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The Diamond Jubilee Organ Appeal

Raising £1 million to refurbish and clean the Cathedral’s magnificent organ

Built in 1962, the Harrison & Harrison organ is judged to be of outstanding national significance and was awarded a British Institute of Organ Studies Grade I Historic Organs Certificate in 2013. Sir Basil Spence himself designed the façade of the organ and it is an intrinsic part of the architecture and cathedral building.

Unfortunately, many parts of this fabulous organ are wearing away or broken due to age and wear.

What components make up our famous organ?

  • 4 storeys’ worth of gadgetry on either side of the cathedral, framing Sutherland’s Tapestry
  • 4986 pipes ranging in length from 32 feet to less than 1 inch
  • Thousands of feet of wiring
  • Hundreds of magnets
  • Felt and leather
  • Wind reservoirs
  • Wooden “shutters” that act as venetian blinds and control volume
  • Giant fans called blowers
  • Wooden soundboards that hold the pipes
  • A console where the player sits. This has 5 keyboards, 4 for the hands and one for the feet called a pedalboard.

What is wrong with the organ right now?

  • Broken pipes
  • Cracked sound boards
  • Failing magnets
  • Broken leather
  • Outdated electrical components
  • 60 years of dust

How much do we use the organ?

The organ sees an average of 26 hours of playing per week

  • Over 200 services per year
  • Weekly organ concerts (April-September)
  • Annual graduations
  • Funerals and weddings
  • In special events and concerts throughout the year
  • As a practice instrument for the Cathedral’s organists
  • As a teaching instrument for organ students
  • Selected as a recording venue for many professional organists

Please help us reach our goal

This is a chance for the people of Coventry, the whole country and the global community to show support for the monumental task of refurbishing this 5000-pipe organ. By giving this renowned instrument the care it needs, we will safeguard a national treasure for generations to come.

Join us for Symphony of Remembering an evening concert on Saturday 11th June featuring the Orchestra of the Swan with Michael Collins conducting and Rachel Mahon on the Cathedral’s grand organ. The programme will include Poulenc’s stunning Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani and Derek Nisbet’s Symphony of Remembering. All proceeds from this concert will go to the Cathedral’s Diamond Jubilee Organ Appeal.

How can you donate?

  • Set up a standing order or make a deposit directly into the Cathedral Account:

Account Name: Coventry Cathedral

Account No: 20248673

Sort Code: 40 – 18 – 17

Reference: Organ Appeal

  • Email our Fundraising team:

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