In 1980 the free standing organ was replaced by the permanent installation of the organ removed from the redundant St Erkenwald's Church, Southend on Sea, with the financial help of Basildon District Council and local industry, and rebuilt by Monk and Gunther. There are 2 contrasting sections to the organ; the main West gallery organ is of a large, traditional 19th century design, whereas the Chancel has a more intimate chamber organ quality. The pipe fronts were designed by Sir Walter Tapper, architect of St Erkenwald's Church.
The Organ at St Martins is the combined work of 5 organ builders over a period of 140 years. The original organ was built in 1870 by William Hill & Son and installed in the newly constructed church of St Erkenwald's, Southend on Sea in 1907. It was extensively rebuilt by Messrs A. Noterman of Shepherd's Bush, London and completed in 1959 at an estimated cost of £25,000 to put in new. The console has 4 manuals and over a hundred stops of which 60 are "speaking" stops, employing almost 3,000 pipes. These include pipes from the organ built in 1907 by A. Hunter & Son for the Congregational Church in Newbury in addition to the pipes from the Hill organ, and new pipe work by Noterman.
During the 1980's the organ was under the care of the organ builders Hill, Norman and Beard and the action was changed to the latest electronic technology. This also allowed the organists to pre-programme the pistons to their own stop combination requirements.
From 1980 the organist was Mrs Jean Webber, wife of the Rector of St Martin’s The Revd Lionel Webber. Since 2000 Dr Michael Lowe and Mr Len Collins have shared organ duties. Len Collins retired at Easter 2013 and Mrs Jenni Pinnock came as assistant organist. We have been privileged to have concerts given by the internationally acclaimed organists Jennifer Bate, OBE and Mr Carlo Curley.
Mr Reg Lane became responsible for tuning and maintenance until his retirement. During 2011-14 further work on the organ by Mr Andrew Stevens, organ builder, has been undertaken to replace ageing leatherwork and make tonal improvements including the replacement of the Great Mixture and Tierce to give a brighter sounding upperwork chorus. The estimate in 2010 to replace the organ was now £900,000. An Organ Fund was duly set up to fund a continuous programme of maintenance which remains a commitment of St Martin’s people to honour the worth of a large, fine organ of special significance in South Essex. All donations to the Organ Fund are gratefully received.
Chancel Organ and Console Choir, Great and Swell Organs in the Gallery