This evening we (John, our girls and I) attended a very enjoyable organ dedication and celebratory opening recital at St James, Hanslope. The newly installed organ, which came from St Andrews, Headington, sounded very good in the church, thanks to the work of organ builders F H Browne & Sons. It would not have been possible to have installed the organ in the west gallery if it hadn't been for the vision of Fr Gary and the work of the organ fund sub committee as well as the community of Hanslope. Their target was £84,000, and they succeeded in raising this in 5 1/2 years, which is a great achievement.
I wasn't the only member of the St Mary & St Giles organ fund group to attend as David S was also there and Andrew our organist played and sang in the recital. In addition, Felicity, Hannah and Jude from our church band all performed, and several others from our church were there, so St Mary & St Giles was well represented. Occasionally our band plays for the Generation Y services at St James, and it was at the most recent one in September that I saw the new organ for the first time.
I asked Fr Gary during one of the two intervals what advice he could give to our organ fund group as we continue to strive towards the enormous target of over £124,000, and he said that believing in what we were doing was really important and not to loose heart: even though all the small amounts of cash from individual events might seem little against the grand total, it was all adding up. Having a really good team focussing on the job is also important.
Well I'm glad to say that we honestly do have all of that: our organ fund group works well together, we've got to know each other as we've worked and enjoyed the fundraising so far, we all believe in what we are doing, and we have found ways to smile even when the funds we've raised for some events have been less than we might have dreamed. And many of our fundraising events have realised more than we had hoped, which has always been great encouragement.
So going to the organ dedication at St James has really enthused me. Although we may have a long way to go (just over £27,000 in the fund, with £4,000 promised shortly from a donation) we have plenty of plans and ideas, and St James has provided added inspiration, and more ideas. So well done everyone in Hanslope for a great community achievement, and well done everyone at St Mary & St Giles for the work you've done so far in fundraising for the refurbishment of our Willis organ.