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Appeal to raise £50,000 for Holy Trinity Church organ

THE organ at Holy Trinity Church needs £50,000 to complete a major restoration and keep the historic instrument playing a fundamental role in the community for generations to come.

The ambitious target will see an official fund-raising appeal launched at Stratford Town Hall on Thursday 30th March to secure enough money to start work on the organ by the end of the year.

Holy Trinity Organ gallery. (62854520)
Holy Trinity Organ gallery. (62854520)

According to church sources, the use of an organ at Holy Trinity can be traced back to before the Reformation but there doesn’t appear to be any further mentions until a new instrument was built in 1731 at a cost of £50 and while the modern day version has undergone various improvement works over the last 30 years, it is now showing signs of wear and tear so it’s hoped £50,000 will restore the organ to its former glory.

Richard Hartley, who is responsible for the Holy Trinity Organ Restoration Appeal said: “My role is to raise £50,000 for the restoration of our wonderful organ which is in need of significant repair after hundreds of years serving the community and teaching new organists a great opportunity to learn to play the organ. We are fortunate enough to have such a magnificent organ the sound of which is comparable to the best cathedral organs across the country. It comes into its own prior to Christmas for carol services for schools and the public and the joyous celebrations of life, church and at concerts and recitals. We are about to officially launch our fund-raising appeal and I approached Stratford businessman Tony Bird before Christmas to ask if he would consider being the patron for our organ fund and I am pleased to say that he has accepted my invitation.”

Richard and a team of volunteers have wasted no time in pooling their resources and ideas to bring together a series of fund raising initiatives taking place throughout the year to help push the appeal closer to its target.

“It’s really rather exciting,” he said. “We’ve got a donation thermometer showing the target figure of £50,000 and the total raised to date. We’re asking people to Guess How Many Pipes the organ has – it’s an incredibly large number. The nearest to the number will see the winner or winners share a percentage of the money raised. There’s an Old Time Music Hall in late May which will be a time to dress up and enjoy songs, sketches, and music hall fun.”

Other planned events include a golf tournament, a summer Fete in late September, a Grave to Cradle walking tour. This will be a 75-minute tour on foot spending 25 minutes in the church before going to many of the famous Shakespearean sites in town.

Richard added: “There’ll be a chance to warm a chilly November night by letting your hair down at a 1960’s night and enjoy an evening of 1960’s music and relive the era. I’m sure we’ll squeeze a cheese and wine party in there as well.”

Tickets priced at £15 are now available for the forthcoming fund raiser at the town hall

on 30th March. The evening includes drinks and canapes with all proceeds going to the fund.

Reverend Patrick Taylor and organ appeal patron, Tony Bird, will host the evening with Stratford Mayor Cllr Gill Cleeve in attendance and a piano presentation will be provided by Stratford musician, Ariana May.

For more information, to book tickets or make a donation visit: www.stratford-upon-avon.org/organ-restoration

The bank account sort code is: 40-43-19

a/c 20649430


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