The disposition of available space in St Mildred’s Church, Addiscombe brings challenges to the provision of appropriate musical accompaniment for services. An organ at the front of the church is required to accompany the choir and liturgy. In many cases, such an organ would be sufficiently large so as to be able to lead congregational singing throughout the building. There is insufficient space for such an organ here, however, thus necessitating a larger instrument in the west end gallery for this purpose. This in turn is too far away for choral accompaniment, and so the model adopted over the last few decades at St Mildred’s matches that which can be found in many larger churches in continental Europe: a small orgue de chœur at the east end for choral and liturgical accompaniment, and a grand orgue at the west end for congregational singing and expression on a more imposing scale within the church’s very resonant acoustic.
Music at the east end is provided by an attractive two-manual, 10-stop mechanical action organ built in 1988 by Mander Organs of London. The same firm also built an organ in the west gallery in 1959; both were played from the combined east end console.
The 1959 west gallery organ, formed from components and pipework drawn from disparate sources, came to the end of its working life some years ago.
We are delighted to have been commissioned to build a new two-manual, 35-stop instrument for the west gallery. This will be based tonally on a core of restored Lewis & Co. pipework (with new matching additions) from a redundant instrument elsewhere, and will be wholly new mechanically. The new instrument will have electro-pneumatic action and will be played from a remodelled east end console.
The east end organ will also be cleaned and overhauled without alteration.