Throughout its history the Willis pipe organ has been cared for by the congregations of St George’s Church in Edinburgh and St Mary and St Giles Church in Stony Stratford.

From 1984 an earlier Organ fundraising group led by Bill and Nessie Bainbridge raised more than was needed to move the console to its new position in 1989.

In 2006 the Pipe Organ Restoration Action Group (PORAG) was formed to raise the money needed for its complete overhaul and restoration. A pipe sponsorship scheme was set up and has been running ever since and PORAG organised 150 musical and other events to raise awareness of this instrument and the funds to restore it. Since March 2014, Music for All @ SMSG has run 150 further events and has an active forward programme listed under What’s On.

The organ needs to be maintained to keep it in good playing condition after restoration. Most events after restoration will be for other good causes, including church restoration and nominated charities to help others. However some concerts will continue to be held to raise funds for organ maintenance and the pipe sponsorship scheme continues for this purpose as well.

Pipe sponsorship

The pipe sponsorship scheme was set up in 2006 as a way of encouraging people to have a stake in the organ. Pipe dedications have proved popular as people have come to see their pipes at organ open days during the restoration and come to hear the pipes they’ve sponsored when the organ is playing. To date £17,282 has been raised in pipe sponsorship.

All sponsors receive a certificate indicating which pipe(s) they have sponsored.

A pipe sponsor’s register is kept on permanent display near the organ. The names of donors of £5,000 or more will be engraved on a plaque sited next to the organ. There are opportunities for sponsors to hear, play and possibly even see the pipe(s) they have sponsored at events when the organ is featured. The sponsorship is a one off donation, not an annual payment.

  • You can choose to sponsor a pipe (or half a pipe) in thanksgiving for a special event, in memory of someone, or as an unusual gift to someone or yourself.
  • You may choose to donate individually, as a group, a business or a school.
  • Save all your loose change until you have enough to sponsor a pipe!

Sponsor a pipe in MK50 year to celebrate 50 years of Milton Keynes and 50 years since the Willis pipe organ was purchased and brought to Stony Stratford.  Your pipe certificate will mention that the pipe was sponsored in MK50 year.

MK50 pipes of the month

The February pipes of the month are the Violone, Violoncello and Viol in the Pedal.

Read more about the Violone:

Pipes of the month - March 2017

Sponsor a Violone/Viol pipe this month.

  • 16ft Violone (Pedal) - £150
  • 8ft Violoncello (Pedal) - £75
  • the 4ft Viola (Pedal) pipes were donated by FH Browne & Sons Ltd

Previous pipes of the month


Pipe of the month - February 2017

Sponsoring the pipework

There are 1,987 pipes in the organ ranging in size from 2 feet to 16 feet long.

Pipe sponsorship and donation form

We have suggested donations according to the size of the pipe sponsored:

Pipe Size No of pipes of this size Amount per pipe
2 ft 183 £15
4 ft 244 £40
Mixture (3 pipes per note, 61 notes) 183 £60 per note
8 ft 878 £75
16 ft 250 £150
New pipework installed in 2015 to complete the 1932 Willis III specification
Pipe Size No of pipes of this size Amount per pipe
2 ft (Piccolo) 61 £24
2 2/3 ft (Nazard) 61 £28
1 3/5 ft (Tierce) 61 £24
16 ft (Waldhorn) 61 £150
4 ft (Viol) 12 n/a (donated by organ builders F H Browne & Sons Ltd)