Series of musicians perform in Coventry to help raise £600,000 for church organ

Chris Howard, chairman of the development trust at Holy Trinity, organises free lunch time recitals for locals in a bid to raise a staggering 600,000 pounds for a new church organ after the last one has been declared too ‘old’ for use.

The old organ has been in the parish church since 1860 through to around the year 2000. “It wasn’t a brilliant organ” says Mr. Howard, “it was serving it’s purpose but it was getting worse and worse and we needed a lot of drastic action to renovate it”.

After speaking to a number of experts it was decided that salvaging the old organ would have been like “trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” a hopeless quest and so Holy Trinity Church has been on a quest since to try and fundraise the money for a new organ.

The church has secured a new organ from a disused church which has now been closed in Lea, Greater Manchester. The cost of moving this organ to Coventry and transplanting it into Holy Trinity Church is going to cost a little under 600,000 pounds which is a staggering figure and not one the church can afford upfront due to the lack of funds.

“Part of the committee is committed to looking for people who have connections in industry and commerce and the legal professions who would want to sponsor the organ and have their name attached to it” explains Mr. Howard.

He also encourages the public and locals to get involved as all donations are welcome no matter how small. “You can take out a standing order” he says, “even if it’s a pound a week over a period of four years, it shows that people are committed to it and willing to really help.”

As well as individual donations from people Chris Howard also organises free lunchtime recitals where he invites musicians to play for the people of Coventry. At the end of each recital there is opportunity for people to leave a small donation behind for the new organ.

“Money comes secondary when it comes to these recitals, first is getting publicity and getting word about the organ project spreading amongst people”

The church aims to have the organ in Coventry by 2021 which would be the year of City of Culture for Coventry but also it would be the 100th anniversary of the organ being originally built in 1921. Although this seems to be ambitious for such a large sum of money many efforts are being made to raise it.

There are multiple guests already invited to perform at these free recitals. Julian Hellaby is due to play the piano on 11 November, the following week 18 November Chris Howard will play on the piano along with Ethne Goode.

It is always nice to enjoy something you don’t have to pay for so come along and support a great cause.

You can watch the full video interview here:


Aleksandra Ganuszko



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