Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

The Memorial Hall Organ

Every Christmas Carol Service, Harvest Festival, Remembrance Service, Spring Term Choral Concert along with numerous assemblies are accompanied by the notes from our magnificent organ in the Memorial Hall. In this centenary year of the Memorial Hall, the organ is showing the signs of 100 years of hard work; the cost of maintenance and repair is spiralling, stretching budgets unexpectedly, with no guarantees of perfect working order anymore. The march of time means the working future of the instrument is in grave doubt, without extensive specialist work to rescue our beloved organ.

Donate now

Initially, advice received from specialists was that the organ itself, due to age and condition, was beyond repair and thus the suggeted approach was to retire the existing organ and install a full modern digital organ to effect sound from the beautiful surroundings of the historic instrument. However, a second opinion was sought, to see if it was possible to rescue the original organ. We have received the fantastic news that with significant repairs to stabilise the organ and the addition of new digital aspects to enhance the instrument, it will indeed be possible to restore the Organ.

We are immensely grateful for the exceedingly generous donations we have received to date. We are now in the closing stages of the initiative with just £23,312 still to raise against our target of £120,000

Striking the right note - Memorial Hall Organ Appeal Update

Generous donations from 198 members of our community has enabled the College to engage with Henry Groves and Sons who will remove the organ next summer in readiness for the bespoke and complex restoration. The generosity of donors will help the school to retain the cherished sound emanating from Memorial Hall as we come together in celebration, remembrance, and reflection.

It is in the spirit of this togetherness that we can help our students to pause for thought about the big questions during their increasingly busy lives. As an ambassador for the campaign, Edward Rook (SHa,50-54) summed things up for us when he commented:

‘This historical icon of Bishop's Stortford College cost perhaps £1000 - £2000 when it was built in 1927. When we consider everyday items of this value today, such as computers, household appliances, cars and the like, the cost of this organ represents exceptional value’.

What is required? 

The work required to repair and enhance the organ is extensive and thus the associated cost is considerable. In brief, the restoration and modernisation will entail:

  • Careful removal of the instrument by the specialist organ builder, and safe transportation to an offsite location for the cleaning, restoration and repair of all 1,030 pipes.
  • A number of new additional pipes will be added to improve the range of both pitch and dynamics of the organ, as well as an increased range of sounds.
  • A digital section will be added for the pedal organ, as well as some of the main section organ, to increase versatility.
  • A new swell box is required as the current one is no longer reliable.
  • Soundboards will be replaced, to assist with making the organ more robust against environmental factors in the Memorial Hall.
  • All contacts will be replaced, and new bellows installed for better consistency of wind distribution.
  • The wind distribution system will be radically rebuilt, to improve the amount of wind going to every pipe, increasing reliability and quality of sound and strength.
  • The current organ framework will be slightly rebuilt. The console keyboards will be removed and the front of the organ opened up to allow more sound into the Memorial Hall from the instrument, better supporting hymn singing and performance usage.
  • The console will be replaced with a detached console, which can be moved, adding flexibility to the performances of the Organ.

Donor Recognition

In sincere recognition of the significant generosity of our community toward this important and meaningful cause at all levels, we are pleased to announce that a special board will be commissioned to list the names of those who have contributed to the refurbishment and restoration of the iconic Memorial Hall Organ. The names of all donors will also appear in the Annual Impact report, and will receive an invitation to a ribbon cutting reception and a demonstration of the renewed instrument in celebration once restoration is complete.

GRAND PATRONS - A gift of £5000 or more will be recognised in the top category on the board, and will enjoy a range of exclusive benefits including invitations to exclusive VIP events and special access.

SPONSOR OF INDIVIDUAL STOP - A gift of £2500-5000 will be listed in the second category of the board and will enjoy a range of benefits including exclusive VIP events.

1927 PATRONS - A gift of £1000-£2500 will be listed in the third category of the board and will enjoy exclusive receptions, and early invitations to music concerts.

FRIENDS OF THE MEM HALL ORGAN - those giving between £250-£1000 will receive early invitations to relevant music concerts and other events

DONORS - Individual giving up to £250 will receive recognition in the Annual Impact Report

Become an Organ Hero

We are looking for at least 25 individuals to become "Organ Heroes" by pledging to donate a modest amount monthly in support of the Organ. A gift of £10 or more each month from this group will help in the short term to meet the goals of the campaign but will assist over the long term with the maintenance, cleaning, and repair of the instrument. In addition to being listed in the Annual Impact report, these special donors will receive an annual letter from a senior leader with news of the Organ and the happenings in the Memorial Hall.

If you would like to join the ranks of Organ Heroes, please ensure you select a recurring donation frequency from the drop-down on the donation page.

What's Next?

The repairs and enhancements to the organ required may be significant, but are necessary to help ensure its continued pride of place in our history, as we look to the future of sound and song in the Mem Hall.

Can you help? Your gift will secure the future of our ability to provide meaningful musical opportunities for the community to celebrate together, give thanks together and remember together in our most central and iconic of buildings.

If you would like further information on this campaign, or would like to consider giving a more significant gift, please do not hesitate to contact a Foundation team member on where we will be glad to discuss this and any recognition opportunities further.



Bishop's Stortford College,
School House,Maze Green Rd,
Bishop's Stortford,CM23 2PQ

Contact us

The Stortfordian Foundation
+44 (0) 1279 838 575



This website is powered by