For other services and events, see the weekly Pew Leaflet
Further information can be found in our Leaflets or by contacting the Parish Office (normally open Monday to Friday 09.30 - 12.30):
99 High Street, Honiton, EX14 1PG 01404 44035 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mackarness Hall is part of the church's facilities and is available to hire - for more information please see the website.
The Crypt, spaces within the church and on the forecourt are available to hire.
Please contact the Parish Office for all enquiries about bookings.
Our Main Worship
(including the Christmas services)
Sunday December 9th
Wednesday December 26th - please note there will be NO 11am service
This is the backbone of the church’s finance as it allows us to plan for the future with confidence.
Where possible, we encourage donors to register for Gift Aid. This is done by completing a simple declaration form in advance. This government tax rebate scheme increases the value of your donations considerably at no extra cost to you.
We have two schemes available:
This can be set up through your bank to make regular payments with the minimum of fuss. These donors can place a token in the collection each week.
These come as a set of 52 envelopes, pre-dated for each week of the year. The envelopes are normally placed in the collection at Sunday services but can be taken to the church at any time. Donations can be made by cash or cheque (payable to St Paul’s, Honiton PCC)
These are valuable sources of income and can be made by cash or cheque (payable to St Paul’s, Honiton PCC). Again we encourage the use of Gift Aid wherever possible.
Simply take your donation to St Paul’s at any time.
You need to place your donation in a yellow Gift Aid envelope before giving it to St Paul’s. You must complete your name and address details each time you use a yellow envelope so regular donors may prefer one of the Planned Giving schemes described above.
St Paul’s has been fortunate over the years in the number of legacies it has received. These have enabled some major improvement and maintenance projects to be completed.
Please ask us for advice about including provision for St Paul’s in your will, or consult your solicitor.
You can give to St Paul’s using on-line banking. Please ask at the Parish Office for details. This giving can be subject to Gift Aid.
If you are a UK taxpayer please make donation through Gift Aid. St Paul’s is then able to claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. Gift Aid is a scheme that allows any charity to claim a refund of tax the donor has paid on money given. This tax refund can be from tax already paid on income, investments or savings accounts.
One-off donations will need to be made using a yellow envelope. Fill in your name and address as this information is required by HMRC. But that is all you need to do - it is that straightforward. The church will, of course, treat your details as confidential.
You can sign up to raise funds for St Paul’s whilst you shop online at hundreds of e-store or use the site for your web searches. There is no additional cost to you.
There are also a wide range of special offers available through easyfundraising.org so you and St Paul’s will both benefit.
Prior to the building of St. Paul's, the medieval Parish Church of Honiton was St. Michael's, situated at the top of Church Hill, somewhat distant from the developing town. By the early 1830's it was felt that there was need for another church in the centre of the expanding community. Consequently the foundation stone of St. Paul's was laid on October 28th, 1835 and the building erected on the site of the old All Hallow's School chapel. This had been made available by the school whose buildings surrounded the new church. At Easter 1838 it was consecrated by Bishop Henry Philpotts of Exeter.
The church was built on a north/south axis and not east/west as usual. This is significant when considering the problems to be encountered by the second organ.
The First Organ
The first instrument was installed for the opening of the church. It cost £350 and was built by Messrs. Robson & Son, 10, St. Martin's Lane, London. A newspaper report says ''....a magnificent instrument, possessing great richness of tone, ...... with fullness and power".
2 rows of keys, Great organ GG to f. Swell to tenor F
Sesquialtera 3 ranks
Unison Pedal pipes to GG 1 1/2 octaves
Swell and Pedal Coupler
(Taken from the Sperling Notebooks, vol . 11, p. 71).
Another report in Sept. 1849 says that ‘‘...the organ is about to be removed from its lofty position to the [newly enlarged] gallery underneath". A further note in Nov. 1849 says " ...the removal of the organ is an improvement, but it was far from finished [...] owing to the havoc made by the damp state of the church".
(Water has often featured in the history of this church!)
Probably for reasons of fashion more than anything else, the organ was superseded after a mere 35 years. Its fate is unknown except that Michael Farley (see note later) has suggested that some pipes could have been used in the next organ. He points to similarities with several ranks in the organ at Ottery St. Mary, known to have had the attention of Robson, if not actually built by him, around 1842.
(There is another [altered] Robson organ, with delightful 'Gothick' case, dated 1841, just a few miles away at Uffculme Parish Church).
The Second Organ
The second organ was commissioned from Bishop and Sons. They were asked to build a two manual organ at the 'east' end of the 'north' gallery, near to the new choir stalls. (The outline of the central tower of the case can still been seen on the gallery front).
Bishop's initially provided the whole of the Great and Pedal divisions, together with the Swell keyboard. This was installed in January 1873 at a cost of £313. Three months later the Swell pipework and another Pedal stop were added. These additions cost a further £475.
Manual CC-a 58 notes. Pedals CCC-f 30 notes.
Open Diapason 8
Keraulophon 8 tenor C
Stopd. Bass 8
Harmonic Flute 4
Twelfth 2 2/3
Sesquialtera III ranks
Double Diapason 16 metal to ten. C Bourdon bass-large scale
Open Diapason 8 bass of wood. Stopd Diapason 8 bass voiced with sharp bevels.
Clarinet Flute 8 ten C large scale
Harmonic Piccolo 2
Mixture II ranks
Double Reed 16 lowest octave French 1/2 scale
Open (large) 16
4 couplers (including Pedal Octave) with 3 composition pedals each to Great and Swell. Wind pressure 3''
(This information is taken from Laurence Elvin's book 'Bishop & Sons - Organ Builders').
This was a rather more enterprising tonal scheme than usual and no doubt made a good impression. The opening recital was given by S. S. Wesley (1810-76), at that time organist of Gloucester Cathedral but formerly of Exeter, and a great nephew of John Wesley.
In 1883 one finds a reference stating that "...the old organ was removed.'' It would appear therefore, that for ten years the church had two organs in situ, or at least a case from the former instrument, if not all the original pipes, as some may have been used in the 'new' organ at the other end of the church.
It was assumed that over the next 90 years the Bishop instrument received only routine maintenance. However, when it was being dismantled in Jan. 2000 a pencilled note was found on internal woodwork. This stated that ''T. Neal & H. Woods rebuilt this organ - July 4th. 1906". It seems unlikely that major rebuilding would have been necessary after only 33 years unless the problems that would contribute to the eventual ruin of the organ were beginning to take their toll.
By 1960 however, the mechanical action had become so warped, worn and heavy that Osmond & Co of Taunton were asked to electrify the action. This they did, together with changes to the tonal scheme at a cost of £1989. The Sesquialtera was revised and the Keraulophon gave place to an anaemic Dulciana. The Cremona disappeared as did the Stopped Diapason and the lowest octave of the Double Diapason. A useful (ubiquitous) Bourdon/Bass Flute rank was added.
The organ's centenary, 1973, saw the appearance of a detached stop-key console, designed for three manual, so plainly a reject from elsewhere. It was sited behind the choir stalls but underneath the organ (!), which was cleaned at the same time, all for £5346. Rain water damage in 1979 and 1982 necessitated further work.
Between 1985-7 the building was closed for a programme of restoration and reordering and the nave divided with a new wall. The organ was partly dismantled, the small pipes put in store at St. Michael's and the rest covered up. In spite of this much dust got into the action and onto the pipes still in place. On the re-opening of the church, the console was moved to the ‘south’ gallery opposite the organ. This work cost almost £4000. Yet more rainwater penetration in 1989 forced repairs to the Great soundboard.
Because of the building's orientation the large window behind the instrument allowed intense heat from the sun to literally bake the organ. A solar reflective film was applied to the glass in 1989, but far too late.
As a result of the heat exposure and water damage, the dust and the upheavals, a much warped and damaged internal structure, an increasingly sluggish action, many wind leaks, the poor quality work of 1960, and a loss of tonal integrity, by 1990 we had a sad and rapidly ailing instrument whose days were nearly over. The Church would either have to restore the organ on another site or purchase a new instrument.
If the Bishop, even in its semi-ruinous state, had been an historic or truly worthy instrument the first option would have had merit, though would probably have been more costly. After long and detailed discussion it was decided that a new organ would be the best solution. So we come to...
The Third Organ
The third and present organ.
The chosen builder was Kenneth Tickell of Northampton who writes: "...the importance of good positioning for organs is now widely appreciated. St. Paul's is to be congratulated on providing a perfect setting for their new instrument. Like all our organs it has mechanical (tracker) action to the keys and pedals. The case is made of American Oak, the rounded arches of the church being the obvious inspiration for the design. The polished front pipes, including the unusual embossed central pipe, are made of 70% tin, whilst those inside are alloys of tin and lead, as well as poplar wood".
The Great division stands in the centre at the first level, the Pedal section is divided on either side of the Great. High above the Great is the Swell box with its pipes inside. This is the traditional 'werk-prinzip' layout of many European organs of the 17th and 18th centuries and the most desirable from an organ builders angle.
All ranks are independent except the Bass Flute on the pedal, extended from the Subbass. There is electric action to the stops and piston controls, together with a two level memory for stop combinations. In addition to the six thumb pistons for both manual divisions, four for the Pedals and six generals, It is possible to programme any one or every one of those 22 combination pistons to act as general pistons, covering all the stops.
In a small company there is little demarcation between jobs, all the staff had some part in most aspects of creating this organ. Responsibilities web as follows:
Kenneth Tickell: Design, electrics, project management, tonal finishing
Tony Coles: Soundboards, casework, winding, installation
Barry Plummer: Casework, swell box
Tim Pitkin; Casework, coupler action, electrics, wooden pipes
Tomas Jansky: Bellow, upperboards, wooden pipes
John Furniss: Voicing, actions
Others involved were:
David Frostick: reed voicing
Derek Riley de Cayless & Keith German (Lyndale Woodcarving): Pipe shades
Most of the metal pipes were made by Jacques Stinkens, Zeist, Holland, and the rest by T. Davies of Leeds. All wooden pipes were made in the Tickell workshop.
Open Diapason 8
Stopped Diapason 8
Spitz Flute 4
Cornet II ranks 12:17 ten. C
Mixture IV ranks 19:22:26:29
Chimney Flute 8
Vox Angelica 8
Nason Flute 4
Wald Flute 2
Larigot 1 1/3
Sharp Mixture III ranks 26:29:33
This organ was installed in October 1999 and is the last completed Tickell organ of the 20th century. The Blessing and Dedication by The Very Revd. Patrick Mitchell, former Dean of Windsor took place on Advent Sunday, November 28th 1999, with the Inaugural Recital later the same day. This was given by those most closely associated with the genesis of this instrument; Alan Thurlow (Organist and Master of the Choristers at Chichester Cathedral - Consultant), Kenneth Tickell himself, John Mingay (St. Paul's organist) and Robin Davis, a pupil of John Mingay and, at the time, Organ Scholar elect of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.
This whole 'new organ project' occupied the Fund Raising Committee and the trustees for some seven years. Under the Presidency of Dr. Lionel Dakers O.B.E and the leadership of the Revd. Prebendary James Trevelyan M.A, Rector of Honiton from 1978 to 2000, many individuals worked tirelessly to achieve their goal. The splendid result amply rewards their dedication and resolve. The entire cost, c. £150,000 was contributed without recourse to church funds and the organ was dedicated and played for the first time 'debt free'. The fund was over-subscribed and as a result a significant sum has been 'ring-fenced' for capital expenditure on the organ at some stage in the future.
The Bishop organ was dismantled In January 2000 by Michael Farley of Budleigh Salterton, a respected local organ builder whom Kenneth Tickell has entrusted to care for the new organ. At the time of writing the Great soundboard and Swell box have been re-used in the organ at Farley (!!) Parish Church near Salisbury. The Swell 16' reed has become the Pedal Bombard at Bridport United Church and one or two other ranks have been incorporated in instruments elsewhere. The remainders await new homes in which to begin a further lease of life.
(c) John Mingay
(Third edition - December 2001)
Please note there are no public parking spaces on the Church premises.
There are, however, short-stay car parks (3 hours max) in King Street and Dowell Street and long-stay car parks in New Street, Silver Street and Dowell Street.
Free parking on the High Street, where permitted, is limited to one hour. On market days (Tuesday and Saturday) parking on the High Street near to St Paul’s is very limited.
Parking is free and is not restricted on Sundays.
St Paul’s Parish Office
99 High Street