The story of the organ, once belonging to Graylingwell Chapel during the time it functioned as a place of worship, continues as it has been lovingly restored and intricately re-built in Jugon, France.
A team of three dedicated church members travelled from Jugon in autumn 2019, where they began the intricate process of taking the disused organ apart, labelling and carefully storing each pipe and piece, ready to be restored and reassembled back in their home town.
At times working as a team of up to 11 the restoration has taken months of work, and those involved, led by the wonderful Yann Drezet (pictured on the organ bench), have been kind enough to keep the team at CCDT informed of their progress as they have gone along. Late last year they sent us a link to one of the first recordings of the organ, now fully functioning in France, which is possible to hear here.
Last Sunday, the organ played for the first time for a mass with the Bishop of the region who was present. The project is not quite finished (the organ not yet being harmonised or perfectly tuned) but the assembly was amazed by the sound they heard! The photos featured here are of the special event. The final stage will take place next month, providing Covid-conditions allow, when the organ builder will visit for the general tuning, after which the Bishop has expressed his clear intent to be present for the organ’s blessing.
The organ has been a part of Graylingwell Chapel’s rich heritage as a space for worship and reflection for staff and patients of Graylingwell Hospital; however, having become entirely disused since the building became redundant and in need of renovation the instrument had fallen into disrepair. Without funds for its restoration or a congregation to enjoy the music the team at CCDT worked hard to find one in need of such a beautiful instrument and donated it to the church of Jugon where it has been so lovingly restored. The two communities have pledged to remain in contact with visits to each other’s establishments planned once travel is again possible.