Buckingham Parish Church, which is bucking the national trend with a growing congregation, has launched its latest restoration project.
Following the £500,000 restoration of the chancel and nave roofs, fundraising is now underway for the complete refurbishment of the church’s 100-year-old organ.
Built by Norman & Beard, the organ was originally installed at St John’s Church, Aylesbury, in 1913.
It was moved to St Peter & St Paul’s Church in Buckingham in 1969 and is now badly in need of restoration. The intention is to preserve the organ, with a few enhancements so the sound is bolder and brighter.
The organ will be raised by about 8ft from its existing position and rotated, allowing the sound to be projected more efficiently. The organ console – where the organist sits – will be mobile, so it can be moved for recitals and concert use. The new space created under the organ will house a new flower room, allowing the old flower room to be converted into a much-needed extra toilet. At the moment, the church only has one toilet.
The total cost of the project is estimated at about £175,000, about £60,000 of which is already in the coffers thanks to legacies and the generosity of the church organists, who donate their fees to the fund.
Rector Will Pearson-Gee said: “The wonderful thing is Buckingham Town Council has kicked off our appeal with the gift of £1,000. They recognise that what we’re doing is enhancing the facility for the community.”
The aim is to begin work in the autumn and have it completed by next spring.