This majestic instrument that fills the north transept, has enhanced the worship and musical events for almost one hundred years. The associated control console is situated out towards the center aisle, where it replaced the pulpit, which was moved across to the south side of the Chancel arch at that time.
The first mention of such an instrument was in 1866, when a Mr Walker was paid £ 9. 5s. "for taking down and re-erecting the organ". This original organ was sold and overhauled by Messrs Conacher for £ 60 to the church of St. Augustine at Margate, where the minister was the Rev. W M Abbott. During the intervening period, whilst new instrument was being manufactured, an American organ was loaned by Mrs Alexander of Cheveney.
Our present organ was initially dedicated by the Bishop of Croydon on Monday July 3rd 1905, at 3.15 pm, following the consecration of a new section to the burial ground at 11.30 am that morning.
This new organ which has two manuals and pedals cost £ 675. 6s., of which £ 620 went to the manufacturers Peter Conacher of Huddersfleld, who have good reason to remember the occasion, as their Works Manager, Mr Musson was killed, when he fell from the loading bay whilst our organ was being dispatched. Originally driven by water power, but quite often hand pumped, a Rockingham blower was added when electricity was installed in 1935.
When this organ was installed the organist was Charles Edmund Blunden, father of poet Edmund Blunden. The installation and dedication of this new instrument was recalled by Edmund:-
" Let me tell you about the new organ. The old one, made by Walker, had its peculiarities, and the day came when its doom was pronounced. In its place a new one, of which my father made the specifications, was provided by subscription. It was to be blown by hydraulic pressure, and the laying of the tubes required the digging up of the church - a most attractive unearthing of bones and skulls. The digging was the more extensive because the new organ had a 'detached console', and the pulpit changed sides to give it room. At last the builders had done their job, the pavements were replaced, and the organ was opened with due magnificence. "
A large congregation gathered for the dedication in 1905, so much so, that there was scarcely an empty place in Church. Several of the clergy from the neighbourhood were present, who, together with a full choir (to the number of about 40) made an imposing procession during the singing of the opening hymn
This service took the form of Shortened Evensong, with Dedication Prayers, and an address by the Bishop, special Psalms were sung, and Lessons read (the 1st by the Rev. F G Oliphant, Rector or Teston, and the 2nd by the Rev. R Swan, Vicar of West Peckham). During the service, the Rev. V A Busbridge took charge of the new organ, and at the close a Recital was given by H C Stewart, Esq, Organist of Tonbridge School.
Organ Concerto, No. 2 Handel
Cantilene Pastorale - A. Guilmant
Prelude and Fugue (A Minor) J S Bach
Grand Fantasia “The Storm” Lemmens