After more than two years work, the Grand Organ at St. John’s is near completion, and will finally returned to the church in coming months.
The entire instrument, was removed after the services in May 2019 – including all of its nearly 3500 pipes – and taken for repair and refurbishment by organ specialists Wakeley Organs. It is the largest reconfiguration and repair of the organ since it was first installed in the 1957.
It was progressively returned to the building during the past year, in anticipation of substantial voicing work in September 2021. A programme to celebrate its return will soon be announced.
The organ plays a key part in the services of the parish, providing the heartbeat at the centre of our worship, and this once-in-a-century refurbishment will ensure it continues to support beautiful music to be performed in St. John’s for the next 100 years.
We rely on the generous support of our friends and benefactors to help fund our conservation and restoration work. If you would like to support the project you can:
The Grand Organ will be blessed and played in all its glory at a special service to mark the historic nature of the occasion.
The once-a-century project to refurbish the Grand Organ has entered its final phase, the voicing of the pipes – a process to ensure all the organ pipes, which number more than 3,500, are playing the correct pitch, tone and volume.
In November 2020, the scaffolding which has surrounded the Grand Organ since July 2018 was removed, revealing the distinctive new forest of pipes facade.
Specialist organ builders Wakeley Organs are today returning some of the recently restored decorative pipes, dating from the 1800s, to the organ’s case.
Since May the team at Wakeley Organs have been returning the refurbished organ parts and pipes to the church and starting to rebuild the instrument. The work will take around 18 months to complete and includes reinstating all 3,500 pipes as well as major parts like the blowers and a brand-new organ console.
A brand new concert Mason and Hamlin grand piano arrives at St. John’s. The piano was loaned to the church by The House of Pianos in South Melbourne for the coming months while the Grand Organ undergoes refurbishment.
The remarkable work of manufacturing new pipes began on-site at the Wakeley Organ Factory in Bayswater in January 2020.
Master pipe maker Tim Smith allowed a small group of visitors a rare opportunity to see this once-in-a-century work up-close.
All of the 3,500 pipes have now been removed to the Wakeley Organ Factory, taking-over almost the entire workshop in Bayswater. We had an exclusive look behind-the-scenes to see the many intricate developments taking place to refurbish the Grand Organ.
This includes work to repair around 1,700 of the pipes, which will be brought back into use when the organ is returned in 2021.
Wakeley Organs announce the final specification of the restored organ. Click below for more details.
Over a period of three weeks, a team of 6 people from organ specialists Wakeley Organs dismantled the instrument – including nearly all of its 3,500 pipes – and transported it to their workshop in Bayswater for the cleaning and repair works to be carried out. The pipes range in length from the size of a pencil to 10m long. Once completed, the instrument will be one of the largest parish organs in the country.