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£50,000 fundraising drive to restore church organ

A renewed push is on to raise funds for the restoration of the heritage organ at Wesley Methodist Church in Frome.

The organ, nicknamed ‘Romsey’ after Romsey Abbey, where it was originally procured from in 1854, is in urgent need of restoration and members of the church are raising money to help keep it fit for purpose.

Derek Trick, spokesman for the Wesley Slope Heritage Organ Appeal said, “The valuable and high quality pipe organ has served the Frome community for more than 175 years and is the resplendent internal focal point of the Grade II Wesley Methodist Chapel, a prominent landmark in the town.

“Although maintained to a high standard by successive church councils over the years, ‘Romsey’ is now in need of some urgent TLC to ensure its renowned tonal qualities are preserved for future generations.”

The organ appeal was launched 18 months ago with the aim of completely restoring the instrument to its original glory.

The plan is to undertake the restoration in specific phases over the coming years. In recent times a number of essential repairs have been undertaken as a pre-cursor to more in-depth work that is needed in the overall restoration programme.

Derek continued,                                     “Frome is fortunate to have such a magnificent heritage item in its midst. Beyond the major cathedrals, this particular instrument is probably the finest example of a pipe organ, from a halcyon era of organ making, in the West Country.

“We are hoping to push the appeal to £50,000 over the coming months, which will allow us to start to undertake some of the serious restoration, and which will also allow us to demonstrate a match funding element when we apply for grants to complete the project.

“As a church group we are aware of the demand on funding for humanitarian causes and shortfalls in our own community, and heritage projects are always difficult to justify.   

“Various church councils over the past century or so have managed to overcome similar difficulties and have safeguarded this wonderful instrument for us in the community.

“If we say the organ is insured for £1million it truly reflects its importance and value to the fabric of the Town and beyond.”

Donations to the appeal can be made online at www.virginmoneygiving.com (Wesley Slope Heritage Organ Appeal) or directly to the Wesley Frome Office, Wesley Slope, Frome, BA11 1HA.