The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Watton church celebrations are hitting a high note   

The hard work of the fundraising team at a Mid Norfolk church will be celebrated with news that they have reached their £37,000 target to refurbish the organ within its walls.

Three years ago a team from St Mary's Church in Watton set to work raising funds to restore the church's much loved organ, with a programme of lunchtime concerts, quiz nights, an auction of promises and many other events.

The organ, which dates from 1877, was altered and enlarged in 1975 but more recently expert assessments said it was in need of substantial refurbishment to enable it to be played to its full potential both now and in the future.
When the church was re-ordered in 2012, it was originally hoped that the organ would be refurbished at the same time but there was insufficient funding to do both projects.

Organist and Choir Mistress Lorraine Eldridge from St Mary’s, Watton said:  “When we were first faced with the challenge of raising £37,000 we knew it was a tough one to take on, but with great support from people in the church, the town, local community and from further afield it has been made possible.  We greatly appreciate the many who have helped us achieve this target. 
“Once restored, the organ will enhance the wide range of musical life in Watton and the surrounding area.  It will also provide a vital teaching resource for both young and mature music students.”
One particular fundraising initiative was the special ‘Let’s make history together’ project, where people sponsored different parts of the organ and wrote a dedication or memory in a leather-bound book to form part of the church archive.
Grants were also gratefully received from the EDP Community Chest, the On Organ Fund, R C Snelling Charitable Trust and the Geoffrey Watling Charity.
The work, which is being carried out by W & A Boggis of Roydon near Diss, will begin in early September and it is hoped it will be completed by Christmas.

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