Parishioners need to raise thousands to repair or replace Victorian organ.

THE congregation at Holy Trinity Church in Ilfracombe is bidding to raise thousands of pounds after its Victorian organ gave up the ghost.

The ornate instrument and its giant steel pipes wheezed to a halt during November’s civic Remembrance Service and since then has failed on a number of occasions.

It could cost as much as £46,000 to put right, so in the meantime the church has hired a digital organ, which would cost in the region of £23,000 new.

Either way, funds need to be found and a number of events are planned, with a recent cheese and wine evening to be followed on Friday, May 31 with The Cedars Big Band in Concert.

David Beagley, a parochial church council (PCC) member, said when the organ failed on Remembrance Day, they had to resort to a piano to finish the service.

“It also went during a wedding plus a funeral, as well as Sunday morning services,” he said.

“So we have either got to have a big fund raising campaign to raise the money or think of other alternatives. Some of us do like the sound of the new digital organ and the quality is amazing.”

The church’s historic organ was built by WG Rowles in 1888. It has since been converted to electricity and was rebuilt in 1961, with further maintenance work carried out in 1987 and 1999.

The Cedars Big Band Concert is at Holy Trinity on May 31, starting at 7.45pm, with music from Glen Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and more. Tickets are £5, available Tinker Tailor Party Shop in the High Street, Ilfracombe TIC on the seafront and The George and Dragon, Fore Street. Alternatively call 01271 866647 or 865329.