A Passionate & Creative Musician

St. Katherine's Cathedral Grand Organ

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The Grand Organ of St. Katherine's Cathedral has had an interesting life. Originally it was built for St. Peter's Church in Manchester and funded in the main by Benjamin St. John the Baptist Joule, brother of the famed scientist of the same surname. In 1853 Benjamin became honorary organist and choir master of St. Peter's  finding the church in a "forlorn condition". Joule set about turning it back into what it should have been, a vibrant place of worship. in 1856, Joule asked the firm of Jardine & Kirtland to build a new kind of organ, one which encompassed the best of the English organ of that time as well as of those on the continent. Joule even went so far as sending Jardine & Kirtland to study pipe construction and voicing with the great continental organ builders including Aristide Cavaille-Coll.  When Joule retired after forty years the fortunes of St. Peter's rapidly declined and by 1906 the church was closed. The organ was then given to St. Bride's Old Trafford and installed there in 1907. In 1987 the organ was played for the last time by Ian Gray for the closing service  after which it was removed from the church and placed in storage for thirty years.

When the now Bishop Ian Gray was given the St. Katherine's Priory Church, the decision was made to install the organ in the gallery. 

On the following page I have included the specification of the organ as it now stands.