Makin Digital Organ

The Westmorland Custom Built Digital Organ was supplied by Makin Church Organ Builders who are based in Shaw, Lancashire. The specification for this instrument can be found on their website.

In 2008 it became apparent that the existing Rushworth and Dreaper Organ was on its last legs - after all, it was cobbled together in 1947 from other organ bits and pieces so the Church had had many years of good service.

An Organ sub-group was set up with the support of the PCC to investigate and report back to them.

The Group looked long and hard at the possibilities and soon discovered that to replace it with a pipe organ would be quite impossible on cost grounds alone. We had notable pipe organ companies pitch for the work and at the same time we looked at the principal digital producers.

The Faculty process was started and the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) required us to seek the advice of their organ specialists.

In the end our budget was the determining factor. The Organ replacement was only one of many calls on our limited funds. We have a number of projects which will demand considerable expenditure on our beautiful Georgian building.

We made the decision - digital it was to be. We researched availability and the market and came to a short list of potential suppliers.

We finally chose MAKIN of SHAW because they could build an instrument with a very wide range of sound and could include recording/reproducing facilities which we might need in the future and all, critically, within our budget. We have been able to maintain the pipes in the Gallery which are a picturesque feature of the interior of Church. The speaker system which produces the magnificent sound is fully incorporated within the organ loft.

We started to plan a fundraising programme and this took off in a staggeringly successful way.
St. Luke’s Choir started the process with a sponsored carol sing; the village of Goostrey responded to our appeal magnificently. Over £8000 was raised through writing to every household in our village; Choirs and Artistes of all backgrounds visited to help us raise money. We joined in the village’s Arts Festival programme GOOSFEST and during October 2008 Concert Organist Keith Hearnshaw gave a Recital which raised almost £1000 and the Festival was rounded off by a performance from Cheshire Police Band which produced a similar amount. Most importantly, we had a lot of fun raising money. No-one will forget the amazing PUDDING PARTY organised by the Choir or the incredible efforts put in by so many people who had been given £1 as a talent and asked to return it tenfold in due course. There were many events staged from Open Gardens to Suppers - a tremendous range of talents produced a handsome return on investment.

The new Organ was installed on 19th December 2008 and we had raised all the money for its purchase - a tremendous achievement. It was dedicated on Sunday 21st December to the Glory of God by Father Ron Smith, a visiting Priest, after our Morning Eucharist.

The Organ is not only used in our regular Church services. We have created the St. Luke’s Recital Series to provide a platform for expanding our musical activities in St. Luke's.
The first major event was a visit by Congleton Choral Singers on Good Friday 2009. They performed an eclectic programme which concluded with Stainer's Crucifixion They were accompanied by Keith Hearnshaw who also showed the Organ’s capabilities in the programme he chose. Keith returned for one of his brilliant performances in October 2009.
On 15th May we were delighted to welcome Professor Ian Tracey, Organist Titulaire of Liverpool Cathedral. Ian Tracey’s reputation is of world standard and we are so pleased that he is kindly fitting in a Recital during his busy schedule which includes World tours. This evening is sure to be a momentous event in the Recital Series.

On Saturday 13th July we welcomed Keith Harker, an organist from Lancashire who works for our supplier MAKIN. This will be a somewhat lighter programme and has a working title of Strawberries and Fizz! The interval was fun - just a little difficulty getting the audience back to their seats.

Other programmes in our Recital Series included a visit from the renowned Bolton Chamber Choir in October 2009 and The Amici Choir - well known throughout the North of England and a return visit of the Lydian Singers. It’s said that their Organist couldn't wait to get his hands - and feet - on our Makin! St. Christopher Chorale visited us on Sunday 4th October to sing Choral Evensong.

We are planning for the Series into 2010 and one of the performances we are planning is for two concert organists to come to play duets and individual pieces. That's another first for Goostrey.

An enormous amount of interest has been generated by our Organ Project. Not the least was when we had an Open Morning with coffee and buns - principally to say thank you to the people of Goostrey for their generous support. In the event no less than 12 organists from around the North descended on us and all wanted to play! What joy for us on the Organ Project Team to have such interest from professionals. Since that morning we have welcomed a number of visitors who have wanted to hear the story of our venture and have the chance to play on this truly wonderful instrument.

Looking to the future, the Church recognises it has a duty to encourage the development of music in our Church and interest has been shown from a number of younger people who are considering learning to play the organ. And there are at least two who have been drawn to joining the Reluctant Organist's Training Programme run by the Royal School of Church Music in Chester Diocese. They might be playing sooner than they think!

This small country village Church now has a superb musical instrument that is just asking to be put to good use. The St. Luke’s Recital Series will provide a splendid showcase for the instrument we have been so fortunate to have installed. We plan to keep you up-dated with our Programme of Events on this website and look forward to welcoming you to St. Luke’s in Goostrey.

GFC