Church revives old organ for recital

The Holdich organ at Riverside Church, Sleaford. EMN-150924-120935001
The Holdich organ at Riverside Church, Sleaford. EMN-150924-120935001

A free lunchtime organ recital and talk is to be held at the Riverside Church, in Southgate, Sleaford, on Saturday.

It will be a chance to hear the church’s rarely played, unique Holdich pipe organ in its setting.

The instrument dates from around the time of the Great Exhibition when its builder displayed a similar one.

Carole Jackson, from the church, explained: “We have not used the organ on a Sunday morning for several years. Holdich is quite a famous organ builder.

“I contacted the British Institute of Organ Studies who sent one of their case workers to look at it and he was very impressed.”

The church was opened in 1868 and she believed the vast organ, complete with three keyboards, pedals, stops and pipes, was installed in its own alcove in 1870.

Mrs Jackson said: “Holdich had two brothers who worked as solicitors in Sleaford so there is a local connection. We are currently putting together a portfolio for the organ to be listed by the institute which issues ‘historic organ’ certificates to preserve them.

“It is in its original setting, built into a big archway and unaltered apart from being electrified.”

The event is to raise awareness of such a significant instrument and to hear it being played and runs from noon-2pm, with a short intermission at 1pm.

The organist is Richard Shireby of Ancaster, an organ builder by trade.

Tea, coffee, and soft drinks will be served. The Source café will also be open.

The thinking is that further organ recitals could follow every few months.