Repairs to an historic organ have hit the right note with parishioners at a South Yorkshire community church.
St Anne’s Church in Carlecotes is one of just a handful of churches in the area which retains an old style organ, with the one it owns made by renowned organ builders Conacher & Company of Huddersfield.
Over the years, the condition of the organ has gradually worsened through regular use, and it had reached the point where it was too out of tune to play, with the small substitute instrument that was then used in its place not really being fit for purpose.
But now, thanks to a £3,324 grant from the community benefits fund linked to renewable energy firm Banks Renewables’s nearby Hazlehead Wind Farm, the repairs required to bring the organ back into service have been carried out.
And the grant has also allowed the church to carry out repairs to stonework which had previously been blown from the apex of the church’s roof, with Holmfirth firm S&M Proud Builders Ltdcarrying out the work required using Carworth Moor stone.
St Anne’s Church, which is part of the parish of Penistone & Thurlstone, is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year.
The Revd David Hopkin, team rector of Penistone and Thurlstone Team Ministry, says: “The organ has always been well used for church functions, but it became increasingly clear that repairs were needed to sort out the tuning, the sticking notes and all the other problems that it had.
“After the organ finally became unusable, we’d resorted to using a small portable organ in its place, and even though the sound it made really didn’t fill the space as we wanted to, we would have had to muddle along with it for the foreseeable future if Banks Renewables hadn’t stepped in.
“The repairs to the organ have bought us some time to raise the much larger sum of money needed to carry out a complete refurbishment of this historic musical piece.
“We’ve had lots of positive feedback and are very pleased to have our old organ back in service, and it’s especially nice that everything has come together in time for our 160th anniversary celebrations.”
The Hazlehead Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund was set up to enable Banks Renewables to support a range of community and environmental improvement schemes in partnership with local people using revenues generated by the wind farm.
More than £24,000 has so far been awarded to a range of local groups from the fund, and at least £6,150 will be added to the fund every year during the remainder of the wind farm’s 25-year lifespan.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at Banks Renewables, adds: “St Anne’s is a real focal point for the surrounding rural communities, and we’re very pleased that we’ve been able to make a positive contribution to its 160th anniversary year through the Hazlehead Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund.”
Eligibility for funding from the Hazlehead Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund is normally restricted to schemes within the parish of Dunford, but projects outside this area may be eligible if it can be shown that they benefit people living within it.
Groups interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 to check if their group or project is eligible.