pipe organs by Willis and Gilks
There are two instruments in St John’s: a two-manual organ in the nave, which underwent a major renovation in May 2014; and a smaller one in what was originally the chancel. This part of the church is now known as St Andrew’s Chapel and is separated from the nave by glass doors. It has an excellent acoustic and is used for services with smaller congregations and for choir rehearsals.
The nave organ was installed by Henry Willis in 1881-6 in a newly-built organ chamber, east of the instrument’s present position. It is a fine example of a two-manual instrument. It was moved in 1973 from its previous position and can now be clearly heard in the nave! The oak case dates from 1987.
When it was built the money raised did not quite run to the planned specification and so the Great Mixture and Trumpet and the Swell Oboe were omitted. The Mixture was added by Willis shortly before the organ was moved and the Trumpet and Oboe were installed by Manders (who maintain the organ) in 1998, as was as the Vox Angelica in the same year.
The renovation in May 2014 was carried out thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor and a substantial grant from the Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust.
The small organ in the St Andrew’s Chapel, which has four stops, is by Gilks of Peterborough and was moved to St John’s from a local redundant church in West Tisbury in the 1970s.
In addition to the two organs, the church has a high quality 6ft Yamaha C3 grand piano, which was acquired in 2009. It can be used either in the nave or in St Andrew’s Chapel. The church also has the use of a Clavinova electric piano.