Winchester Cathedral’s great “Father Willis” organ was built for the Great Exhibition and installed in 1854. Since then it has been in almost daily use for worship, recitals and concerts, and can be heard the world over in broadcasts and recordings. The last major overhaul of the organ was over 30 years ago and it is now showing significant signs of fatigue. We now need to undertake a full rebuild in order to repair and restore the organ and ensure it will continue to serve the Cathedral for the next 30 years.
The restoration work will begin in January 2023 and take up to year. Master organ builders Harrison & Harrison will dismantle and clean over 5,500 pipes, repair chipped and worn keys and make adjustments and improvements to the console, pedalboard and pistons. During this work daily Cathedral life will continue as usual. Scaffolding over the north transept and Quire will provide access, workspace and storage for the pipes, and a temporary organ will be in place for the duration of the project.
The total cost of the work is £1.1m. With support pledged from Chapter, Friends of Winchester Cathedral and Winchester Cathedral Trust, we have raised over £900,000 and now need to your help to meet the target.