Organ Peter DV-2021-800

There was apparently an organ in St Mary’s as early as 1451. The present organ is a descendant of one built in 1824 by John Vincent. Rebuilt in 1885 by T. C. Lewis and following further rebuilds, the organ is now a four-manual instrument, with five keyboard divisions, Solo, Swell, Great, Choir and Bombarde. Its most dramatic feature is a strong fanfare trumpet en chamade – the Trompeta Real – which continues down to the Pedal Organ at 16-foot pitch, to provide a very solid foundation for the full organ.  A versatile example of the romantic genre, the organ is suitable for playing any of the recitalist’s repertoire. 

Details and the full specification of our organ is available on the Organ Specifications at NPOR site and also in our leaflet about our organ. Thanks to Peter De Vile for updating this.

Our organist and director of music is Oliver King, with Jeremy Allen as assistant organist.

Organ Scholarship

trumpetroyal300x200Each summer we aim to appoint a Michael Swindlehurst Organ Scholar to start working with us in the early autumn. The closing date for applications is usually the end of June, with auditions and interviews in mid July. The scholarship is worth £752 plus lessons. If you know of anyone who might be interested, further details can be obtained from Oli King, email

This organ scholarship was established in memory of the Rev’d Canon Michael Swindlehurst, who died in 2017. Michael was a loyal and committed supporter of the music at St Mary’s, and the scheme honours his memory and provides an opportunity for the comprehensive, holistic and professional training of a young church musician. Funding is drawn from a number of different sources: St Mary’s Music Association, Saffron Walden, St Mary’s Church PCC, Saffron Walden, St Mary’s Church PCC, Wendens Ambo, and (at this point) community funding in Michael’s memory. The scholarship is usually be held for one year only.