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Grand Organ Appeal

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The Grand Organ Appeal

In 2014, Chester Cathedral launched an appeal to raise funds to rebuild the cathedral’s Grand Organ.  The organ has been part of the music making at the cathedral for hundreds of years and is an integral part of worship.

The Grand Organ Experience

The Grand Organ Experience gives a behind-the scenes tour of the Chester Cathedral organ along with the unique chance to play it.

The experience includes:

  • A guided tour of the cathedral’s Grand Organ, including the internal workings and blowing chamber, with the cathedral’s Director of Music, Philip Rushforth;
  • A private recital by our Director of Music;
  • The chance to play the Grand Organ;
  • A souvenir certificate;
  • A signed DVD of Philip Rushforth playing the Grand Organ;
  • Two free tickets to any organ recital at Chester Cathedral.

The Grand Organ Experience is two hours long, costs £300, and all proceeds go to the Grand Organ Appeal Fund.  Bookings can be made by contacting the Director of Music via email at philip.rushforth@chestercathedral.com

Why so special?

In 1876, the Dean and Chapter commissioned the local firm of Charles Whiteley & Co. to build a new organ.  They built a magnificent instrument, even going to Cavaillé-Coll in Paris for their harmonic flutes and reeds.  Over the years there have been minor changes to the organ but the last time it was rebuilt was in 1969.

After a century and a half of almost daily play, the Grand Organ still sounds glorious but is now in need of repair. Our hope is to raise £1 million by 2019 to secure its future.

One way you can help is by sponsoring an organ pipe and stop. The organ contains nearly 5,000 pipes and 71 stops. Sponsors receive a certificate and details of the pipe(s) and stop(s) sponsored, along with our heartfelt thanks.

With a donation of £500 or more, sponsors will be invited to take a guided tour of the Grand Organ with Director of Music Philip Rushforth.

To sponsor a pipe, or for more information, contact Emma Roberts via email at emma.roberts@chestercathedral.com


Choose your pipe One-off donation Monthly donation
32 ft £1000 £83.33
16 ft £500 £41.67
8 ft £300 £25
4 ft £150 £12.50
2 ft £50 £4.17
Mixtures £25