Newly restored Father Willis organ
Thursday 21st June 2018
On Saturday 9 June, Fressingfield Parish Church was full in celebration of the re-dedication of their newly restored Father Willis organ. Bishop Mike carried out the dedication, presenting the organ key to resident organist Peter Creswell.
The congregation was treated to organ music played by Julian Haggett, Regional Consultant at the Royal College of Organists, who was instrumental in running workshops and also from two of the his students.
The Revd Canon Susan Loxton, thanked the Heritage Lottery Fund, Jenny Whitehurst, project leader, and the team of volunteers and commented ‘The restoration project for the organ involved significant community involvement with organ lessons for students, workshops for local primary and secondary schools, lectures, exhibitions, historical research, the production of a photobook, website and much more, the results being a very special legacy for generations to come.’
The project was financed by an East of England Heritage Lottery Fund grant, donations from Garfield Weston, The Duchy of Lancaster and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, amongst others, plus extensive local fundraising. Local business, W and A Boggis of Roydon, were the contracted organ restorers.
The Father Willis organ was commissioned by Queen Victoria and built in 1865 for the Royal Chapel of Savoy London. It remained at the chapel until 1939 when it was bought by the Reverend Thursford Pitt for his church in Fressingfield. It had served the community here for 77 years, but was in need of urgent attention in order to continue for further generations.