Liverpool Cathedral launches £900,000 organ fund-raising appeal

LIVERPOOL Cathedral music bosses hope to raise almost £1m to restore the largest organ in the UK.

They have launched an appeal to find £900,000 needed to carry out full repairs and restoration to the famous Willis organ.

And they say a tenth of that, around £90,000, is needed “as a matter of urgency” for work including the “re-voicing” of the 10,267-pipe organ’s reeds.

A further £90,000 will then be needed for less urgent general restoration work, while church leaders estimate it will cost another £200,000 to clean the 83-year-old instrument.

Extra funding would allow the cathedral to complete the Echo Organ which was on craftsman Henry Willis’s original specification, and to build up a fund for running repairs.

Cathedral organist Professor Ian Tracey, said: “We’ve been thinking about the appeal for about a year and the work has been planned so it could be done in sections while the organ continues to be used. It will be a rolling appeal.

“It’s an immense job. Every single pipe and every single entity in every pipe needs individual attention.”

Fund-raising ideas include an “adopt-a-pipe” scheme and an organ gala on June 20.

It is 50 years since the organ last underwent major refurbishment, and all of the main soundboards still date from when it was installed in 1926.

The organ, which is larger than that in the Royal Albert Hall and the Willis organ at St George’s Hall, was funded by a Liverpool mechant heiress and built between 1915 and 1926.

It has 10,267 pipes ranging from 32ft to half-an-inch long, covers nine octaves and is powered by five electric motors.

Anyone who wants to donate to the appeal can call Sue Murphy on 0151-709 6271 or visit