St. Elisabeth’s Church maintains a choral tradition of a high standard, with a repertoire of music spanning the centuries from medieval plainsong to modern music. The choir consists of around twenty people of all ages and from all walks of life who share a common love of making music together. Their primary responsibility is to maintain a pattern of regular choral services from week to week, including the main sung Sunday Eucharist, and regular Evensong and Benediction, and weekday feasts. This year we are planning a series of trips to sing services in different churches over summer, and also recording a CD.
Anybody is welcome to join the choir; experience of singing in choirs in not necessary, nor is the ability to read music. Much more important is enthusiasm for sacred music. Children under the age of twelve come to the first half of choir practice, and sing at the Sunday Eucharist twice a month. On the other Sundays they sing the Introit, and then join Junior Church.
The choir rehearse between 6:30 and 8:15 on Friday evening (with a tea break half way through!), and also occasional extra rehearsals at busy times. If you would like to find out more, come to practice (entrance through the Sacristy door).
St. Elisabeth’s Church, serves a large parish of 12,000 people and was consecrated in 1883. Since 2004 it has been a grade one listed building. It is fortunate in possessing one of the finest pipe organs in the country, which was built at the same time as the church by the top organ builder of the time, Hill and Son of London. It is a testimony to the quality and national importance of the instrument that the original opening recital was played by the then organist of Westminster Abbey.
What is it used for?
The organ has been in constant use since 1883, for accompanying Sunday services, for weddings, baptisms, funerals as well as concerts and other functions. There can be few families in Reddish for whom the organ at St. Elisabeth’s has not been played, at one of life’s great events over the last 120 years.
Why are we appealing for help?
Although the organ still sounds splendid, it is in need of restoration. In the 1960’s the instrument was rebuilt to a much reduced specification due to financial constraints at the time, and since then no work has been carried out except routine tuning and maintenance. It is however, a tribute to the organ consultant who dealt with the 1960’s rebuild that he instructed to organ builders to leave in situ those pipes which at that time the church could not afford to restore. Restoration of these parts of the instrument, which have not been heard in over forty years, will restore the original specification of the organ to a three manual (keyboard) instrument and once again give Reddish a world class instrument which the community can be rightly proud of.
|How can you help?
Our aim is to encourage families, businesses and the local community to dedicate a pipe or pipes to a person, persons or event special to them, both past and present. It is highly likely that we can all think of people who have had a positive influence on our lives whom we wish to remember in this unique and lasting way.
How much will it cost?
The total cost of restoration will be £100,000. The cost of sponsoring a pipe is just £25. You can of course sponsor as many pipes as you wish, and perhaps use this as an opportunity not only to remember loved ones, but to commemorate a special family event, such as an anniversary or birth. Every sponsor will receive a certificate acknowledging their contribution and a permanent record will be kept on display in church of all those for whom a pipe has been dedicated. Of course, smaller donations are very welcome; please complete and return the Sponsorship Form. If you are a tax payer, please consider gift-aiding your contribution; this will cost you nothing extra but means the church can claim back the tax you have already paid on your donation. All you need to do is sign the form overleaf.
Who will benefit?
The whole community. The church maintains a choral tradition of an exceptionally high standard, with a growing choir made up of members aged from six to well over seventy, as well as a youth choir drawn from local schools. The church school, St. Elisabeth’s CE Primary School also use the building for weekly assemblies, their annual carol service, plus other educational uses. The church would also envisage setting up an organ and choral scholarship, aimed at local secondary school aged pupils when the restoration is complete.
|Organ Pipe Sponsorship Forms
can be downloaded by clicking here for PDF version or here for Word Document Version