Music at St. Peter's
St. Peter's has a long tradition with Anglican music. This is carried on today with some services which are sung Book of Common Prayer Evensong.
Our organists are Nigel Bates (Morning services) and Adam Field (Evensong).
Our resident music group plays at most morning services and consists of a number of talented musicians of all ages consisting of Violin, Recorder, Clarinet and Flute.
We very much welcome new people who would like to contribute to our music in this way.
Visiting choir from Reigate St. Mary's School Choir come to St. Peter's on a monthly basis.
Organs at St. Peter’s
The earliest known organ was a 4 stop barrel organ by H. Bryceson. This was replaced in 1866 by an 8 stop single manual organ built by Walker & Sons Ltd of Brandon at a cost of £175.7s. It was located under the tower and the bellows were pumped by hand.
In 1911, using parts from the Walker organ, Lewis & Co Ltd installed a two manual organ which was located in the north aisle and occupied part of the vestry. It is believed the bellows were powered by a water engine. In 1931, cable was laid to install an electric organ blower costing £89.9.6d (electric lighting did not arrive in church for another year). An electric blower is still located in the boiler room under the vestry, but it is not known if it is the original. The organ was restored in 1948 and 1956 by Kingsgate Davidson & Co Ltd of London.
In 1990, the PCC decided that a further restoration was beyond their means and elected to replace it with an electronic two manual organ by Makin Organs Ltd of Oldham at a cost of £15,000. For ten years the old Lewis pipe organ lay redundant until the Diocese agreed that it could be finally removed from the church. In 2001, the pipework was transferred to Portsmouth Roman Catholic Cathedral and the console was transferred to a church in Brixton. The remaining frontal case and pipes are still on display in the north aisle.
Electronic organs have been viewed as ‘second best’ to a pipe organ, but they are gradually becoming more popular as the technology over the last 20-30 years has improved greatly to reproduce a more accurate sound of a pipe organ. After 17 years, the Makin organ was becoming unreliable, and with its bespoke electronics, made further repairs uneconomic.
After much consultation with our organ advisor, Paul Isom, the PCC installed a new electronic organ in 2009 manufactured by Phoenix Organs of Darwen at a cost of £32,000. The high quality oak case of the previous organ has been retained. All electronic components including stops and manuals have been replaced, and a complete new and comprehensive speaker system installed which is much less intrusive than the old system.