Maximillian Elliot to give organ recital at dementia-friendly tea series at St Chad’s

Dr Maximillian Elliot: Organ recital at St Chad’s Church

ORGANIST Dr Maximillian Elliott will give the next Dementia Friendly Tea Concert at St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road, York, on April 29.

Max is assistant director of music at St Olave’s Church and All Saints Church, North Street, as well as being the diocesan organ advisor with Robert Sharpe.

“As usual, the format for Max’s recital will be about 45 minutes of classical music followed by tea, coffee and homemade cakes, with a chance to chat,” says co-organiser Alison Gammon.

“The event is a relaxed concert, ideal for people who may not feel comfortable at a formal classical concert, so we do not mind if the audience wants to talk or move about!

“Seating is unreserved and there’s no charge, although donations are welcome. We give the hire cost to the church and the rest goes to Alzheimer’s charities.”

Dates for the monthly series of Thursday concerts are in the diary up to Christmas, all starting at 2.30pm: May 19, Isobel Parsons, cello, and Robert Gammon, piano; June 16, Peter and Julia Harrison, flute and poetry reading; July 21, Hannah Feehan, guitar; August 25, Robert Gammon.

Then come: September 15, Flauti Felice, flute ensemble; October 20, Billy Marshall, French horn, and Robert Gammon, piano; November 17, Giocoso Ensemble, wind group; December 8, Ripon Resound Choir.

The church has wheelchair access via the church hall. A small car park is complemented by on-street parking along Campleshon Road, “but it can get busy, so do allow plenty of time,” forewarns Alison. “We hope you will be able to come to the concerts, where it’s lovely to see new faces along with the regulars.”

St Lawrence Trinity Festival marks £410,000 organ restoration with recitals

Undergoing restoration: The organ at St Lawrence Parish Church after its move from St Michael-le-Belfrey

YORK Minster is not the only church building in York with a headline-making organ restoration project.

By comparison with the £2 million price tag to dismantle, clean and repair the 5,400 pipes of the cathedral’s grand organ, a sum of £410,000 has perked up the 1885 Denman organ at St Lawrence Parish Church, in Lawrence Street.

In an alternative kind of organ donation, It had been transferred from St Michael-le-Belfrey for restoration and installation by Malvern organ-building firm Nicholson & Co at St Lawrence.

St Lawrence Parish Church in Lawrence Street: York’s second largest ecclesiastical building

To mark the project’s completion, the Anglican 19th century church will hold the St Lawrence Trinity Festival of music and services from May 29 to June 5 in light of the Step 3 relaxation of the Coronavirus restrictions.

The festival programme will include a demonstration of the organ by Nicholson & Co ahead of the inaugural recital by Robert Sharpe, York Minster organist and director of music, on May 29 at 10.30am.

In a Festal Choral Evensong on May 30, the restored organ will be blessed by the Bishop of Whitby, the Right Reverend Paul Ferguson, at 6.30pm. 

“The church finally has an organ worthy of its size,” says Jonty Ward, director of music at St Lawrence Parish Church, where he will play a recital on June 3

Looking forward to the restorative festival, Jonty Ward, director of music at St Lawrence, says: “We are very pleased to have such a brilliant range of musicians from York coming to take part in the Trinity Festival 2021, and that there is such a magnificent instrument at the very centre of it.

“St Lawrence is the second-largest ecclesiastical building in York after only the Minster, providing plenty of space for people to attend the festival and safely enjoy the fantastic music as the church finally has an organ worthy of its size.”

Throughout the festival week, further organ recitals will be performed by musicians associated with St Lawrence and the City of York: William Campbell, May 31, 4pm; David Norton, June 1, 4pm; Jonty Ward, June 3, 4pm, and Timothy Hone, music and liturgy administrator at York Minster, June 4, 4pm.

The 1885 Denman organ, restored by Nicholson & Co

The Black Sheep Consort will give a 7pm recital on May 31; the feast of Corpus Christi will be marked with a Sung Mass on June 3 at 7.30pm, and the festival will culminate with Choral Matins on June 5 at 11.30am.

Attendance is free to all the events, but booking is required for the Inaugural Recital (May 29) and the Festal Choral Evensong (May 30) at

St Lawrence Parish Church is on Lawrence Street, just east of Walmgate Bar, York. Postcode: YO10 3WP.

The retro-designed poster for the St Lawrence Trinity Festival 2021