By the late 1990's it had become apparent that the organ was once again in need of a major overhaul. It was unreliable and temperamental and had been severely affected by water damage several years previously. The Diocesan Organ Advisor pointed to a number of problems, the most serious being the need to replace the sound boards at an estimated cost of some £30,000. However, he did not feel that such an investment was justified by the overall quality of the organ.
Various options were considered, including the possible acquisition of a second-hand instrument, but it was not until 2003 that a viable solution was presented to the PCC. An anonymous benefactor offered to pay for a new, state of the art, three manual electronic organ. Following a demonstration in the church of the Eminent DCS organ by the supplier, Cathedral Organs Ltd of Welwyn Garden City, the PCC agreed to accept the generous offer and put in hand the necessary faculty application. It is hoped that the installation will be completed during 2004 at a total estimated cost of about £25,000, including structural work for supporting the speaker housing.
The 3 manual Eminent DCS400 includes the following key features in the specification:
Three 61 note manuals having a light tracker feel top resistance and a 32 note concave/radiating pedal board with two expression pedals for Swell and Choir control.
52 speaking stops, including 8 Alterable Voices for use with the Library.
8 'General' pistons and 8 Departmental pistons to Swell and Great, each having 16 memory banks, with coupler reversing pistons.
12 solid brass toe pistons duplicating General thumb pistons and couplers.
16 channels of amplification - 6 low, 6 high and 4 bass - having 100 watt RMS amplifiers to each high channel and 200 watt RMS amplifiers to each low and bass channel. Speakers and amplifiers sited at the rear of the church
5 channels of amplification and speakers in the Chancel area, separately switched from the organ console.
A built-in Library of 64 extra stops.
The future of the pipe organ will be decided at a later date.