The Story of Sawtry's Organ

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Sawtrys New Organ

Following the six months tuning in early October 2018 of the pipe organ in Sawtry Methodist Church, it was found that once the organ was switched on, one note played continually. As a result, the worship band provided the music for the services from that time. An email was received on 9 October 2018 from Alan Goulding, Pipe Organ Services stating that the organ at Sawtry Methodist Church was in need of much repair to the cost of £17,700 inclusive of VAT. This amount was considered far in excess of what the church community could afford, having only £2,500 in reserve for repairs.

Little was done for some weeks following, but as Christmas approached, it was decided that some investigation should be carried out concerning the persistent note, the aim being to have the organ played for the Christmas services. A certain senior citizen of the congregation met with success after removing a set of pipes from the instrument. The organ was considered playable and although being somewhat limited it was used at Christmas and the services following.

However, it was decided that a much more serious approach to the problem should be taken. At a special meeting of interested members, the following choices in order of preference were: 1.A pipe organ should be purchased. 2. A digital organ be purchased. 3. Continue with the use of band and keyboard. A firm decision was made to accept each positive proposition as it arose and if a problem arose, to move on to the next choice. As we were to discover, there were to be no problems.

We were advised to contact the National Organ Advisor, Mr. Malcolm Starr. A very prompt reply was received to the effect that just before Christmas, he had heard of an organ becoming available in the Aylesbury Vale Circuit at Stoke Hammond Methodist Church which planned to close at Easter 2019. We later found out that Malcolm had helped to build this organ nine years earlier using mainly parts of an organ from a redundant church near Durham. He was certain it would fit very well into Sawtry Methodist Church. To our surprise Malcolm seemed to know the dimensions of the church at Sawtry and also of the state of our old organ without being told about it. Soon it became apparent that it was he who had last come to tune the organ in October and left it with the note playing!!

On 23 January 2019, Malcolm took a group of us to Stoke Hammond to see and play the organ there. Being a very satisfactory visit, preparations commenced to arrange for its removal to Sawtry after conversations via Malcolm with the Superintendent minister of the Aylesbury Vale Circuit. Overwhelming gratitude and thanks were expressed on hearing that the organ had been gifted to Sawtry Methodist Church. Operation Organs took place at the beginning of July.

It remained for Sawtry to finance the dismantling of the Sawtry and Stoke Hammond organs, then transporting and rebuilding the latter. This amounted to the extraordinary sum of £4,500 being the lowest quotation obtained by Malcolm, whilst the highest quotation had been £13,000.
The organ is now in situ. and was dedicated by Reverend Alan Taylor on 1 September 2019.

Thanks be to God for His Guidance.

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