The St Barnabas Morecambe

Coronation ​Organ Project

We are raising £110,000 to install a magnificent 1865 Father Willis organ in our church. This exciting project is to celebrate the Accession and Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.

Find out more about our project

Who was Father Willis?

How you can help

About our parish


A fundraising concert for the Coronation Organ Fund on ​20th July 2024 at 3pm. Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for ​under 16s, including refreshments.

The choir was founded in 2008 at Outlane Methodist ​Church in Huddersfield and has since grown to 50 strong ​members. The programme includes Look to the Day ​(Rutter), The Lord is my Shepherd (Smelt), Seal Lullaby ​(Whitacre) and much more.

Soprano Colleen Brown will sing classical and show songs, ​and Ian Pattinson, Lancaster Priory organist, will play ​chamber organ interludes.

There will also be a raffle, and cake sale to support our ​young peoples’ pilgrimage to Walsingham.

Concert Poster

Press Release

Book Tickets

Progress on the installation of the new organ

The Diocese is also blessed in having in the ​parish of St Barnabas, a congregation who are ​fiercely committed to installing a fine working ​organ in their church despite the challenges of ​living in one of the most deprived areas in the ​Diocese of Blackburn, and the country...they ​are to be applauded for their vision and ​commitment

David Hodge KC, Diocesan Chancellor

Our Project

Our curent organ, built by Wadsworth and Brother in 1913, is in a very poor condition. We sought advice from Paul Hale, a member of the Association of Accredited Organ Advisors who concluded this instrument has passed the stage where restoration can be justified.

After three years of searching, we have salvaged a redundant Willis organ from a closed United Reformed Church in Weybridge. This instrument is in excellent condition and has been well maintained. The

variety of stops provide excellent tonal “colour” to accompany our services, and also to play a significant amount of the solo organ repertoire. We have sought advice

from a number of organists and independent experts, and all have agreed that this organ is an almost perfect instrument for our church building.

The dismantled organ is being stored in the north aisle of the church until our fundraising is complete. It will be installed by Gary Owens of GO Organ Builders.

A video of the organ being played at Weybridge

In the summer of 2022, we were made aware of the organ at Weybridge, and Father Michael visited the church with Mr Samuel Austin, director of music at Pocklington School and a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. After playing the organ, Samuel commented:

I was invited to Weybridge URC see and play the Father Willis organ. It was an enjoyable instrument to play. The console is by Henry Willis III and utilises his characterful stop taps and the simulated tracker touch.

Tonally, the most impressive part of the instrument was the warm and enveloping Great 8’ 4’ 2’ principal chorus and the bold and characterful 8’ and 4’ flutes. The Tromba is more of a chorus reed than a solo stop and adds an element of fire to the Great chorus. The Swell reeds are colourful, the Open Diapason is broad and warm, the strings are soft and the Stopped Diapason has the tone similar to a Lieblich Gedackt. The pedal contains a variety of 16’ stops which with some extension to 8’ and 4’. This division is certainly capable of supplying plenty of foundation tone to support the rest of the instrument, but there are also softer combinations available to underpin more subtle registrations.

I believe this will be an excellent organ for relocation at St Barnabas Morecambe and warmly commend it to the PCC.

The specification of the new organ as it will be installed at St Barnabas


32’ Resultant Bass

16’ Open Bass

16’ Sub Bass

16’ Bourdon

16' Trombone

8’ Octave Bass

8’ Stopped Flute

4’ Super Octave

4’ Octave Flute

Swell to Pedal

Swell to Pedal 4

Great to Pedal


16' Bourdon

8’ Open Diapason

8’ Stopped Diapason

8’ Dulciana

4’ Principal

4’ Flute

2 2/3’ Nazard

2’ Fifteenth

8’ Tromba

Swell to Great 16

Swell to Great

Swell to Great 4


8’ Open Diapason

8’ Stopped Diapason

8’ Aeoline

8’ Voix Célestes

4’ Principal

IIIrk Cornet 12.15.17

8’ Trumpet

8’ Oboe


Swell Sub Octave 16

Swell Unison Off

Swell Octave 4

The Willis organ was built in 1865. Father Willis himself gave the opening recital on the instrument, and the organ was expanded further by the Willis firm throughout the twentieth century. An electro-pneumatic action with detached console was provided in 1957, and the first recital on this was given by Harold Darke. The organ has been very well maintained and cared for, being used to accompany choirs and for many organ recitals which continued until the church was sadly forced to close. Minister Michael Hodgson and his congregation were keen for the organ to be saved and given a new home.

The organ was dismantled and moved to St Barnabas in February 2023, and will be installed in the church in 2024.

The church’s musical heritage and offering, and consequently its

worship, liturgy and mission, will be clearly, and considerably, enriched and enhanced.

David Hodge KC, Diocesan Chancellor

Who was Henry Willis?

Henry Willis (1821-1901) was the foremost organ builder of the Victorian era. He is called "Father" Willis as he is widely regarded as the father of British organ building.

In 1851, he created the largest organ at the Great Exhibition with 70 speaking stops. This was later moved to Winchester Cathedral. During his career, he built around 1000 instruments, including the organs at the Royal Albert Hall, St Paul's Cathedral and many other British cathedrals, parishes and concert halls.

The company he founded in 1845, Henry Wiilis & Sons remained in his family until 1997. Willis organs are renowned for their quality of craftsmanship and tone.

I am pleased to be able to contribute to such a worthwhile project which has been very well thought out and is a good solution to what must have seemed an almost intractable problem.

A project donor

How to help

So far, we have raised £90 000 through private donations and grants, including the Pilling Trust and Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund.

We still need at least another £20 000 to be able to complete our project.

Donate online

Sponsor a pipe: donations between £10 and £100

Sponsor a stop: donations between £110 and £1000

Join our new mailing list for project and parish news

Our online shop: Coronation Organ Merchandise

Like our Facebook page for project updates

Our Parish

St Barnabas Church is located on Regent Road in the heart ​of the West End of Morecambe

We are an active and welcoming church, worshiping in the ​Catholic tradition of the Church of England

Our main Sunday service is the Parish Mass at 10am, with ​Sunday School each week. Weekday masses usually take ​place at 6pm on Tuesday, 9.30am on Wednesday and 12 noon ​on Friday.

Mass Times and Notices for the Week

Children's Calendar

Our Church Shop

Donate to Parish Funds

Our Facebook Page

Contact Us

Fr Michael Childs SSC

St Barnabas Vicarage

101 Regent Road



01524 941521

How to find us

St Barnabas Church is on the corner of Regent Road and Chatsworth Road, next to West End School. The main church door is on Regent Road, close to the junction with Westminster Road. The closest postcode is LA3 1TF.

For groups in the church hall/community centre e.g. The Well Communities, Morecambe Homeless Action, please use the white door next to the bus stop on Westminster Road.


St Barnabas Church is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and vulnerable adults

For further information, please see our safeguarding policy here

Contact details for our parish and diocesan safeguarding officers may be found here

Further information and contacts are available from the Diocese of Blackburn Safeguarding Team