St Mellitus Church, in London’s Stroud Green, has at last fulfilled a long-held ambition to restore its historic First World War memorial organ.
In 2019 the church received a generous grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to repair the organ and implement an ambitious plan of community activities and events. Additional contributions have been generously donated by the St Mellitus congregation.
A Catholic church since 1959, the organ was commissioned in 1920 by the New Court Congregational parish, who also built the church in 1871.
The organ dates from the golden era of respected organ makers Alfred Hunter & Son of Clapham. It was built as a memorial to 221 men from the parish who went to fight in the First World War. Of these men, 46 died and 175 returned.
It’s only recently that current parishioners learned of the historical and musical importance of the church’s organ, which had fallen into disrepair.
The St Mellitus Organ Restoration Project, with the revitalised ‘king of instruments’ at its heart, will restore the organ back to its former glory in time for the centenary of its original dedication in December 2020. In accordance with the wishes of the parish’s forefathers 100 years ago, the organ will once again be a permanent memorial: “a constant reminder of those we would honour”.
The ambitious activity plan that accompanies the restoration of this piece of living history will revitalise the community and leave an important legacy – musical and historical – to its future custodians.
Follow the links below to find out more about our activities, how to get involved, and more about the organ.