More news on the Organ…
In September, the churches application to the Diocese Advisory Committee (the DAC) for our pipe organ, which is currently in renovation, to be platform mounted in the south transept was rejected; due to the size and presence of the organ platform, linked with the archaeological difficulties envisaged in the necessary floor excavation.
A church and community public meeting to communicate this decision and explore other options was held on 30 September at St Marys. The history of the renovation, chronicling the bankruptcy of the organ renovator and the rescue of the components and their final transfer to the current organ renovator, Cousans Organs Ltd. was explained in detail.

Two other options, one a more compact hybrid pipe organ located in the original organ position and the other an electronic organ were presented and discussed. A number of speakers from both church and community gave opinions vocally and at the close of the meeting those present were invited to express their personal opinions through private written notes.
An extraordinary CCC meeting was then convened for 3 October with the future of the organ project as the sole item on the agenda. The feedback from the public meeting was overwhelmingly in favour of continuing with the renovation of the pipe organ to a hybrid specification and to position it floor mounted, in its original position in the south transept.
Committee members opinions were heard and discussed at length. It is expected that the increased cost of the hybridisation by the inclusion of digital stops would be balanced against the saving on platform costs and floor excavation in the original budget. Finally, a proposal was made to the meeting “that a hybrid pipe organ be adopted and the necessary re-specifying of the existing organ under construction be conveyed”. This motion was carried unanimously at the meeting and we now await the approval of the DAC to proceed, but early indications are very positive.
At St Marys’, the organ renovation appeal has raised a total of £138,000 to date; but we need a further £123,000 to complete the project. To raise this final sum a dynamic new voluntary committee, the Organ Fund Raising Appeal Group under the acronym OFRAG, has been recently formed. The committee will seek voluntary grants from local and national charitable bodies and coordinate support from church supporters and organ lovers in the community of Bampton, through a planned series of local events – watch out for OFRAG news..
The end result will be a traditionally renovated hybrid pipe organ which will still retain all the magnificence and visual appearance of its predecessor, but with an enhanced performance through electronics, which will take us forward into a new sound experience at St Marys’ church.

Thank you – Douglas J Clare, for St Mary the Virgin Church. BAMPTON

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