A Burnley church organ which is more than 100 years old has been taken to a new home in Germany after it was sold for £1,700 on eBay.
The instrument has taken pride of place at Padiham Road Methodist Church, in Brassey Street, for the last 50 years.
But £650,000 of redevelopment works at the church mean there will be no space for the organ and church officials had no choice but to sell it on the auction site.
Bids started at £500 for the two manual mechanical action pipe organ but, at the last minute, it was snapped up for £1,700 – much more than congregation members were expecting.
This week the organ was dismantled and transported to Germany where its interior and pipework will be re-installed in a church near Munich.
It originally belonged to the former Claremont Methodist Church in Claremont Street, Gannow, where it was installed in 1894. When Claremont Church amalgamated with the former Jubilee Methodist Church to form Padiham Road Methodist, the organ was taken to the new site and rebuilt.
Mr Peter Yates, property steward at the church whose wife Kathryn has played the historic instrument for more than 30 years, said: “It’s going to be seriously missed by most of the congregation, it’s given us wonderful service. It was still being played in church up until three weeks ago.
“But I’m pleased it’s going to a good home. It’s a great piece of mechanical wizardry.”
Redevelopment plans set to get under way over the next 18 months at Padiham Road Methodist Church could not accommodate the organ.
The roof at the church has just been fixed and the floors of the church and church hall will be brought to the same level with a new communal entrance for both rooms. Pews will be removed and replaced with chairs while a new community room will also be made at the site.
Church bosses hope the project will help bring the building into the 21st Century and have a more flexible use to benefit the wider community.