THE ASSISTANT director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral will be helping the Church of St Laurence in Downton celebrate the completion of a seven-year restoration project later this month. 

John Challenger, who is also a distinguished recital organist as well as his post at the cathedral, will help the church in Downton celebrate the completion the restoraion of the 150 year old pipe organ with a recital at 3pm on Sunday, September 17.

The organ in Downton was installed in 1870 and is an example of the work of William Sweetland a well known West Country organ builder.

The organ is now restored to its original condition after a long and difficult period of restoration.

John Challenger has been Assistant Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral since 2012.

In this role he plays the Cathedral’s famous 1876‒7 ‘Father’ Henry Willis organ, and assists in the running of the cathedral choirs.

He has been responsible for many recent projects at Salisbury Cathedral including Organ Vespers, the Organ Prom, the Cathedral’s ‘virtual’ Father Willis Organ, and several solo organ albums including Salisbury Meditation, released to raise funds for NHS Charities Together.