Archive for November, 2010

Foxearth Parish Church — The Organ

Ken Nice wrote the following a number of years ago but the information contained therein is still both relevant and useful. We publish it for your information.

From the 17th century onwards it was the custom of organ builders in England to give to the man they considered to be the best in their profession at the time the appellation of “Father” In the 19th century, for some 40 years or so, this honour was accorded to Henry Willis of London – and Foxearth Church is the proud possessor of a Father Willis organ.
It is rare to find small examples of Willis’ craft still in use; Halstead has one – but the real monster is in the Royal Albert Hall in London! The organs in St. Paul’s. Canterbury, Salisbury and Truro cathedrals are just four of the many large Willis organs still in use.

The Foxearth organ was built in 1862/3 at a cost of 300 guineas at the instigation of John Foster, Rector of the parish from 1845 until his death in1892, and it was officially opened at a service on Tuesday, 10th October 1863 to commemorate the completion of Foster’s restoration of the church.

What a wonderful sight the church must have been on that day with its recently erected tower and spire – 150 ft high and built by Foster in memory of his second wife, Margaret who died on Easter eve 1861. Inside the church the gold leafing and varnish would have glistened in the light of gas jets supplied from the rectory gas works – another Foster innovation!

Over the years the organ has undergone several renovations and is now of course electrically blown.The organ has two manuals and a limited pedal board and a rather difficult-to-operate swell box. Also the original tracker action remains as does the pipework according to a contemporary account of the opening service. – In fact there were actually three services on that day and Henry Willis himself played the organ with each service having its full quota of canticles, psalms and hymns with a large surpliced choir.

KN 2005


We look forward to welcoming everyone to our annual Carols by Candlelight on WEDNESDAY December 22nd - 6pm.
Once again, this will be led by Kirbye Voices and local readers, and followed by seasonal refreshments, including the legendary mulled cyder & cranberry juice whose aroma fills the church during the service!
Please bring a candle in a jam jar for safety (NO Torches please!)
Come early – last year was standing room only!

We are pleased to announce that Liston is to have a Monthly Holy Communion service (with hymns) on the FIRST Sunday of each month at 6pm – starting on Sunday February 6.
As this is also near Candlemas (Feb 2), there will be a short Sung Compline by Candlelight immediately following the Holy Communion service at 7pm – followed by soup or hot chocolate.
Do please support this new regular monthly service for it to flourish & continue.

There is to be another Valentines Supper /Caberet in aid of Liston with Borley Churches, in Foxearth Village Hall again on Saturday February 12 at 7 for 7.30 .
Lets All Go To The Music Hall! ‘will be presented by High IQ and friends, and include a traditional cockney style supper to compliment the musical fare!
You are encouraged to dress in Victorian or Edwardian costume as enjoyed on BBC TV’s
The Good Old Days, and singing along is positively encouraged! - Songsheets provided for those who claim to be too young to know the words!! Tickets (£20) on sale now from Claire Flux (375864) or
Sara Payne (310353).

Harvest Supper – Foxearth

The Harvest Supper is now becoming a highly anticipated and regular event and on Friday 22nd October the hall was packed with residents. It was a full house with all tickets being sold well before the date. What was very rewarding was seeing many of our new villagers in attendance.

A slight problem with bar supplies was quickly sorted out and before long all present were enjoying a pre-supper drink or two whilst waiting for the food to arrive.

Val Hastie, Pat James and Mary Waite served us with a splendid supper of Fish Pie, Shepherds Pie, various sweets and bread and cheese. Our thanks to them for making the evening the success it was.

We had good food, good wine and beer, good music and best of all good company. Make sure you do not miss it next year.