Last month the new organ was used for the first time after its installation at Christ Church Stocksbridge. It is a three manual Phoenix organ, one of the best makers in the country. It is of concert quality and is similar to others round the country, including Sheffield Cathedral. The church hopes to be able to use it for all sorts of concerts and musical events as well as Sunday worship.
Mark Rotchell was the organist for the day, and lots of old and new favourite hymns and songs were sung. The choir performed under the leadership of Frank Hardman, the choirmaster. The new organ loft had been built by one of the choir members, Roy Ashmore. The old pipes from the front of the former organ have been installed in front of the speakers, so you can’t see the speakers. And if you didn’t know, the quality is so good that you would think it was still a pipe organ.
The previous pipe organ, installed in 1926, had fallen into disrepair, and it would have cost more to repair than the new electronic organ, and then more still each year to maintain. This new organ, will be more cost efficient, and the old organ has been exported to Poland where it will be re-built and it will probably be installed into a church where the former communist regime had removed the organ.
Ian Lucraft, the minister, said: “The congregation really enjoyed hearing and singing with the new organ. We are all delighted at the sound, from the quietest flute sounds, to the noisiest trumpets. It can be sombre and joyful. It is great for the future of music in this church.”