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Restored organ rings out at Cradley church

By Marion Brennan | Cradley | News | Published:

An historic church resounded to the strains of its newly restored organ as a service of celebration was held to mark its installation.

Organist James Brookes at St Peter’s in Cradley

The organ, which has been providing music for congregations at St Peter's Church in Cradley for more than 80 years, has been given a new lease of life after restoration work.

Repairs were carried out on the 1933 cinema-style Compton pipe organ following a £7,000 appeal which funded the installation of a 250g organ blower, rescued from neighbouring St Luke's Church in Cradley Heath, and paid for work to the electrics.

A congregation of almost 140 attended a classical concert, performed by professional organist Richard Jeffcoat, to celebrate the organ's revamp on Saturday.

WATCH the organ in action:

Restored organ back in action at St Peter's Church, Cradley

The recital was followed by another musical interlude featuring churchgoers' favourite hymns, including How Great Thou Art, Thine Be The Glory and Shine Jesus Shine, with the St Peter's organist James Brookes at the keys.

He said the concert was a way of saying thanks for the money and time people had given to the fundraising appeal. Those who had donated were invited to choose a hymn, with the most popular ones selected for the performance.

Among the congregation was a donor who gave a £2,000 contribution who wishes to remain anonymous.

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The vicar, Reverend Katryn Leclezio welcomed people to the 230-year-old church before the service started.

Mr Brookes said: "The organ has been in place since September but there have been a few teething problems. These have now been sorted out and it sounded excellent on Saturday.

"It was a fantastic way of saying thank you to everyone involved for their time and effort."

The organ had been silent since 2011 with churchgoers making do with the sound of a keyboard instead.

The salvaged blower had to be lifted about 24ft through a hatch into the loft at St Peter's.

The Compton organ, which was modelled on the cinema organs popular during the 1930s, originally cost St Peter's £1,300.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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