Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Mayfair
The first organ in Third Church was a secondhand instrument installed by Willis with one manual and 5 stops.
On completion of the new Church at No.7 Curzon Street in 1910, Norman & Beard had installed a 3 manual and pedals organ with pneumatic action, although it was not until 1920 that the instrument was completed. The specification had been drawn up in consultation with Sir George Martin, organist at St Paul's Cathedral. During 1928 to 1930, the sumptuous and very fine renaissance case by E A Richards, built by Elliot and Sons of Reading, with carvings by L F Roslyn, was completed. This case was described as "the best carving since Grinling Gibbons" and used 40 tons of mature English Oak.
By the end of the 1970's, with a dwindling congregation, the members of the Church took the major decision to reduce the overall size of the building and locate worship to the front of the Church, retaining the beautiful facade. The organ was dismantled, with the case being shipped to Bowral, New South Wales and re-erected in two sections; the remaining pipework was sold to various organ builders.
In 1981, following the re-ordering of the building, Hill, Norman & Beard had installed a two manual and pedal extension organ.
Recently, in consultation with Church's organist, Mark Cyphus, we drew up a specification to convert the existing instrument into a straight organ. It was quite clear that the extended pipework from the existing instrument was of good quality and voicing, so would readily move to straight ranks. After careful discussion, we agreed that five new ranks of flue pipes were required to complete the specification, with the 16-8-4 reed being remade to provide an independent 16ft Trumpet on the pedal and, with the provision of 18 new bass pipes and revoicing of the remaining pipes, an 8ft Closed Horn on the Swell. New direct electric pipechests were designed and constructed by Brian Plumb for the new pipework, along with a new bellows and blower for the Great division. The pipework was scaled and manufactured, with the fluework being voiced by Michael Buttolph, who had been involved with the 1981 instrument.
The Church possesses a complete instrument with real tonal integrity, which will serve their musical needs for many years to come.