Organ restoration project now underway

A major overhaul of the stunning organ at St Chad’s Cathedral is now underway.

The organ, considered one of the finest modern instruments in the country, is currently out-of-action.

But rest assured, silence has not descended as a temporary organ is in situ.

The £50,000 restoration project is being undertaken by specialists Nicholson & Co, whose staff are painstakingly taking the organ apart and putting it back together.

They have taken every pipe out, and the ‘inners’, and thoroughly cleaned on-site. And out of thousands of pipes only two were bent. A few also had minor dents, but fortunately there has been no major issue so far.

Less than £6,500 is now needed to pay for the restoration, thanks to the generosity of benefactors:

£15,000 has been pledged by the Cathedral Association;

£7,900 pledged through charitable trust grants;

£7,620 from private and business donations;

A grant will cover the £8,350 VAT charge, plus the £5,000 deposit was met by the Choir.

After almost 25 years in use – the organ was installed as part of the Cathedral’s 150th anniversary restoration – the time had come for a complete restoration.

The organ is the work of J. W. Walker & Sons, who were commissioned to build it at the end of 1990. The case and gallery were designed by David Graebe in late medieval style, with decoration by Gordon Foster.

The instrument has featured on recordings by David Saint, Henry Fairs and Paul Carr and been broadcast on Radio 3.

It has also been used extensively for teaching and masterclasses, and has been a particular inspiration for young organists at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

If you would like to make a donation please contact Margaret Regan, St Chad’s Cathedral finance secretary, on 0121 230 6208 or email:

Please take a look at our Photo Gallery, which captures some of the restoration work currently being undertaken, along with a photo of the temporary organ.

Watch the organ cleaning in process here

© Copyright St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham 2010 - 2014