Members of a congregation in Lutterworth are singing the praises of a lottery fund after being given a £26,900 grant to restore their church organ.
Bill Tomkins is one of those delighted at Lutterwoth Methodist Church’s award from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Mr Tomkins, a member of the Lutterworth Methodist Church Council, said: “We cannot thank Heritage Lottery Fund enough.
“When I got the telphone call to tell me about our application, I could tell from the warmth and sunshine in his voice that we had been successful.
“All of us at the church here are absolutely ecstatic that we have been given this money in order to allow us to restore the organ.”
Mr Tomkins said the church organ, which has 700 pipes – the longest of which are 16 feet tall – was built in 1911 and designed by the Methodist minister F Luke Wiseman, who also designed the organ at the Albert Hall, which is in Nottingham.
He said the church council had applied for a grant in January after members of the congregation had been fundraising for two years.
Mr Tomkins said: “It has been known for a long time that the church organ is in dire need of restoring.
“It has never had a major overhaul in all the time it has been used at the church.
“It has been used a lot and is suffering badly from a lot of wear and tear.”
The restoration, which is anticipated to cost approximately £32,000, is scheduled to start in the autumn of next year and could be completed by spring 2016.
Mr Tomkins said: “The project will enable local organisations to have access to a first-rate instrument for use in rehearsals and concerts, for study, practice and recitals.
“Also, an archive will be created for use by those who, in the future, wish to study the history of Lutterworth.
“Students, including those at Lutterwoth College and Lutterworth High School, will be involved. The fundraising will go on so we can fund all aspects of the project.”
Church minister the Rev Clive Fowle said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“It shows our vision for the future cultural and spiritual life of Lutterworth is respected and honoured by people of wide influence.”
For more details about the project or for those wishing to make a donation, call Mr Tomkins on 01455 552864 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.