Stay connected

Wesley Slope Heritage Organ Appeal

The organ in the Wesley Slope chapel

The pipe organ probably dates from the 18th century

An appeal has been launched to repair and refurbish the ‘heritage’ pipe organ at Wesley Slope, Frome.

The organ has been a central feature for spiritual, choral and community performance in the church building for over 175 years.

Although several major upgrades to this valuable instrument have been made over the years – the last being in 1958, it has been identified that urgent replacement of a number of bespoke components of the organ, and reinstatement and cleaning of the outstanding feature casing is required before further deterioration occurs.

The organ itself probably dates back to the 18th Century and is understood to have been procured, second-hand from Romsey Abbey in 1853. It is enclosed in an equally valuable  ‘Harris-style casing’ which is also reputed to have originated in the 18th Century. Generations of the Wesley Church Council have maintained the integrity, tone and character of this magnificent instrument.

In the past 18 months £7,000 has been spent on remedial repairs in preparation for the planned restoration programme, and a further £5,000 has been raised towards the on-going project. The project requires an additional £40,000 to not only preserve the heritage value of the instrument for the town, but also allow the continuation of authentic pipe organ music for future generations of Frome people.

Ray Warren, lead organist at Wesley Slope said, “Pipe organs of the calibre we have at Wesley Slope are becoming increasingly rare.   Because of financial restraints, many churches are having to mothball or dispose of their organs and replace them with off-the shelf electronic keyboards which cannot truly replicate the true quality of the pipe organ.

“We are endeavouring to save this valuable heritage instrument for this and future generations and hope, as with previous campaigns over the past 175 years, to enlist the support and generosity of the community to allow us to retain this wonderful instrument.”

Contributions to the appeal can be made online via www.virginmoney  or donations can be made directly to Wesley Slope Heritage Organ Appeal. Wesley Slope, Frome, BA11 1HA.