Members welcome back church organ​ to Stenhousemuir

Church members  Margaret Whittit, Jean Bodman, May Lyone, Janet Nisbet and William Bodman stand in front of the newly restored organ.

Church members Margaret Whittit, Jean Bodman, May Lyone, Janet Nisbet and William Bodman stand in front of the newly restored organ.

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A church has ‘its heart’ back now a 110-year-old organ is in action again.

Stenhouse and Carron Church has been without an organ for over a year, while their listed instrument was being restored.

Made by Leeds company J. J. Binns, it was gifted to the Stenhousemuir church in 1902 by ironfounder and one of the original trustees of the church Robert Dobbie and ever since has accompanied the congregation and choir.

However, the historic instrument was beginning to show its age and the church was forced to look at carrying out a full restoration.

Reverend Bill Thomson said: “The difficulty was that because it is a listed organ, the restoration had to be done using parts as close to the originals as possible, and that meant a huge cost.

“It is also a highly skilled job and there are not many people out there capable of doing it.”

In total it cost over £80,000 to take the thousands of pipes, bellows and motors apart and reconstruct, with craftsman Sandy Edmonstone carrying out the work.

The restoration was funded thanks to grants from Falkirk Environmental Trust, Larbert Rotary Club and The Heritage Lottery Fund, with church members raising over £10,000 themselves.

Now, after a year of being accompanied by a keyboard, the congregation is once again backed by one of the most impressive organs in the country.

It has been rededicated and will be accompanying one of the most popular choirs in the country at a special concert this month. On Saturday, November 17, the East Fife Male Voice Choir will perform in the church to officially welcome the instrument back.

Margaret Whittit, who has been attending the church since she was at school and is a member of the church choir, said the organ has never sounded so good.

“The difference in sound quality is unbelievable. The first Sunday it was used was very special, there were more than a few tears when the congregation heard it back in action.

“I’ve been coming to the church for more years that I even care to remember and the organ has never sounded better.

“It fills the church and with our very talented organist, Robin Bell playing, the sound is simply magical.

“Restoring it was a very expensive job, but I think everyone is in agreement - it was worth every penny.”

The East Fife Male Voice Choir will perform from 2.30 p.m. on Saturday, November 17. Entry is by donation and refreshments will follow the performance. All are welcome to attend.