Bishop unveils restored pipes at St Mary’s Church in Steeple Ashton

This Is Wiltshire: The Rev Julian Parker and the Bishop of Ramsbury, the Rt Rev Edward Condry, with the rebuilt church organ inside Steeple Ashton Church The Rev Julian Parker and the Bishop of Ramsbury, the Rt Rev Edward Condry, with the rebuilt church organ inside Steeple Ashton Church

The newly restored church organ at St Mary’s Church in Steeple Ashton has been re-dedicated by the Bishop of Ramsbury.

The organ, which dates from 1876, has been completely restored, thanks to the £65,000 raised by the St Mary’s Preservation Trust and the congregation, including a £10,000 grant from the Parochial Church Council.

John Aeberhard, of the preservation trust, said: “Work started in 2009. There was a quite detailed survey with an architect. Nothing had been done on the organ in about 50 years and it was badly in need of restoration.

“Some of the notes were missing and the decision was taken to strip it all down. “It was a massive job; literally, parts were scattered throughout the church. “It really is one of the best organs in Wiltshire and it’s nice to have it back sounding as if it was new.”

Mr Aeberhard added that all the fundraisers deserved thanks for their efforts to raise the sum needed to repair the instrument.

The bishop, the Rt Rev Dr Edward Condry, led last Sunday’s service, which included three hymns used in the original service to dedicate the organ in 1877.

After the service, the bishop, who took up his post last month, took refreshments with the congregation.

The organ was built by craftsmen Bryceson Bros and Ellis in 1876 and cost around £1,000, a huge sum at the time.

The task of rebuilding the organ began in October 2009 and was only recently completed. It involved taking every piece of the organ apart; all 1,740 pipes, along with action parts, sound boards and bellows, right down to the last screw.

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