Cost and reliability
There are many examples of well built pipe organs that have been in regular use for many years where the cost of installation and maintenance are modest for the use made of the organ.
The cost of a pipe organ is almost directly proportional to size.
Any pipe organ with reed pipes needs tuning, usually twice a year for a typical parish church. Pipe organs with mechanical action need cleaning and minor repairs at intervals of 25-40 years, at a cost which may be about 5 per cent of that of a new instrument. In the long run, pipes and casework will last almost indefinitely.
Making a Choice
Assess the potential of your existing organ in relation to your needs, taking into account not only musical but liturgical and financial aspects.
Any proposal for restoration or replacement of the organ in an Anglican church will require a faculty, and you should seek the advice of the Diocesan Advisory Committee, with its Organs Adviser at an early stage. Click the link to find the contact details for your DAC.
It is often important to take independent advice. You can get help from the Association of Independent Organ Advisers. An adviser from the AIOA will be able to assist you with matters that go beyond the role of the DAC. Follow the link for more information.
In conclusion, your choice will lie between:
1. Restoration and repair of an existing instrument without fundamental change. This is almost always preferred when an organ is of historic value.
2. Adaptation and either enlargement or reduction in size of an existing instrument, perhaps in conjunction with removal to a new position.
3. The acquisition and installation of an existing pipe-organ. Click here for more information
4. Commissioning a new pipe organ.
A fuller version of this advice can be downloaded below.