St John the Baptist Parish Church

Where a warm welcome awaits you

Renovation and Repair Project

Organ Progress report No 4

I imagine that you are wondering when our Organ will be repaired and rebuilt. The sad news is that the previous works to both the Great and Swell wind/sound boxes were so badly executed previously that a major re-build and adaptions have taken place to them. This extra work has caused delay to the completion. The good news is that the Organ builder has confirmed that he will not be charging an additional cost for this work.

Copy of the minute in the Standing Committee minutes:-

“LC, AP and DRM, together with Colin Nicholls, had met with James the Organ Builder. The bad news is that we will not be getting the organ back in time for Easter.  There have been some problems with the glue used when previous restorations took place and there were some technical problems with the soundboards.   James said he regretted the unavoidable delay with this restoration.  LC advised James she hoped it would be installed by July in time for our confirmation service (not September as James had indicated).

DRM said he found James to be a very conscientious organ builder, who would not take any shortcuts and he was confident the organ restoration was in good hands.

I have spoken with James recently regarding progress and he confirmed that the re-built wind/sound boxes together with some photographs should be delivered back to the Church very shortly. He is hoping that these will display pictorially the work that had to be undertaken. He confirmed that had he ignored the previous work St John’s would be looking again for repair work within the next few years which he wanted to avoid.

Over the last few weeks James has removed the storage boxes from the North Aisle that contained all the smaller pipework, some only 1-2 inches high and a diameter of a finger. These pipes will be cleaned, checked for damage and repaired as necessary. In addition a start will be made to re-building the Organists console including adaptions to the new action.

The general electronics to the Organ has been designed by a specialist and the necessary off-site works completed and returned to Farnham.

Let us pray that no further major problems are discovered and that our Organ is leading our worship shortly.

In confirmation of Colin’s report above, I would simply amplify the point that James struck me as a meticulous craftsman. Faced with a more difficult dismantling of the wind/sound boxes than he had costed for, due to the type and/or quantity of glue previously used, he appeared determined to do the job properly to give us the best possible quality of workmanship, and with an eye to the long term, so that future maintenance/restoration would not have to face similar challenges for the next generation. I believe we will be getting very good value for money but will just have to wait a little longer for it.

Colin Nicholls and David Ramsbottom

The newly installed heating system

 After a great deal of hard work , checking of minor detail, tweaking of the computer settings, radiator thermostatic control valves, scrutiny of detailed heating specifications, successful faculty approval, grant applications and many more issues......we hope you agree that we have had the current heating working well over the past few weeks.


Within the space of the last church fabric inspection, St. John's has had a brand new roof and a completely renewed heating system installed! We are all looking forward to seeing the Architect's face when he comes to do the next 5 year quinquennial inspection early next year and he has to answer the question - so has anything happened since the last inspection, 5 years ago?! The new system allows the choir vestry to be independently heated from the main church interior and the hall has it's own stand alone heating serviced and maintained by the same contractor as carried out the work to install the new system.

On behalf of the Fabric Committee we would like to thank all of you that gave so generously to fill the pot required to make both the roof and the heating projects come to fruition. No doubt there will still be some minor issues to tackle to make the heating become fully acceptable to everyone's satisfaction, but the mere fact that we have a fully insulated roof and a modernised fully functional, state of the art heating system, in place is the result of the pulling together of our incredibly strong church community. Many thanks for all your forebearance over the duration of the work.


If you require heating in the church, choir vestry or hall please let Christine Rees know the start and end times of your appointments and the Fabric Committee will be taking turns on a 2 monthly rota to endeavour to ensure the required areas are heated as requested.


One area of our church vision has surely been fulfilled and yet more is set to still be done.


Many thanks


Mike and the members of the Fabric Committee