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1878 Father Willis Organ of All Saints Church, Hastings

Dr Gordon Stewart, international concert organist, plays our Father Willis in a arrangement of the Allegro from G F Handel’s Organ Concerto in F major “Cuckoo & the Nightingale” (No.13), HWV 295

The historic church of All Saints, Hastings has a fine Father Willis organ of 1878. Malcolm Lock, Director of Music at the church has kindly arranged access for the photography on this site and can be contacted at {This email is obscured. Your must have javascript enabled to see it}. The 31st Series was a huge success, attracting more music-lovers than ever to listen to a very varied programme played by some of the best organists in the UK.

Unfortunately the restrictions brought about by COVID-19 have made it impossible to present the series of concerts planned for the year. Fortunately the international concert organists, Gordon Stewart has recorded his traditional ‘end of series’ concert on August bank holiday Monday and you can watch it here.

Message from Malcolm Lock

I am delighted to announce that B C Shepherd & Sons of London – (www.bcshepherdandsons.co.uk) will be undertaking a comprehensive cleaning and repair of the All Saints organ commencing in February 2021 and finished in time for the Organ Concert series in the summer – subject always of course, we hope, that restrictions due to Covid 19 will have been lifted by then. You will be pleased to know that Gordon Stewart – who knows the organ inside out – has reviewed the estimate of works and given his full support.

The works can be summarised as follows:

  • A complete overhaul of the organ to include cleaning of all pipes – (last carried out over 50 years ago) and restoration of the pedalboard (currently in a very poor condition), keyboards, swell pedal and combination pedals .
  • Replacement of celluloid key coverings with recycled ivory.

Whilst the organ remains tonally very good the internal workings are not in such a good state but with these repairs in place I am confident that the wonderful Father Willis which has been passed down to this generation and enjoyed by so many people can be passed onto future generations in a good playing condition.

These repairs costing in excess of £70,000 would not have been possible but for the generosity of all those who have attended the concerts over the past 31 years – profits of which have gone into our Organ Fund and held in a “restricted” account. This plus the generous legacy left to us by the late Elizabeth Stevens, specifically for the All Saints organ, means we just about have enough funds to carry out these repairs. If you would like to contribute to the Organ Fund, please send a cheque payable to “St Clement & All Saints PCC” (marked Organ Fund on the reverse) to: Lower Hall, All Saints Hall, All Saints Street, HASTINGS TN34 3BG

I will keep you advised of developments in due course but in the meantime I send my good wishes to you all – keep healthy and safe!

Malcolm Lock, Director of Music & Organ Concert Series Co-Ordinator

Further information available from Malcolm Lock – Mobile: 07801068156

Please leave your email address in the form on the left to receive updates about the 2019 Series.

This very fine organ still sounds wonderful but its action is getting to the point that it will need a total rebuild. Are you interested in helping to raise funds for this project? Then please get in touch.