St John’s Organ Fundraising Campaign

Photo by Andrew Prior

The pipe organ at St John’s is a remarkable instrument which is reported to be one of the finest organs in any Parish Church in London. Now I suspect every parish priest says that about their pipe organ – but of the TC Lewis Organ at St John’s Upper Norwood it is especially true. The instrument at is used to accompany worship and choirs, as well as for recitals and as a practice instrument for local children and adults. Music is an important part of helping us not only express ourselves, but sooth our souls. The Pipe Organ is an instrument which captures the entire orchestra in our place, allowing for exciting and calming expressions of music in a setting of St John’s, which I hope is welcoming and inspirational.

It has nearly 2000 glorious pipes, which make a heavenly sound, but as with any trinket at home which gathers dust, 2000 pipes gather a lot of dust and muck! Therefore, every fifty years or so, the organ has to be taken apart pipe by pipe and cleaned, repaired and put back together again. All of this happens at high level and so requires a lot of scaffolding and care to ensure not only the safety of the working technicians, but also of the metal and woodwork to make sure that things aren’t accidently damaged.

The Instrument at St John’s dates back to 1882 and was designed by Thomas Christopher Lewis in conjunction with the first organist of St John’s, Alfred James Eyre (who was also organist to the nearby Crystal Palace). Though the Church and Organ have had a difficult history, suffering severe war damage in 1944, the Organ was restored in 1947 by N.P. Mander.

In 1999 the Pipe Organ at St John’s was almost in disrepair. But thanks to the community, the Organ didn’t end up being just a decorative item in a church building which no longer worked, as so many instruments do. In 1999 Harrison & Harrison Ltd of Durham brought the instrument back to life and now in 2021, we need to clean, repair and finish a part of the organ which is a once in a 50-year opportunity to add the great 32ft size pedal flutes.

In order to make all this possible, we need to raise £100,000 within the next 7 months. Please support this campaign to keep our Organ going for another 50 years. Become a donor to our Organ Fund and we will together blow away the cobwebs and hear the music play.

Of course, all our donors will be officially acknowledged in our donor book, and there are a range of other benefits depending on the level of your donation.

Tier I – Donations up to £100 (Organ Supporter)
Your name/s will be recorded in a donor book which will be a permanent record of your generosity towards this project.

Tier II- Donations between £101-£499 (Swell Organ Supporter)
You will receive a complimentary CD of the Organ and
Your name/s will be recorded in a donor book which will be a permanent record of your generosity in this project. 

Tier III – Donations £500 – £999 (Great Organ Supporter)
A champagne reception and priority seats at the opening recital in 2022 (2 people)
You will receive a complimentary CD of the Organ and
Your name/s will be recorded in a donor book which will be a permanent record of your generosity in this project.

Tier IV – Donations £1000+ (Magnificent Organ Supporter)
A 1hr private session on the Organ followed by a Tour of the workings of the Organ
A limited edition ink drawing of the Pipe Organ by Bob Brown
A Champagne Reception and priority seats at the Opening Recital in 2022
You will receive a complimentary CD of the Organ and
Your name/s will be recorded in a donor dook which will be a permanent record of your generosity in this project.

You can donate by cheque, bank transfer or through our JustGiving page.

Please address any cheque payments to

Upper Norwood St John’s Church PCC
C/o The Vicarage, 2 Sylvan Road, London SE19 2RX

Or Bank Transfers entitled “Organ Supporter”

Barclays Bank
Account Name Upper Norwood St John’s Church PCC
Sort Code 20-94-67
Account Number: 50791873

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