About Us 

2paul hale

Paul Hale who will be playing the newly rebuilt Sir Malcolm Sargent Memorial Organ on September 29th.

Hear our newly rebuilt organ

Here's your chance to hear the newly rebuilt Sir Malcolm Sargent Memorial Organ and learn about the changes that have been made to it at a concert in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Saturday, September 29th.

The evening begins at 6.30pm when there is a chance to meet the evening's organist Paul Hale and organ builder Jonathan Wallace from Henry Groves & Son, Nottingham.

Wine and refreshments will be available and the concert begins at 7.30pm and will include works by Karl-Elert, Franck, Bach and Stanley. Tickets for the evening are £10 and are available from the Samworth Centre or on the door on the night. Proceeds from the evening will go to the Refurbishment Project in St Mary's Church.


Paul Hale is Emeritus Cathedral Organist at Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire. He is also organ consultant for the St Mary's Church organ rebuild.

Here he explains a bit about the organ in St Mary's Church and the work that has been done to it...

 organ use

The organ in St Mary’s started out in 1832 as a small one-manual instrument, built by John Gray of London. Moved to the chancel in 1850, it was enlarged with the addition of a Swell manual, then rebuilt again in 1869 and 1880, when a third manual, the Choir Organ, was added. 

In 1896/7 William Hill & Son completely rebuilt and again enlarged the instrument in the current organ chamber on the north side of the chancel, speaking into the chancel and down the nave.

A minor restoration by Haydn Morton of Oakham in 1929/30 was spoiled by war damage in 1941, necessitating a complete post-war reconstruction. This was carried out in 1955 by J. W. Walker of London, resulting in the organ we see today, with a Choir Organ on the south side of the chancel, a fine pair of oak cases containing the bulk of the organ on the north side and a large detached console. Walkers added many pipes and stops and left behind them a modern instrument of cathedral size and quality.

In recent years the 1955 wiring and electrical switchgear has – unsurprisingly – become worn out, unreliable and on the verge of becoming a fire hazard, as all the low voltage cabling was insulated with cotton or rubber. The organ was very dirty, some of the pipes were blocking others and many pipes and mechanisms needed repair, refurbishment or replacement. 

In addition, after being played for over sixty years – decades in which the physical and tonal design of organs has moved on in leaps and bounds – the instrument was considered by musicians to be seriously under-performing as an organ fit for twenty-first century liturgical and concert use.


james 2

St Mary's Church Musical Director, James Gutteridge, at the completely rebuilt organ console.

The long-established Nottingham firm of Henry Groves & Son (under the direction of Jonathan Wallace) was contracted to restore and enhance the organ. The console was sent to Renatus of Bideford, specialists in building and rebuilding consoles, and in installing organ control systems. 

It has been completely rebuilt, on a mobile platform, with new keyboards and all its electrical components replaced. The pipework has all been cleaned and restored, with some ranks moved to allow them to speak out better, and some significant new stops added: a 32ft Contra Trombone, a Great Cornet (five ranks of pipes), a Choir Celeste, Fifteenth, Tierce, Mixture (three ranks of pipes): in all, more than 200 additional pipes. 

All mechanisms have either been restored or replaced, the whole organ re-wired, and the wind system re-leathered or repaired, with two additional small wind regulators. The organ blowers have been restored by a blower specialist. The oak cases have been re-stained to match the other new oak woodwork in the north transept and the lower panelling has been elegantly pierced to help let out the sound of those ranks which sit near the floor.

The organ now has 69 speaking stops, and a full modern complement of controls, including the ability to ‘play itself’ once an organist has recorded a performance at the console. In musical flexibility and variety, it is the most significant organ in the county, along with the famous (if smaller) Harrison & Harrison organ in Leicester Cathedral. It will now serve St Mary’s with added distinction for many decades to come.


*There is still time to sponsor one of the pipes in the Sir Malcolm Sargent Memorial Organ. You can sponsor a pipe in memory of a departed friend or relative, in thanksgiving for a special event, or simply for yourself. To find out more click here.

*To see the 2018 specification for the newly rebuilt Sir Malcolm Sargent Memorial Organ click here.

*Lunchtime Organ Recitals are returning to St Mary's Church. Find out more by clicking here.

jonathanwallace

The organ has been restored by Jonathan Wallace (right) assisted by his colleague Paul (left).

to use 1 Opening Recital 2018


The wait is nearly over...

my view artwork

It's been a long time coming, but the wait is almost over...

Yes, after what seems an eternity, the newly rebuilt Sir Malcolm Sargent Memorial Organ will soon be in "full voice" again in St Mary's Church.

I had the privilege to watch the Re-ordering Project unfolding before my eyes in the church week by week as the building was transformed last year. The floor was taken up, underfloor heating was added, the new servery and toilets built and the new lighting and sound system installed.

At the start of the project the organ console was shipped off to Devon and the organ pipes taken out and cleaned.

1DSC0007

Above and below: Pictures taken when worked started on restoring the organ last year.

1DSC0008

1DSC0013

1DSC0014

1DSC0020


As the project moved on the organ was hard to see as it was hidden under a protective layer of plastic sheeting to keep out the dust.

One day, I thought. One day we will hear it in its full glory. As I said at the beginning, it has been a long time coming but that day is fast approaching when we get the chance to hear the organ again in our beautifully refurbished building.

plastic

The organ was hidden from view during the project behind a sheet of plastic to keep out the dust.


DSCN9573

One of the large organ pipes gets a thorough clean in St Mary's Church.

DSCN9593

Sometimes it was a real job to manoeuvre the pipes around in St Mary's Church while the Re-ordering Project was under way.

DSCN9596

It's hard to believe that this is what the church building looked like inside as the project work took place.


20180416113949

Restoring the organ has been a real labour of love.

20180416114057

Above and below: Pipes of all shapes and sizes fill the organ in St Mary's Church.

1DSC0030


DSCN8346

DSCN8349

DSCN8350


I've seen the hard work and effort that has gone into restoring the organ. It has nearly 2,500 pipes which vary in length from half an inch to a massive 32ft. These have all been carefully cleaned. It has been a real labour of love for Jonathan Wallace and his team from Henry Groves & Son. 

So I hope you will try to get along on September 29th to hear the newly refurbished organ put through its paces and to learn about the changes that have been made to it.

If not, you will get the chance to hear the organ in action when our popular lunchtime organ recitals return starting in October. The first of these, on October 9th, will feature Keith Morgan, former Director of Music at St Mary's Church, followed on October 23rd by Edgars Cuzinskis, Director of Music at the United Reformed Church, Melton. On November 13th Ron Berry, organist at St Luke's Church, Thurnby, will be performing followed on December 11th by James Gutteridge, Director of Music, St Mary’s, Melton Mowbray. 


Phil Balding, 30/08/2018

DSCN0800
It's tea time! 
Don't miss your chance to enjoy homemade cakes, scones, tea loaf etc, tea, coffee and soft drinks in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, every Sunday afternoon in September between 2 and 4pm. More ...
logo use 1
Coffee boost
Don't miss your chance to enjoy coffee and cake in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Friday, September 28th from 10.30am until 12.30pm. For more details, read on... More ...
sing
Songs of Praise
A Songs of Praise and Re-dedication of the Church Organ Service will be held in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Sunday, 30th September, at 10am. More ...
feet
Baby Loss Awareness Day Service 
A National Baby Loss Awareness Day Service will be held in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on October 15th at 6.30pm. More ...
DSC0034
Tributes to the brave 
Hundreds of people paid their respects on Sunday (September 16th), as Melton Mowbray paid its annual tribute to those who fought in the skies above England during the Second World War. More ...
Phil Balding
DSC0001
A pelican in her piety 
Pelicans have long been symbols in the Christian Church. The pelican stabs its breast to feed its young. But did you know there's a pelican in St Mary's Church, Melton? Read on to find out more... More ...
DSCN9149
Harvest Festival Service
A Harvest Festival All-Age Service will be held in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Sunday, 23rd September at 10am (please bring tins, packets or fresh produce, for distribution to the families and young people at Myst Lodge in Melton). More ...
DSC0032
Pulpit Fiction!
The pulpit will be coming back into St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, despite all the rumours to the contrary. For more details, read on... More ...
Phil Balding
tesco
Funding success
St Mary’s Church, Melton Mowbray, has been successful in obtaining funding from the Tesco Community Fund towards a cupboard which will store the crockery for the refreshment area. Find out how you can help when you shop in Tesco by reading on... More ...
DSC0040 2 2jpgsmaller
Visiting choir to sing in St Mary's
The Great Malvern Priory Choir will be singing at the 10am service in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Sunday, July 29th. More ...
Evening postponed
Unfortunately the evening with our newly refurbished Sir Malcolm Sargent Memorial Organ in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Saturday, July 14th at 7.30pm has been deferred. More ...
Parish Patchwork update 
The Parish Patchwork has started to make appearances and I just thought I would bring everyone who has an interest in our Community Quilt, as it was known, up to date, writes Marie Styles. More ...
All creatures, great and small!
All creatures, great and small,were brought into St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Sunday (June 24th) for a special Pets Service. More ...
A welcome sight
It's the news that some people have been waiting for for nearly 18 months... the console from the Sir Malcolm Sargent Memorial Organ was returned to St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray on Thursday (June 7th). More ...
Phil Balding
A right Royal success
Royal Wedding fever hit St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Saturday (May 19th) with a fun-filled morning for adults and children alike. More ...
Phil Balding
Celebrate Royal Wedding with us!
Don't miss your chance to watch the Royal Wedding LIVE on the big screen in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, from 11am until 1.45pm on Saturday, May 19th. For more details, read on... More ...
Phil Balding
Cheese to please!
Nearly forty people got the chance to sample some of the finest cheeses in the British Isles in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Thursday night (April 26th)... and helped raise money for the church Re-ordering Project at the same time. More ...
Phil Balding
Standard put to rest
A host of dignitaries joined the congregation of St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Sunday (April 29th) at a Parish Communion Service and the laying-up of the town's Royal British Legion Women's Section Standard. More ...
Phil Balding
Spotlight on new window
The latest newsletter produced by Architectural Glass Artist Derek Hunt contains details and pictures of the new Tree of Life stained glass window which he installed in November last year in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
Phil Balding
Say Cheese!
Here's your chance to get your teeth into some of the finest cheeses in the British Isles in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Thursday night (April 26th)... and to help raise money for the church restoration fund at the same time. More ...
Phil Balding
Where did you get that hat?
If you want to get ahead... get a hat. But not any old hat... an Easter Bonnet! To celebrate Easter Day falling on April Fools' Day we did something a little bit different at St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, this year. More ...
Palm Sunday procession
Worshippers at St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, enjoyed a procession from the Market Place to the church followed by an All Age Worship Service on Palm Sunday. More ...
Flipping marvellous!
HUNGRY visitors to St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, enjoyed more than 200 FREE pancakes, tea and coffee on Shrove Tuesday morning (February 13th). More ...
Phil Balding
Help needed 
St Mary's Healing Prayer Team would welcome more people to join them to pray (in pairs) with those who present for healing prayer at the 10am service on the 2nd Sunday in the month. More ...
Join the team 
The Congregational Contact Team is a group of people from St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, which is on the lookout for more helpers. For more details, read on... More ...
New Servery Coordinators
We are most grateful to Marilyn Wray and Karen Balding who have stepped forward to fulfil the roles of Servery Coordinators in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. To find out more, read on... More ...
Seventeen are confirmed 
Seventeen people were confirmed by the Bishop of Leicester, the Right Reverend Martyn Snow, at the Deanery Confirmation Service in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Sunday, 21st January. More ...
Phil Balding
St Mary’s Church Melton Mowbray  Sunday Services…
Find out where services for St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, will be held in the next month. More ...