From the Vicar April 2012
Over a number of years we have being developing our ministry of music here at St Nicholas’. The choir has grown from a small group of singers to a choir comprising of adults and children that lead our worship today. Similarly we have been developing St Nicholas’ Church as a venue for quality music through the Wednesday lunch time recital series; the church is a very popular venue for concerts and is used by the Brighton Festival, the Brighton Chamber Choir and the Hanover Band to name but a few. As custodians of this beautiful and most historic building, the Parochial Church Council consider it their duty to continue this musical tradition for future generations, hence the need now to replace the organ.
The pipe organ in St Nicholas’ has stood silent for many years and only during recent deliberations did we fully realise that it is now beyond possible restoration. Its temporary electronic replacement, bought in the early 1980’s (second hand) is now coming to the end of its life. The organ committee, on behalf of the Parochial Church Council, has been looking at this for a number of years and has recommended that an electronic digital organ should be bought to replace the current Allen instrument.
Why are we doing this now? The Allen organ is becoming unreliable; it has failed during worship and concerts and trustees want to act now whilst we have time rather than waiting until this organ fails completely.
Music plays an important part in our life as a worshipping community and the organ is integral to this. The organ leads the congregational singing in worship, accompanies the choir and is used to play music before and at the end of services. It is also used for such special occasions as baptisms, weddings, funerals and civic services that frequently happen here in Brighton’s ancient Mother Church.
A digital bespoke instrument at St Nicholas’ would also enable us to promote regular concert events featuring the digital Organ, creating an enhanced venue for the arts, increasing our outreach, and ultimately generating income to support our life together. We would also be providing a continued valuable link for the community at the heart of Brighton with the world of music which, in turn, adds to the breadth of cultural experience available throughout the City of Brighton and Hove.
In this year of celebration the PCC is making the appeal for the organ as a commemoration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In 1897 our forebears dedicated their appeal for the St Nicholas’ tower screen in honour of HM Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Please do join us in this exciting venture and thank you for supporting this appeal.