The gifting of a pipe organ in 1874, in memory of Laurence St. George Carey, by his brother, added yet another dimension to the church. It made the quality of worship so much more attractive and became a vital and an integral part of the Services for over 125 years, until it began to have frequent breakdowns and went silent for a few years. However, after diligent repair, the lower key board was sufficiently restored and the organ played in this manner until it was replaced in 2009.
Being situated in the West gallery and with limitation of space, it was necessary that the new organ be of the same dimensions. A suitable second hand replacement was found in 2008 in a Presbyterian church in the suburbs of Bradford in the north of
England. It was made, perhaps, over a hundred years ago and the plate on the music desk indicates that it was built by “William Andrews, Bradford, City Organ Works”. The church had closed and the organ was simply scrap, but it was still very sound and, most importantly, had the right kind of mechanism to work reliably in the Kandy climate with little maintenance. The Muslim businessman, who had bought the church building, was very happy to donate the organ to St. Paul’s for a token sum.
Because of the simple mechanism, the organ could not be divided at either end of the gallery, like its predecessor, but now sits in the centre. However, it is of similar size and sound to the old instrument and can both whisper and inspire the singing with big, rich tones.
Reassembled at St. Paul’s in 2009, this, perhaps, is the largest pipe organ in regular use in Sri Lanka, leading singing week by week majestically down the length of St. Paul’s, to the glory of God.
The entire operation of locating, purchasing, transporting, dismantling, shipping it to Sri Lanka, reassembling and maintaining this organ is a very generous gift from The Rev. Cannon David Whittington and his team of friends from the United Kingdom. Truly, a labour of love.