STOP PRESS! Premiere Evening of Classical Music to support Organ Restoration and Local Community Groups
All Saints Church Wellington, Telford, is holding an Evening of Classical Music with The Caradoc Ensemble at 7pm on Saturday 11th September 2021 to raise funds for the restoration of the prestigious Bevington Pipe Organ that has been identified as being “of importance to the national heritage”. See here for the event poster.
This concert is part of a welcome return to live music in Wellington and with a line-up of distinguished musicians it will prove to be an excellent evening not to be missed.
Caradoc Ensemble is made up of professionally trained and highly talented musicians, including Richard Silk who studied at Gonville and Caius College. Richard who has taught at Birmingham Conservatoire has performed in the UK and Europe. Caroline Johnson started as a violinist and pianist; learning both instruments at the age of 7. Caroline studied cello with Ann Shuttleworth, french horn with the renowned soloist Ifor James and Baroque with Peter Holman. She met her husband and fellow performer Chris Johnson in Wakefield; Chris plays oboe for Caradoc Ensemble. Alex Postlethwaite is a freelance violinist based in the West Midlands after moving from London. He is guest leader of the London Shostakovich Orchestra and more locally he is the leader of Shrewsbury Orchestra. Jane Park, viola, has worked with the Northern Sinfonia and London Philharmonic Youth Orchestras. She has worked with a number of emerging and established star conductors and continues to work freelance in orchestras, chamber ensembles and operatic societies.
The concert will include the World premiere performance of a piece specially commissioned from local composer Paul Henley who will attend the concert. Paul’s wife, Ruth, will be playing cello.
Tickets can be purchased from the Parish Church Office, Lychgate Walk. Wellington, Telford, TF1 3HA.
Purchase online at: https://bit.ly/3y5s9dq
If you cannot attend then you can still support the project by purchasing a ticket either online or from the Parish Church Office. Let us know, and the ticket will be redirected to a person in the local community who would benefit. For example, through the charity Acacia Support we will give some tickets to young mothers suffering with post natal depression and some will be given to those who would otherwise find difficulty in affording a ticket.
The organ at All Saints in the past has been played by a number of nationally acclaimed organists and composers; one of which was Richard Lloyd, who remarked in 1973 that the All Saint’s organ is of “splendid quality and must be preserved at all costs”. Once restored there are plans to bring organ concerts back to All Saints and to make the Organ central to an inspiring community project.
Contacts: Jonathan Lloyd.: 01952 587615. Andrew Beach: 01952 257202
All Saints Organ Restoration Project Team, All Saints Parish Centre, Lychgate Walk, TF3 1HA
Introduction to the Project
The impressive pipe organ in All Saints Parish Church, Wellington is almost 120 years old. Organ experts have advised that the three-manual instrument is a fine example of the work of Bevington and Sons, renowned organ builders from London. The Diocesan Organ Advisor has described the organ as “magnificent” and “of the highest quality craftsmanship”.
With little major work undertaken since its installation in its present position in 1903, the organ is now exhibiting many of the frailties of age. Our fundraising campaign for a total restoration will allow it to continue providing an inspiring support to the music of worship for years to come. Like all machines, an organ will wear, and become less responsive as it gets older. To the untrained ear, it still sounds acceptable, but the Bevington organ is now in a fragile state. The soundboards and action require complete restoration; the bellows need re-leathering; the pedalboard requires attention—and much more. In short, the organ needs a major restoration.
This organ is still in regular use, is much appreciated and with a major restoration should be fit to provide faithful service for another 100 years.
We hope that the money raised – at All Saints and by fundraising into the wider community – will be sufficient to restore this historically significant instrument to its original condition.
How does the organ support the church’s work and the community of Wellington?
- Regular weekly and Festival worship accompanying the music group and leading the congregation.
- Civic services involving mayoral, council and carol services etc.
- Weddings and funerals
- Large scale events where a larger venue is required. The church holds approximately 400 people.
- Concerts involving local choral/music groups Hadley Male Voice Choir, CAP benefit concerts etc.
- A properly renovated and fully working instrument will give new possibilities for the teaching of young people to play the organ and thus to support the life of the church and the surrounding community, Wrekin College and the local secondary schools.
- It will also give us the opportunity to organise regular lunch time concerts/recitals
What work needs to be done?
- The 1500 or so pipes all need to be removed, cleaned and repaired.
- The leatherwork on the bellows and wind trunks will be replaced to prevent leaks
- The complex pneumatic systems and Victorian mechanics will all need to be checked and restored.
- All this will take months of work for Nicholson’s of Malvern, our professional team of organ restorers who are tasked with completing the restoration project.
How much will it cost?
- This work is estimated to cost approximately £156,000. This is a large sum (the organ contains many precision hand-made parts and pipes all of different sizes and designs. Just like the many members of All Saints, they all have their own role to play!)
- Thanks to a generous legacy the Organ Restoration Fund already has £50,000 towards the total.
- Work has already started to identify grant- giving trusts and organisations that may contribute.
How can I help?
What about an organ donation?