Holy Family Christian Heritage Project

Supported by Heritage Lottery Logo
Holy Family Home page

Origin and Development of the Project

The origin of this project lies in moves to get the pipe organ at Holy Family restored. In 2008 quotations were obtained for the restoration of the organ, which is believed to have been in the church since its opening in 1895. There are no available records at the church of any restoration of the organ since it was installed and it was in need of a major overhaul.

In 2009 a report on the organ was produced by Dr J P Rowntree, a member of the Association of Independent Organ Advisors and Director of Choir and Organist, Douai Abbey. He described it as "an instrument with tonal qualities of much charm and architectural curiosity" and that "tonally the sound is of an organ earlier than the middle of the 19th century" He wrote "this is an intriguing organ of historic significance, musical attractiveness and liturgical utility.”

By July 2010 around six thousand pounds had been donated towards the organ fund and in November of that year an appeal was officially launched with a Big Sing event at the church led by Philip Jakob, Director of Music in the Cathedral & Diocese of Hallam. An appeal leaflet was produced with opportunity to ‘sponsor a pipe’.

Also in November of 2012 a letter was received from Dr Rowntree which gave guidance and information on making an application to Heritage Lottery. As a result of this letter a meeting was held in the parish in January 2011 to take forward an application to Heritage Lottery. After research, consultation and meetings an application was finally submitted in July 2012. The stated aims of the project were:-

  • Restoration of Holy Family pipe organ
  • Development of information and educational activities and resources  based on the organ and Holy Family Church.
The intended resources included a DVD with pictures, video and audio records of the project, an Armley organs walk leaflet, a leaflet about Holy Family organ and a booklet about Holy Family Church including information on the organ. The activities to included organ open days when visitors could play the organ and look inside and  a celebration event on completion of the restoration.
A grant of 24500 was awarded in August 2012. This grant together with the organ fund, which now stood at around 18000 meant the project could go ahead.

The aims of the project which the Heritage Lottery agreed to support through the grant were:-

  • to carry out repair and restoration work to the church pipe organ in line with survey findings
  • to offer active learning opportunities through holding at least two organ open days and hosting at least two visits from local schools
  • to have a learning legacy of information and resources about the organ restoration and other heritage of the church in the form of a DVD, website information and leaflets
  • to recruit at least five volunteers to act as guides on open days and more volunteers to help record the restoration and produce the DVD and leaflets
  • to organise a visit for the volunteers to the organ restorer’s workshop
  • to hold a celebration event in which a wider audience can learn about heritage

Our Organ Renovation

Origin and Development

Organ History

Press Release 16th October 2012 doc

YEP Article November 2012

Organ Survey pdf

Organ Builders Quotation pdf

Organ before removal
(sights and sounds)

Removal on 5th and 6th November 2012

Visit to the workshop on 23rd January 2013