St George’s Church, Woolhope is to welcome one of the country’s leading organists for a celebration recital on Wednesday, September 27.

Peter Holder, recently appointed as sub-organist at Westminster Abbey, to which he will move from his current post at St. Paul’s Cathedral, has very kindly agreed to present a recital in aid of The Friends of Woolhope Church, who are celebrating the restoration of their fine Victorian pipe organ.

On behalf of the Friends, Bill Gunn (Secretary) said: ‘We are thrilled that such a distinguished musician as Peter Holder will be coming to play for us in Herefordshire. It will be a change from the international audiences he is used to, but the welcome will be every bit as warm”

Built in 1862 by William Vincent of Liverpool, a pupil of the renowned organ-builder ‘Father’ Henry Willis, the Woolhope organ was installed in 1884, and comprehensive mechanical repairs have recently been carried out by the Malvern firm of organ-builders Nicholson and Co.

When originally installed, the external pipes of the organ carried a flamboyant “High Victorian” design in green and gold, which by the 1960s had deteriorated badly through a combination of ambient damp and noxious fumes emanating from an antiquated coke-fuelled heating system. Thanks to the generous support of a local benefactor and a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the original decoration has been fully restored by the expert Bristol-based conservator Elizabeth Holford.

The recital on September 27 at 7pm (open to all, tickets £5 on the door) will be the first in a series at St. George’s to run through 2018 and beyond, featuring a number of distinguished local organists.