Concerns have been raised for some time about the future of our 1843 Hill of London pipe organ, which is reaching the end of its serviceable life. The current organ, having been the soundtrack to village life events (baptisms, weddings, funerals etc.) and church and civic services for 178 years and bought by public subscription has served its time, and deserves to be replaced with a worthy successor.
The PCC asked me to look into all options, and an Organ Group was formed in 2018 to do just that. An exhaustive report available here (hard copies available on request from the office) was produced which considered a refurbishment of the existing instrument, a digital replacement, a new-build bespoke pipe organ, and the identification of a fine redundant pipe organ for refurbishment and installation at Dedham.
After 18 months of research, costings, visits to churches around the country, meetings with organ builders and digital organ specialists, and taking the views of a number of organists, the Organ Group have proposed to the PCC that an instrument by J.J. Binns of Leeds dated 1902, currently installed in a church in Glasgow is restored, updated and installed in our current organ loft. This is felt to be the best compromise on the grounds of cost and longevity, whilst retaining a pipe organ, which is considered to be the superior instrument both to play and to listen to.
Antony Watson, organist at Dedham Church
About 60 or 70 people attended the public meeting on Sunday 26 September 2021 in Dedham Parish Church. There was almost unanimous support for the proposal to replace the existing Hill Organ with the Binns Organ from Harvest Church Glasgow. There will be an extra Parochial Church Council in mid October, to ratify the decision. Following this, a faculty ( permission) will be applied for. More information will be available later.
Margaret Kitson, Dedham Organ Group