The question of cost must be addressed. The Anglican diocese of Oxford was willing to give the instrument to a good home at no charge. However, there is a considerable outlay in the moving and restoring the instrument. At present the action (the process of making the movement of the keys and stop knobs affect the flow of air though the pipes) is pneumatic. This would be changed to electric to allow the console (keyboards) the be placed more appropriately for St Gregory’s — still in the gallery. All the working parts would be repaired as necessary.
The estimate for this work; was £33,500 to move and restore the instrument. An additional £4,900 would pay for the addition of a reed stop which would greatly enhance it.
This seems to be a great deal of money, it represents 1,000 hours of work and £17,000 of materials — the electrics for the new action, new leather and all perishables throughout.
By contrast, we also had a quote for a high quality electronic instrument; that would cost us £34,000. Given the similarity in price, the historic pipe organ seems to better offer.
We would have arguably the most prestigious instrument in Northampton. Not the largest, but the only genuine French romantic organ, not just in the town, but in the county and for many miles around. We would have an instrument suitable for recitals, and one which would truly measure up to the building. More importantly, we would have an instrument which would lead the music of our liturgy in a dignified and appropriate manner. We would have an instrument which would gladden the heart of the founder and builder of our parish and church and tie together its present and future with its past.
At an open meeting for all parishioners it was decided to go for the pipe instrument.