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News: Sponsor a Pipe initiative launched

Guildford Cathedral launches Sponsor a Pipe initiative

Thanks to the generosity of so many donors, Guildford Cathedral Appeal has less than £500,000 of its £7m target left to raise.  Today the Appeal has launched the next opportunity to be part of the People’s Cathedral:  a Sponsor a Pipe initiative.  The initiative will raise funds for the renovation and enhancement of the Cathedral organ.

The organ plays a key role in delivering inspiring music in worship, events, concerts and the Cathedral’s programme of first-class music education for local school children.

When repair works to the Cathedral start in October 2015, the organ will be dismantled, making this the perfect time to undertake a much overdue renovation.  The Cathedral is also taking the opportunity to make exciting improvements to the instrument.

The initiative is being backed by new Cathedral Appeal President world-class organist Dr Jennifer Bate OBE.

Dr Bate said: “I am delighted to support the Guildford Cathedral Appeal for restoration of the building and the organ.

“The Cathedral has a great reputation as a centre of musical excellence.  Work on the fabric of the building also necessitates dismantling the organ. This is an ideal opportunity to refurbish and upgrade the instrument with the latest technology.  The pipes of the main organ are some distance from the Choir, making it difficult for the organist to balance with the singers.  A new division called the Quire Organ will be added, with the pipework situated much closer to the Choir, providing greater flexibility in accompanying the services and enhancing the whole instrument.

“The organ is frequently used for teaching, recitals and concerts, providing an inspiration for both audiences and players.  The work will be to the benefit of many generations of musicians to come.”

Dr Bate is an internationally renowned organist with an impressive history having played in nearly 50 countries and a passion for the musical education of young people. 

The Very Revd Dianna Gwiliams, Dean of Guildford commented: “We’re delighted that Jennifer is joining the Appeal, adding her reputation and passion for music.   She succeeds Dame Sarah Goad DCVO who, as first President of the Appeal, gave so much time and energy to the task enabling us to reach our encouraging milestones. Dame Sarah will continue her sterling service of the Cathedral when she steps down as Lord Lieutenant in the summer.  Jennifer is an inspirational person to succeed Dame Sarah and I look forward very much to working with her”.

Dr Jennifer Bate, Cathedral Appeal President and the Very Revd Dianna Gwiliams, Dean of Guildford

The Dean added “Improving the organ will benefit musicians, visitors and worshippers alike.  The Cathedral’s inspirational music touches all who hear it and provides life-long skills in children across Surrey.

“Everyone can be part of the Cathedral’s music by sponsoring a pipe or stop.  A range of pipes and stops are available, from £5 upwards, and your name or the name of your loved one will be recorded in the Cathedral’s MAKE YOUR MARK MANUSCRIPT”.  Help ensure music at the Cathedral can continue for many years to come“

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The Dean and Dr Bate both attended an Appeal reception held last week to showcase plans for the organ as well as the Cathedral’s music and musical education across the region.  Guests at the reception heard from three organ pupils from St Catherine’s, Bramley, including the Jennifer Bate Organ Scholar.  The Cathedral has a special relationship with the school which enables them to benefit from playing on the Cathedral organ

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To sponsor a pipe or stop visit, or call 01483 547 884.  Please send donations (payable to Guildford Cathedral) to Guildford Cathedral, Stag Hill, Guildford GU2 7UP. 


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Added Friday 1st May 2015