Chapel organ project begins

8th April 2022

Scaffolding in antechapel

The Easter vacation has seen the Chapel transformed beyond recognition, ahead of the installation of a new organ in the Summer.

The 1986 Mander organ (which had sadly become mechanically unreliable) has been removed from the organ screen, and its thousands of pipes and finely-crafted wooden case have been dismantled, packaged up, and transported by lorry to the city of Debrecen in Hungary,  where it will be rebuilt as an instrument for teaching and practice by students at the university.

A new organ by Hermann Eule Orgelbau, a family firm from Bautzen in Germany established in 1872 and with an international reputation and several highly-regarded instruments to its name, will be installed in July and August.  The ‘voicing’ process, which sees each pipe carefully shaped to create the best sound for the building, will take place between September and December, during which time the instrument will be introduced into services gradually, making its first appearance as a finished instrument at the Christmas carol services.

The 1986 organ was the smallest to have stood on the screen in the Chapel, and the new instrument will be more similar in size to the instruments that occupied the space from the mid-19th century onwards. With four manuals and forty stops, the instrument will be built along German romantic lines, and the console will be situated on the south side of the gallery.  The case will be based on the elegant case of the recently-dismantled organ.  During the Trinity Term, a temporary electric organ will accompany services and the gallery will remain empty.

The Chapel will be completely closed during July and August for the installation of the new instrument. Services, recitals and other events planned to celebrate the new organ early in 2023 will be announced later in the year when further photographs showing the progress of the project will also be made available.

Photo by Hugh Warwick.