News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Danny Lawson/PA Wire
UK News

York Minster sells historic organ pipes to raise refurbishment funds

by Press Association

The 30 pipes date from the early 1830s - when a new organ was built following an arson attack in the cathedral - and have been silent for more than 100 years.

A further 70 pipes are being restored and will be brought back into musical use in the "once-a-century" refurbishment project.

The pipes have decorated the grand organ's case since 1832 and, while most are being cleaned, repainted and returned to the organ, 30 were found to be beyond repair and will be replaced.

The remaining pipes are being restored in a chapel at the minster by graining and marbling specialists, who will also decorate the new pipes to match the distinctive gold, green, cream and red decoration of the originals.

The organ - which weighs around 20,000kg and contains 5,403 pipes - has been removed from the minster to be repaired and rebuilt.

Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Conservation expert Robert Woodland works in St John's Chapel at York Minster on some of the 1830s case pipes, removed from the minster's Grand Organ for restoration and refurbishment.

The refurbishment includes extensive cleaning and the replacement of the organ's mechanism.

It will be returned to the minster early next year and should be back in use in autumn 2020.

Neil Sanderson, director of the York Minster Fund, said: "The auction is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to own a piece of York Minster's musical heritage, while supporting the future of organ music at the cathedral throughout the 21st century and beyond.

"Although, where possible, we have tried to retain and refurbish the instrument's original features, unfortunately around 30% of the case pipes were beyond economic repair.

"Three of these pipes will be kept in our historic collection as a record of the instrument but the remaining 30 are being offered for auction to raise funds towards the once-a-century refurbishment project."

The auction of the pipes will run until 12pm on Friday September 27.

For more information, visit

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.