St Mary and St Joseph's Catholic Church, Poplar
In it's new position in Poplar
Photo: Andrew Hayden
Inside the Great Organ
Bourdon 8
Salicional 8
Celeste  8
Chimney Flute 4
Recorder  2
Larigot 1 1/3
Sifflet 1
Regal 16
Dulcian 8
Bourdon 16
Principal  8
Chimney Flute 8
Octave 4
Spitz Flute  4
Nazard 2 2/3
Fifteenth 2
Tierce 1 3/5
Mixture IV-V
Trumpet  8


Subbass 16
Posaune 16

The Organ was originally built by Nigel Church for the Catholic Cathedral in Newcastle upon Tyne thirty years ago.  Mr. Church has since retired from organ building but his company, Church and Co, built some very fine instruments over the last quarter of the 20th century mainly in the north of the country though there is another of his instruments in London at Friern Barnet.

Newcastle Cathedral recently received a substantial bequest to build a new and larger instrument and loft to serve the needs of the Cathedral worship and so our organ became available in April last year. After some discussion in the parish and with the assent of the Archbishop we were allowed to bid for the instrument and respond to the Cathedral's tight time frame for removal.

We won the bid in July and appointed Richard Bower as our organ builder.

We wish to thank him and his team for their excellent work in removing, transporting and rebuilding the instrument here in Poplar. Given the right schedule we were under, the work went forward without too many hitches.

However, the most awkward moment was when we found out that on removal, the blower and wind reservoirs were in a three foot pit under the organ! This created a problem for us here as we could not dig a pit under it in the choir loft! Richard and his team have redesigned and remodelled the winding creatively to avoid this problem.

The organ has also been installed now with equal temperament rather than the Werkmeister III temperament it had before as it was felt that such temperament would best suit the needs of the church's liturgical music programme.

The organ is of two manuals and pedals and 21 stops.

From the new position in the choir loft the instrument sings out into the building making full use of the generous four second acoustic of the Church. It is considered to be a fine example of late 20th century English organ building in a fine 20th century Catholic church.

The voicing of the pipework is very clear and direct, the action rather light and the specification is highly versatile if not a little quirky! It will be a fine instrument for liturgical and for recital use. The case is made of White Ash with gold detailing and was designed by the architect Roger Pulham who has kindly sent us a copy of his initial drawing of the case.

extract from the opening recital programme notes by Father Aidan Rossiter.