The church organ is an historic instrument. It is a ‘baby’ in the development of the modern church organ. August Gern the builder has built beautiful, round sounding organs and this one is an excellent example. It is a versatile instrument with lots of lovely sounds from pipes crammed into a relatively small chamber.
An organ, be it a pipe or an electronic organ, is the most valuable item for insurance purposes after the church building. Like the building it unfortunately requires regular maintenance at a relative cost. Also, like a building, the maintenance and repair becomes more costly the longer it is left. This is a real problem particularly when the church is not easily visited by the organ tuner and the cost is much more than a visit down the road in England. The average tuning and regulation there is £300 a visit.
There are problems which need regular attention. Because it is a ‘baby’ it has tracker action from earlier times which is not easy to play. It is worth persevering because of the sounds made but sometimes the action becomes warped or stuck and needs easing off otherwise it will cause problems. The pipes need tuning or some need individual attention if they are not sounding properly. Because the chamber is small layers of pipes sometimes have to be removed in order to tune and maintain the instrument fully. This access is quite a problem.
It is wonderful that the community of Holy Trinity over the years have valued this instrument. It is hoped that people will continue to support the unique organ on this watch. Understandably people may say that the organ sounds alright although there are times when it does have sticky notes that don’t stop.
The tuner should really visit once a year as a minimum so that tuning and regulation is regular. The matter of financing this is a great problem.
We are very pleased to announce that as a result of all the fundraising for the Organ Restoration Appeal over the last twelve months or so Holy Trinity was able to commission a team of UK specialists to fly over and complete an extensive restoration programme in November 2012. As a result, Holy Trinity is now in a position to propose to be included in the annual Organ Festival of Madeira which takes place each Autumn.
However, for the organ to continue to sound at its marvelous best, generous donations will be necessary each year to fund an annual maintenance programme. If you feel able to help this project in any way, we would be delighted to hear from you.