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Pulling Out All The Stops

Organ recital at St John the Evangelist, Redhill – 16.00hrs Sunday 17 September 2023

Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is given an original interpretation courtesy of organ stops named the Piccolo and Clarinet Flute in a recital by organist Robert Cooper at 16.00hrs on Sunday 17 September at St John’s Church, Redhill. The church will be open from 14.00hrs to 17.00hrs, with guided tours sharing its 180-year history as part of Heritage Open Days England.

The organ, which is regarded as one of the finest in Surrey, was built and installed by famed Henry Willis (aka Father Willis) in 1897. Willis also built or rebuilt around 1,000 other organs, including those at Alexandra Palace, the Royal Albert Hall and St Paul's Cathedral. Robert Cooper has chosen pieces to illustrate the organ’s scope, also including classics such as Bach.

The church of St John the Evangelist was built in 1843, with aisles added in 1860, and then later enlarged (1889-95) by architect John Loughborough Pearson, a famed exponent of Victorian Gothic.

The church features the original Victorian stained-glass windows, a gilded triptych, an angel font and eagle lectern. Guided tours for visitors will include the opportunity to explore St John’s 185ft spire, which houses eight bells. These bells were installed in 1895, and are hung for full circle ringing, with a peal considered to be one of the easiest going in Surrey.

Refreshments including home-made cakes and scones will be served throughout the afternoon.

For further information: Jo Josh, 07787 530922 or

St John the Evangelist website:

Editor’s notes:

1. Heritage Open Days: Established in 1994, Heritage Open Days is England's contribution to the European Heritage Days and has since grown into the country's largest community heritage festival: see website

2. Father Willis Organ at St John’s: for organ afficionados, the instrument has three manuals of 58 notes each, a 30-note pedal board and a ‘trigger’ swell pedal. There are eight stops on the Great Organ, nine on the Swell, six on the Choir and six on the Pedal Organ.


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