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Worshippers raise £30,000 to restore organ at St Olave’s Church in Marygate
ONE of York’s most historic churches will resound to the sound of organ music again after a restoration appeal raised tens of thousands of pounds in seven months.
Worshippers at St Olave’s Church, in Marygate, have collected about £30,000 since January to repair damage caused by thieves.
Crooks stole lead from the church roof twice last year, and rain soon after the second attack stained the chancel walls and damaged the antique organ, regarded as one of the best in York outside the Minster.
Although some of the cost was covered by insurance, the congregation was left with a shortfall and launched a fundraising drive at the start of the year.
They have now raised enough to repair the organ, but are still collecting to repair the roof.
Paul Tyack, a member of the fundraising committee, told The Press: “We needed to raise a minimum of £70,000 for repairs to the organ and roof which were badly damaged after a series of lead thefts led to rain water soaking the Church’s chancel.
“To date we have raised £6,500 in donations from members of the public and £30,000 from a local trust. We have also been able to claim insurance money towards repair costs, but still need to raise £8,000.
“We have raised enough money to refurbish the organ and there is going to be an inaugural concert for the refurbishment in September.
“We have been pleasantly surprised.
“There has been really good support from the local people who got involved.”
Church members raised sponsorship by knitting a model roof, and Mr Tyack said there was also a successful auction of promises, a popular concert and support from a charity.
The concert in the church, at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 29, will be by internationally celebrated organist Daniel Cook, who is organist of St David’s Cathedral in Wales.
The St Olave’s organ was made by JW Walker in 1907. Organist Keith Wright told The Press in January that it was second in York only to that in the Minster.
It was restored in 2004, but he said in January that most of the wooden interior would now need replaced.