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Vintage Organ

Organ and Liturgical Music

Our present music situation

At our quiet, beautiful, and musically inclusive 10am Sung Sunday Mass, we maintain a repertoire of hymns, psalms and a mass setting composed especially for our Church. For special occasions, a professional soloist or small group of choral singers offers a communion motet. We feel that the parish organ is at the heart of our work; through the sensitive accompaniment of our singing, and fresh voluntaries which can convey the character of the service with imagination and stylistic insight. In short, we value befitting music which is sensitively chosen, synonymous with the liturgical calendar. 

Vintage Organ

The Organ

The west end gallery houses the 'Harris of Birmingham' organ. It consists of nineteen ranks, speaking across two manuals and pedals in a double case and is playable from a detached console, in the gallery. The timbre is robust and lyrical and therefore has a particular sympathy to music by composers of the romantic era. The organ was consecrated on 11th July 1954, played by Andrew Moore, together with the BBC Midlands Chorus directed by John Lowe. Then followed Benediction. 

Church Song Sheets

The Choir Library

Our choir library is fascinating, and we are fortunate to have the music list of Dr. Bird from the 1940's which reveals an impressive choral repertoire (in the Latin polyphonic school) supported by congregational hymns from the 'Westminster Hymnal'. This list (which is available for viewing in the choir gallery) gives insight into the liturgical trends and significant musical capabilities of English Martyrs' at this time. 

Church Candles

The Church Chime (Carillon)

English Martyrs’ has a bespoke element to its music programme - the Taylor Chime, installed in 1946. Primarily, these bells inform those near that a service is about to take place. The bells are also a physical and permanent memorial to those in the parish who died in the second world war and their names are inscribed on the bells. 


Our Chime (which has a baton clavier) is one of approximately forty of its kind in England. A diatonic octave (as is in the belfry here) can play around one-hundred well known hymns and carols, chosen with sensitivity to the church’s calendar; coupled with a plethora of change ringing methods and original compositions. Perhaps, as you walk into English Martyrs', you'll be greeted with your favourite hymn tune. You're very welcome to stop and listen.

Specification Stop tabs from left to right

Pedal Organ 32 notes

  • 32' Resultant Bass (harmonic bottom octave)

  • 16' Open Diapason 

  • 16' Bourdon

  • 16' Echo Bass 

  • 8' Bass Flute (from 16' Bourdon)

  • 8' Lieblich Flute (from 16' Echo Bass)

  • 4' Octave Flute (from 16' Bourdon)

  • 16' Contra Oboe (from the Swell)

  • Swell to Pedal

  • Great to Pedal

Great Organ 61 notes

  • 16' Contra Oboe (from the Swell)

  • 8' Open Diapason No. 1 

  • 8' Open Diapason No. 2

  • 8' Hohl Flute 

  • 8' Dulciana 

  • 4' Principal

  • 4' Octave Diapason 

  • 2' Fifteenth 

  • Swell to Great

Swell Organ 61 notes

  • 8' Violin Diapason 

  • 8' Gedact 

  • 8' Salicional 

  • 8' Celeste 

  • 4' Gemshorn

  • 2 2/3' Twelfth

  • 2' Doublette  

  • 16' Contra Oboe

  • 8' Oboe (extended from the Contra Oboe)

  • 8' Trumpet

  • Sub Octave

  • Super Octave 

  • Unison Off 

  • Tremulant


  • Balanced swell pedal.

  • Three adjustable pistons to the Great and Pedal, doubled as toe studs.

  • Three adjustable pistons to Swell organ, doubled as toe studs.

  • Reversible Swell to Great piston, doubled as a toe stud.

  • Reversible Great to Pedal piston, doubled as a toe stud.

  • General cancel piston.

  • Piston combination banks 'A' and 'B'. 

  • The divisional pistons can be reset as six general pistons.

  • Electro-pneumatic action within the organ case and a Taylor mechanism to the console installed in the 1990's.

  • B.O.B. electric blower.


The Taylor mechanism, amongst other things, is unfortunately failing and the organ is in need of cleaning and restoration. Plans are underway to ensure the organ is in a condition to uplift, enhance and enthuse services at English Martyrs' in the best possible way it can, for many years to come. 

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