The organ at St Mark’s was built in 1915 by J.W Walker & Sons for the new church. It is generally accepted to be a fine example of an instrument in the turn-of-the-century ‘Romantic’ style.
Unusually it has remained as originally built, with only the most minor changes over the years. It is a three manual instrument with 42 ranks including good reeds and mixtures.
The action is electro-pneumatic, a form of construction that was in vogue for a short period, but is prone to problems and is no longer used.
Harry Bramma (then Organ Adviser to the Diocese of Southwark) wrote in 1992:
“I have no hesitation in saying that this is a very remarkable organ – one of the finest in the Diocese of Southwark. To build the instrument new today (1992) would cost approximately £350,000. It is, therefore, a precious asset which should be cherished. It is not only a large organ – it is also an extremely good one. Indeed I would go as far as to say that it is probably one of the best examples of Walker’s work of this period.”
Sadly, the organ is deteriorating, and the time has come to carry out major work. The importance of the instrument cannot be denied, and to do the work properly will cost in the region of £350,000.
The proposal is to break up the work into two main stages. The first will see a remote console, that will double as a stand-alone electronic organ, constructed by Willis & Co of Liverpool, one of Britain’s great organ builders. The second stage will be the renovation of the pipe instrument. During this work the new electronic organ will stand in, and on completion it will be connected to the pipe organ, allowing the organist to play from the existing console in the organ loft, or from the body of the church.
Please revisit this page to see progress on this appeal, including the launch date.