The Cathedral Organ

Community, Worship, Culture

St German's Cathedral Organ

The Cathedral organ was built specifically for St German’s Cathedral and installed in 1884 in time for the opening of the building.

It was built by the Sheffield builder of Brindley and Foster and originally was designed as a 3 manual instrument.

The instrument was given a total overhaul and rebuild in the 1973 by Yorkshire based organ builders Laycock and Bannister at a cost of £2,500.00. The rebuild included the loss of the small choir division, but tonally most work was done of the swell organ to bring it up to date, make it fit for bigger services and to try to get more sound into the Nave of the building. The work included the addition of a balanced swell pedal, re-modelling of the actions and the addition of playing aids (adjustable thumb and toe pistons).

Further work was done in 2015 by island organ builder, Peter Jones. This included the complete re-leathering of the Great and Swell underactions and the addition of a pedal Posaune at 16’.

The pedal Posaune was originally the 16’ reed from the Jardine organ at St George’s Church in Douglas. It was removed by Peter Jones in 2003 when a new organ was constructed for the church.

The Pedal reed is the only complete full size 16’ reed on the Island, and in order to fit all the pipes in, the bottom octave is horizontally placed on top of the swell box! The bottom octave pipes facing a westward-projectile into the Nave, and the remaining pipes can be seen at on the left hand side of the west facing case.  

St German's Cathedral Organ Repairs

The reed has been rescaled by Peter Jones to match the rest of the organ.

This work was made possible by funding given by the Isle of Man Arts Council.

The addition of the pedal reed has made the instrument much more versatile for the performer and has significantly improved the bass to help drive congregational singing in the Nave.


The current specification (2016)




8 Open Diapason

8 Diapason (grooved)

16 Open Diapason

8 Clarabella

8 Stopped Flute

16 Bourdon

8 Gambe

8 Salicional

8 Principal

4 Principal

8 Voix Celestes

8 Bass Flute

4 Harmonic Flute

4 Gemshorn

16 Posaune

2 2/3 Twelfth

2 Piccolo


2 Fifteenth

III Mixture


III Mixture

16 Contra Fagotto


8 Trumpet

8 Cornopean



4 Clarion




Balanced Swell Pedal

Swell + Pedal


4 adjustable pistons to

Swell + Great


each department

Swell octave


Reversibles for Sw - Gt

Swell suboctave


Gt - Ped

Great + Pedal


Great + Pedal Combs


The instrument suffers from poor placement in a chamber which, though plenty large enough, opens onto the main part of the building through archways which are too small to let out all the sound. This means that, though it sounds perfectly adequate in the building, it does not have the impact which an organ of this size and power ought to have. Despite this, the instrument contains some very pleasing pipework, and has proved to be reliable down the years.

In 2018 Gary Owens Organ Builders completely rebuilt the stop actions and repaired and made good runnings in the Swell division. This work was made possible by the Isle of Man Arts Council, Culture Vannin, Manx Heritage Lottery Trust and Peel Heritage Trust.

Future works are likely to include the re-installation of a choir division and a complete repositioning of the internal layout of the instrument to aid projection into the Nave. For updates on the future plans of the Cathedral Organ follow our Facebook page, search ‘Developing St German’s Cathedral Pipe Organ’.

The instrument is currently looked after by Gary Owens Organ Building.


Our treasured Choral Heritage - now, and for tomorrow ......

Regular Services Calendar


8.30am Eucharist
10.30am Worship with Eucharist
3.30pm Choral Evensong (during term time)


9.00am Morning Prayer (Monday – Saturday)
5.30pm Evening Prayer (Monday – Saturday)
9.30am Eucharist (Wednesday and Holy Days)

The Cathedral hosts special services to celebrate events in the community, and the seasons of the Church year. Click here for more details.

Opening times

You are always welcome in the Cathedral, whether for worship or just to look around, learn more about the history, or perhaps simply to enjoy some quiet time on your own.

The Cathedral is open daily from 9am to 6pm.

We are open all year round, though opening hours may vary slightly on Bank Holidays and Holy Days.

Cathedral Isle Of Man Events

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Choral Eucharist

17/11/2019 10:30

Setting: Common Life Eucharist (Sanger) | Anthem: Vox Ultima Crucis (Harris) | Voluntary: Toccata from 3 pieces (Hanson)

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Choral Evensong

17/11/2019 15:30

Responses (Neary) | Psalm: 97 | Canticles: The Peel Service (Hosking) | Anthem: Festival Anthem (Oades) | Voluntary: Fanfare (Leighton)

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The Big Table Cafe

18/11/2019 12:00 - 14:00

Share a freshly cooked hot meal with friends old and new - irrespective of your means. Every Monday (except some bank holidays) in the Corrin Hall.

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Sung Evening Prayer

20/11/2019 17:30 - 18:00

Cantor led congregational singing of evening prayer in the choirstalls.

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Cathedral Isle Of Man News

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Visit of our Patron HRH The Princess Royal

Visit to Labyrinth

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Wachet Auf!

A very special end to our 2019 season of concerts.

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Music Outreach

Workshop on Manx Music and Movement.

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Our Eco Church

Statement, mission, policy & ways to help.

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Cathedral special services

Currently there are no events.