Without reserve, I am delighted to be able to say that the people, and particularly the musicians of St Paul's Bedford, are absolutely thrilled with your comprehensive and very skilful re-build of St Paul's Organ. Your workmanship and layout of the instrument throughout is first class. The transformation of the instrument tonally is a revelation and the re-voicing of the existing pipe-work a triumph! It's flexibility now as an instrument which can lead hymnody, accompany the choir in its extensive choral repertoire, as well as perform as a thrilling recital instrument, give it exactly the versatility we require in a large and well used Parish Church. As you know we are a community which highly values its musical heritage and your work will do much to inspire and sure up the tradition in the years to come. From start to finish it was a pleasure to work with you on this great project. You and your team did everything to smooth the passage of the rebuild over the 18 months and can now feel justly proud of the work accomplished. Thank you!
Canon John Pedlar
Former Vicar of St Paul's Bedford
We chose Charles James Organs to be our tuners in 2009 based on a recommendation and from seeing the results of their previous work at St Margaret's, Leicester. From the outset, they have provided excellent advice and insight into the best way to get the most from our instrument, and have gone on to improve the overall blend of the Great chorus, and positioning/stability of the solo Great trumpet. They have provided us with what I now consider to be the finished article: a versatile two-manual instrument providing good support for choir and congregation, as well as versatility for our monthly recital series, given the relatively modest size of the organ. It is reassuring that they keep our instrument under constant review and their suggestions are always welcome and sensible. We are delighted with what has so far been achieved.
Dr Simon Ainge
Former Director of Music, St Peter's Parish Church, Oadby
Charles James Organs tunes and maintains the organ at All Saints Church, Goodmayes and the service provided is of a very high standard. Our organ was originally given by Queen Victoria to her church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham and replaced when Edward VII provided a new organ at the beginning of the 20th century. It was installed in All Saints Church in 1919 and has been changed very little since then. Perhaps because of the royal connection, the original materials of the organ have stood up very well to the test of time, but recently it was necessary to repair the action of the swell drawstop machine. This was taken away to Charles James Organs' workshop and was returned in a short space of time with all the leathers beautifully renewed, enabling us to hear the whole of the swell once again. The tuning service is extremely reliable and they are very good at finding ways to carry out minor repairs and maintenance within the tuning schedule. Charles James Organs can always be relied upon to come out when needed at short notice and this means that we do not need to worry about the organ when an important event or concert is coming up. It also helps that Iain is an organist himself and understands well the needs and concerns of church musicians.
Organist, All Saints Goodmayes
St Margaret's Church, Leicester, has been home to some fine organs over the past two centuries. In 2005, Charles James Organs undertook the mammoth task of recommissioning the church's large 4 manual organ which has stood silent for 15 years. The 1954 electronics were overhauled, the console stripped and cleaned, keyboards and pedal board reset and repaired, and much of the pipework cleaned and revoiced. A scrap-yard instrument gained another generation of playing - and the monthly Thursday lunchtime recitals by local organists reinstated. Without the wide-ranging skills, energy and dedication of Charles James Organs, this and many other organs under their watchful eye would now be history. The care and maintenance of British organs is in safe hands for many years to come.
Tim Lees FRCO
Former Organist at St Margaret's Church, Leicester
The discovery of song and the creation of musical instruments both owed their origin to a human impulse which lies much deeper than conscious intention: the need for rhythm in life the need is a deep one, transcending thought, and disregarded at our peril