Preston church organ set for £28,000 restoration

Ceremony at Preston Church to celebrate the granting of �28,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the complete renovation of the church organ. From left, Peter Collins of Peter Collins Organ Builders, the High Sheriff of Rutland Patricia Ruddle, vice-chairman of Rutland County Council Edward Baines and the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Laurence Howard. Picture submitted.'Photo: MSMP081013-014ow
Ceremony at Preston Church to celebrate the granting of �28,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the complete renovation of the church organ. From left, Peter Collins of Peter Collins Organ Builders, the High Sheriff of Rutland Patricia Ruddle, vice-chairman of Rutland County Council Edward Baines and the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Laurence Howard. Picture submitted.'Photo: MSMP081013-014ow
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A village church has won a grant of £28,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the complete renovation of its organ.

Members of Preston church are set to carry out essential repairs to the instrument, modernise the mechanism and move the console back to its original position following the successful bid.

When the work is complete, members plan to invite pianists to have a go at learning to play the organ, as well as hosting concerts and recitals in the church.

The instrument was built in 1882 by Peter Conacher of Huddersfield and cost £110.

A ceremony was held to celebrate the successful bid, which was attended by the High Sheriff of Rutland Trish Ruddle, vice chairman of Rutland County Council Edward Baines (Con), Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Laurence Howard and former organist at Winchester Cathedral and conductor of the BBC singers, David Hill.

Church warden Sheila Ervin said: “To be allotted this grant is wonderful news both for the church council and for the whole of Preston village.

“We are enormously grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Without this grant, we would have found it extremely hard to raise this sort of money in a small village and we could easily have lost a very remarkable organ for ever.”

The restoration is being carried out by organ builder Peter Collins from Melton.

Once work is complete, the organ will be returned to its original position in the church.

The church dates back to Norman times and has been at the centre of the village for nearly a thousand years.