Pershore Abbey's Newly Installed Ruffatti Organ

In November 2019, Fratelli Ruffatti, the pipe organ builders from Padua, Italy, announced the signing of a contract for the Pershore Abbey organ. “The new organ, a three-manual instrument of 33 stops, will be located inside two oak cases to be hung on the nave wall. The case design is contemporary, to blend in with the architectural lines of the splendid medieval arches. The façade will feature highly shiny pipes made from 95% tin alloy, a few of which will be embossed in a diamond pattern, a traditional feature of ancient organs.” The original specification provides the conditions for the highest possible versatility to support the liturgy, lead the choir and congregational singing and perform solo repertoire of different styles – from early baroque composers, through the classical and romantic schools, right up to the present day.

But there were obstacles in the path, first Brexit, then Covid and consequential material and component distribution difficulties, plus shipping delays. However, the delay to the project was put to good use as it allowed time to explore enhancements to the organ specification including the addition of a Zimbelstern and adjustments to various console accessories.

The organ you see in the Abbey today is a versatile instrument whose stops are of a distinctively European sound character – all meaningful, of classical proportions and voicing, and designed to blend in a wide range of combinations despite the space restrictions. The stop selection and the voicing techniques used take into account the request for an organ where clarity is paramount and a wide range of music can be heard both with precision and a sense of line. Versatility is not only the result of a well-balanced choice of stops, but also largely the result of proper pipe “scaling” or dimensioning, and proper voicing techniques. The particular style of voicing which Ruffatti utilizes (‘open foot’ for the fluework) guarantees clarity, precision of speech and a good blending of each stop in most combinations. The detailed organ stop specification is given below.

In transit to Pershore, the organ made an extraordinary sea voyage from Venice, via the Adriatic, Ionian and Mediterranean seas, the Atlantic Ocean, the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel. The consignment reached Pershore in February 2023 and the installation was completed in time to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III in May.

The installation of this superb new pipe organ is the culmination of some 8 years’ research and planning. People from all over the country have expressed interest in coming to see and hear it in this unrivalled historic setting – an instrument built with love, passion, and expertise, and made from the very best materials.

This project would not have been possible without the most generous financial support provided by the Friends of Pershore Abbey and those individuals who donated organ pipes – known as the ‘Pipers’.

Bookings now being taken for visiting organists and organ groups. Please contact for more information and a booking form.

There is evidence to suggest that an organ has been the voice of Pershore Abbey for centuries – a place that has been a centre for Christian Worship for over 1300 years – sitting at the heart of its town and providing a place of worship which concentrates on the life and needs of the community.

As a Major Church, we wanted to share the life of this former Benedictine Abbey with those who want to come and worship and mark life’s important events, with those who love history, and with those who want to enjoy good music and performance. Importantly, we wanted to emphasise  that all the Abbey’s work within the community is underpinned by the knowledge of God’s love for everyone.

What has always been recognised is that among all the instruments which are suitable for church worship, the organ takes pride of place as it has the capacity to sustain the singing of large gatherings by both its size and its ability to give resonance to the fullness of human emotions, from joy to sadness, from praise to lamentation.

For well over twenty years the Abbey has been in need of a new organ and has had to rely on temporary solutions to make things work, unfortunately even those were now failing. The situation simply could not continue. No church deserved an organ more, as Pershore Abbey strives to builds a sustainable future for the town, region and itself.

Securing a 3-manual pipe organ built by the world renowned Fratelli Ruffatti was the first step to an exciting plan to restore, renovate and reinvigorate both the buildings and parkland and begin new initiatives with the community.

We have been delighted that many individuals and organisations have chosen to support our new organ by sponsoring its organ pipes. Nearly £70,000 had been raised this way. Every pipe that has been sponsored has a dedication attached to it, making each gift a lasting tribute.

You can still be part of our Pipe Dreams journey by adopting a pipe

Although the installation of the organ is now complete, you can still be part of our dream and give your support to Pershore Abbey by adopting a pipe for yourself, in memory of a loved one or as a unique and lasting gift.

All of our facade pipes have now been adopted, but we still have many internal pipes available.

Download our Pipe Dreams Adoption Form here for further information or to adopt a pipe.

Pipe Dreams – Adopt a Pipe Donation Form

Gift Certificates are also available.

Please note that we are no longer able to add an individual dedication to your pipe, however, your dedication will still be recorded and displayed within the Abbey for future generations.

Swindon Male Voice Choir

I am writing to say a huge Thank You to Pershore Abbey staff and the Benefice Office for allowing Swindon Male Voice Choir to perform in your beautiful Abbey on Sunday [9 June 2024]. I know the men enjoyed singing there immensely, and although it was only a half hour presentation of music, the feedback I received from the audience was wholly positive, and everyone remarked on the amazing acoustics. I am grateful for the opportunity to share such a special moment with Swindon Male Voice Choir in The Abbey Church of The Holy Cross. A joyous, uplifting and truly memorable occasion for us all.”


Gloucestershire Organists’ Association

“Members of the Gloucestershire Organists’ Association visited Pershore Abbey to play the new Ruffatti organ on 13 January 2024. About 16 of us played during the afternoon and we heard a wide variety of music, from Bach and Buxtehude to Messiaen.  What everyone said was that the organ sounds beautiful and is a joy to play. It sounds good in all parts of the building and has a wealth of different colours within its stop list, which allows the player to create a myriad of combinations when registering their music at the console. We hope that the new Abbey organ is enjoyed by many more people in the years to come.  It is a real gem!”

The Installation

Watch the fascinating installation of our new organ with this collection of slides, kindly created by Judy Dale…

… and this video of the organ’s arrival.

Pershore Abbey Choir

Pershore Abbey has a friendly and dedicated choir, which leads our Sunday services. We are always keen to welcome new members so please do get in touch.

To find out more, please contact:
David Long, Judy Dale or Paul Trepte via the Abbey Office

11 Broad Street, Pershore
01386 552071