Celebration organ recital at Heydon parish church

The village of Heydon is set to bring its recently restored pipe organ back to life in the 14th-century St Peter and Paul’s church with an organ recital on Friday 30 September.

The recital will be given by Ashley Grote, master of music at Norwich Cathedral and a fellow of the Royal College of Organists.
The programme will include popular organ works by J.S. Bach, Elgar, Handel, Louis Lefébure-Wély’s famous Sortie in E flat and Widor’s mighty Toccata from the 5th Symphony.
The rare and unusual pipe organ in the historically important church has just undergone a full restoration owing to a grant of £33,600 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, together with funds raised over several years by various activities in the village near Reepham.
The organ was donated to the parish in 1883 by General Edward Bulwer in memory of his wife, Belle, who had died aged 45.
General Bulwer was a member of the family (now Bulwer-Long) who have owned the Heydon Estate and have lived at Heydon Hall since 1756.
The village is one of only about a dozen English villages that remain predominantly family-owned and became Norfolk’s first conservation area in 1971.
In 2014, the organ was awarded a Grade II certificate by the British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) as it includes an unusual reverse console, which permits the player to look out in to the church instead of facing inward.
The organ has been listed in the BIOS National Pipe Organ Register as “an instrument of importance to the national heritage and deserving of careful preservation for the benefit of future generations”.
The recital will begin at 7 pm with two halves of 45 minutes and a 20-minute interval for refreshments.
Tickets cost £20 and are available online or from Heydon Village Tea Shop, The Street, Heydon (open Wednesday–Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm).
For more information contact: Charles Shippam, PCC Organ Restoration Project Coordinator 01263 587865 or email.
See our earlier story:


Heydon parish church. Photo: © Andrew Whitehead

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