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St Luke’s Parish Church Organ & Lighting Appeal Update

The Parish Church of St Luke is the special, landmark building for our local community in the centre of Holmes Chapel. It has been a place of regular Christian worship and for key lifetime events of birth, marriage, and death, since 1430. As we approach the 600th Anniversary, several aspects of the building need to be updated to enable its best use by all in the 21st century. The most urgent of these are the Organ and Lighting.

For the last fifteen months the congregations of St Luke’s, Holmes Chapel have been barred from singing hymns, but this has not stopped them making good plans for the day when indoor singing is allowed once more.

In October last year, at Harvest Festival, Canon Rob McLaren launched an £80,000 Appeal to replace the failing organ and provide eco-friendly, efficient lighting. The current church organ was rebuilt in 1971 with parts from the earlier 1886 and 1851 instruments and is in a poor state beyond economical repair.

In January an excellent pipe organ, built by Rushworth & Dreaper, was rescued from a church in the Wirral being demolished and rebuilt. This organ is now being refurbished by specialist organ builders in their workshops near Newcastle-under-Lyme, ready for installation in St Luke’s during July and August. When all is finished, including a new organ console and pedal board, churchgoers will be more than ready to sing God’s praises again.

Plans are in place for a Civic Service in September plus an organ recital and other concerts later in the year. Churchwardens, Jayne Weaver and Alastair Cragg, are looking forward to everyone being welcomed to hear the quality sound of the new pipe organ and to sing along.

The current lighting in the church is inflexible, expensive to run and requires regular replacement of the now obsolete halogen bulbs located at dangerous height. To get the best from this lovely old building improved lighting is needed which will highlight its attractive features and add brilliance to the regular services and special events. Modern LED lighting will provide flexible control and energy efficiency and require minimal maintenance. Coloured lighting will help provide a special atmosphere at major festivals and special family events. It is hoped that this new lighting system can be installed in November, ready for the season of Christmas.

Through the generosity of parishioners, local businesses and organisations, a total of almost £69,000 has been raised so far. If you would like to make a donation to this worthy appeal, you can visit the church appeal website or contact the Vicar, Canon Rob McLaren, by email at or phone 01477 668695.


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