St Helens Church, High Street, Wheathampstead, St Albans, AL4 8AA. Worship Times: 10am every Sunday

Virtual Guide: The Organ

July 2023: This page contains placeholder text for a proof of concept trial. We intend to refine this information at a later date.

The Organ is one of the ways in which the music in worship is accompanied at services in this church. It is also used in concerts and for recitals, and of course by those who are learning and rehearsing.

Music, and especially that of the organ, is used to help with meditation at the beginning of a service and to send out the people with a joyful voluntary ringing in their ears at the end. 

It accompanies the gladness of a wedding and echoes the grief at a funeral and it leads great hymns and anthems of praise as well as quiet, solemn and thoughtful singing to reflect the worship being offered.

The organ pipes
The organ manuals and stops

The organ, a 1969 Hill Norman & Beard 2 manual pipe organ replacement of the previous 1908 Walker organ, has been in use for over 50 years. A plaque nearby commemorates Patrick Ogden who supervised the 1969 installation. A Dedham Organ Systems combination capture system was added in 2001.

In 2016 the organ was fitted with a SolidState transmission & control system by F H Browne & Sons, the 2′ Gemshorn was revoiced and the 8′ Gemshorn added to the Great division. The SolidSate system replaced the previous Dedham system and links the console and pipes with a single ethernet cable, thus allowing a more flexible siting of the console. (The console has been in two new positions since this change!)

The organ has 660 pipes in 3 divisions: Pedal (32 keys, 4 stops), Great (56 keys, 5 stops) and Swell (56 keys, 5 stops), including an unusual Tremulant in the Swell. Further details are available in our entry of the National Pipe Organ Register—

This is a short recording of music from the organ.

… With psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, sing from the heart in gratitude to God. Colossians 3.16