daughter of a previous parish priest, Kate Lippiett, and to accompany the Harvest Festival service. The final voluntary on the old organ was Liszt's Prelude and Fugue on BACH.

The removal of the organ uncovered a number of hitherto undiscovered memorial stones. These were moved so they were no longer hidden inside the old organ, while the vestry was redecorated. This operation also removed the hardboard backing to the glazed door and screen to the north nave aisle. The opportunity was also seized to remove the carpet from the chancel.

The new organ was installed in June 2006 by a team led by Jim Reeves from Harrison & Harrison. The organ was voiced by Peter Hopps, head voicer of Harrison & Harrison in July, and the organ was officially completed on July 27 2006.

The Bishop of Winchester rededicated the organ during the Patronal Festival on Sunday 10 September 2006, when the organ was heard for the first time during a Sunday Service, played by the Director of Music, Colin Harvey. Robert Quinney, Sub Organist of Westminster Abbey, gave the inaugural recital on 21 October 2006.