We’re pleased to announce the complete rebuilding of the Thomas Sheffield hybrid pipe organ with new layout, new wind system and blower, tonal changes and new digital voices.

When we first visited to examined this instrument, we were taken by the lovely tone of the Great 8′ Diapason. It was certainly more of a French Montre than an English diapason and, therefore, we proposed to the church that the rebuilt organ would have a distinct French flavour and would certainly elevate the organ-led liturgy.

The Sheffield analogue electronics had begun to fail and the switching system was unreliable. We have replaced the analogue sound generation with a new Viscount Physis sound engine – meaning seamless blending of pipes and digital voices is now possible.

The wind system was, to say the least, unconventional! Full organ was only possible for a couple of seconds. We have fitted a new blower along with a conventional reservoir and new wooden trunking.

Finally, the console was due for upgrade or replacement. Initially, we thought that upgrading would be the best way forward but, after detailed inspection, the build quality was deemed not worthy of restoration. We have provided a refurbished Oak drawstop console which has been completely stripped-down and restored, new stop jambs made in Oak, and new keys fitted. It looks wonderful – please see below for progress photos!

The specification can be found here Specification.

Many thanks to the church authorities for their unswerving support of this scheme, and to their resourceful and imaginative organist, Marcus Wheatley, for his vision.

Project updates…

The organ as we found it:

The original console
The original ‘Positive’ division with the single loudspeaker for all the electronic stops
As seen from the gallery
Thomas Sheffield’s ‘homemade’ magnets which we are replacing with new K.A pallet magnets

Removal Starts…

The obsolete switching system being removed. We are providing a new PipeCom digital transmission system
No pipes!
Pipework wind system removed. We are providing new conventional reservoir and new lower.
Now just a frame! Pipes removed and now starting to remove the chipboard chest. We are replacing it with a new (non-chipboard!) chest with new pallet magnets.

The New Oak Console


The original Sheffield organ had a rather characterless extended Dulciana rank which, although made from high-quality spotted metal, was not particularly useful. However, the top 2 octaves became far better in character as they progressed.

We decided that this stop would be far better serving the instrument at 2′
pitch only and we have re-voiced the pipework to accomplish this. Here’s a
video of some of the pipes on the voicing machine – the last few have not been
re-voiced and you can certainly tell the difference!

Update December 2021

The new console is now in place (minus stop-heads) and the pipe case and frame work have been completely removed, repaired, re-stained and are now being reinstalled. The control system has been fitted to the console, the blower and single-rise reservoir are now in place and the newly-made windchest with new magnets will be installed in January.

New Console
New Console.
Framework being reinstalled after repair and re-staining.
Framework being reinstalled after repair and re-staining.