ONE of the rarest church organs in Scotland has been restored at a cost of £80,000 and returned to the congregation who helped raise funds to repair it.
The organ, installed at Stenhouse and Carron parish church in the Stirlingshire village of Stenhousemuir in 1902, had been out of commission for more than a year to allow specialists time to dismantle and reconstruct the thousands of pipes, bellows and motors that make up the instrument.
The congregation raised £10,000 towards the cost of having the Grade One listed organ restored rather than have it replaced with an electronic version.
The organ was made by James Jepson Binns, of the Bramley Organ Works, Leeds, and gifted to the church in 1902 by Robert Dobbie, an iron founder and one of the original trustees of the church.
The church holds a certificate from the British Institute of Organ Studies which records it as Grade One in the institute’s register of historic pipe organs. It is recognised as an outstanding example of Binns’ work in original condition.
Church elder Alan Corbett, 70, who was on the organ restoration committee, said: “The old pneumatic air organs are becoming a thing of the past as churches replace them with modern electronic ones, but there’s just no comparison. There are not many organs like ours left – only four or five Grade Ones in Scotland I believe – but their sound is unique.”
He added: “When it was rededicated last week, people were in tears. We’ve been making do with a tiny keyboard for a year, and the sound of the old organ was unbelievable. It lifts the worship to the heavens once more.”