An organ is often one of the major furnishings in a church and requires regular maintenance and occasionally will need extensive work. The guidance on this site will help you care for your organ and make good decisions when the time comes to either undertake major repairs or to replace it.
The Routine care and maintenance of an organ is a matter for a professional organ builder. Details of accredited professional organ builders can be found from the Institute of British Organ Building.
It is strongly advised that the space around, or inside, an organ is not used for storage. Good access is essential for maintenance and keeping the space clear of storage reduces the risk of accidental damage.
Church heating will impact on the performance of an organ. Specific guidance on this is available here.
Repair or Replace?
A guide for parishes considering the future of their organ
This guidance will help you decide between repair and replacement of an organ and, if the choice is replacement, how to choose a new instrument.
Guidelines for organ builders' reports
You may need to ask your organ builder to prepare a report on your organ. These guidelines are intended show you and your organ builder the level of information that it is reasonable to expect in a report. The guidelines for organ builders reports have been agreed by the Church Buildings Council and the Institute of British Organ Building which is the professional association for organ builders. The guidance can be downloaded below.
Organ case guidance
The organ case is seen all the time, the organ heard only some of the time. If you have an organ with a decorated or architectural case it may occasionally need care or conservation. The following guidelines will assist with this.
Amplification of organs
Due to natural acoustics, organs will sound louder in some parts of a church building than in other parts. In most instances, this is not problematic, but in cases where an organ does not speak well into any part of a building, subtle amplification may be an appropriate measure. The following guidance note will assist parishes considering amplification.
For guidance over the disposal or an organ, or acquiring an organ for reuse please download the following guidance note
Play the organ
Although this site is primarily about caring for your organ, when you have one you will want to hear it used. Keeping and organ in regular use is good for it, and allowing its use for practice can be good for the organ and for the development of organists for the future. Information on where to get advice to develop an interest in playing can be found below.