Concert Series and other Events

To raise money for the St James’ Organ Appeal

The organ at St James is an elderly digital organ which has served us well over the years but now needs replacing. Although a quality instrument of its time, some of the components in the console (keyboards) are failing. Repairs will no doubt become increasingly costly and this makes little sense given that the sound of the organ itself is outmoded, restricted and unsatisfactory. The technology of electronic (simulated) church organs has recently made considerable advances which means that, for a relatively small investment, the entire organ could be replaced and upgraded with a dramatic improvement in sound and effect.

To be without a functioning church organ would greatly diminish the quality of worship at St. James. We need an adequate organ to support the hymns and other congregational singing, and to provide appropriate musical accompaniment for the many different services of the church. At present, St James is fortunate to have two professional organists who are committed to developing the role of music as a spiritual commentary on the texts and themes of worship, also to widening the community of the church through musical activities and events. With a simple but professional quality instrument we have the potential not only to substantially enrich the musical experience during worship but to lay the foundations for future cultural development during the years to come.

A new digital organ
Within the last two decades the technology of electric organs has advanced considerably. Formerly, electric instruments came with a set of electronic sounds which were an approximation of real pipe organs. Sonically these organs were unsatisfactory particularly in their copies of solo reed stops and mixtures (the existing and brilliant sounds of the organ). With the software this approach changed as technicians began to record real instruments - famous and iconic historic instruments throughout Europe - carefully reproducing exact copies of these instruments. This means that the console itself is a 'white paper', a simple Midi keyboard on which different virtual organs are loaded through a computer using the Hauptwerk software. The most ingenious part of this arrangement is a touch screen on which the different registrations of the various instruments can be visualised and controlled.
film night advert
We still need to raise a further €5,500 towards the new organ.

On Sunday 12th February we said goodbye to the organ which has served St James well since its installation in June 1974. It is going to a good home in the Coimbra Music Conservatory, where it can continue to provide pleasure and teaching.
We took delivery of our new organ in the second week of March, and it was played at the Eucharist on March 12th.

old organ
The 1974 Heidegger Organ

This has been made possible due to a generous donation and an interest-free loan to be repaid within a year.

The organ comes from the Netherlands.

We are excited as the new organ will not only improve the quality of music at divine services, but also open up opportunities for other musical performances, as it is a much more versatile and advanced instrument.

We continue to raise funds to pay off the loan so the concert series and film evenings will continue after Lent.

Please tell friends and acquaintances and encourage them to come to these events.