St Paul’s Trinity Pacific Presbyterian Church – Christchurch

45 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

1905 William Hill & Sons; 1905 Installed by NT Pearce; 1991 Restored SIOC; 2009 Removed for restoration after fire; 2011 Restored SIOC; 2017 Installed in New Church SIOC
3 manuals, 61/30, RCO pedals, 22 speaking stops, 7 couplers, pneumatic action

Double Diapason (1-12 from Ped. Bourdon)16'
Open Diapason8'
Hohl Flute8'
Mixture (17-19-22)III
SWELL (enclosed)
Open Diapason8'
Stopped Diapason8'
Echo Gamba8'
Voix Celeste T.C.8'
Mixture (15-19-22)III
CHOIR (enclosed)
Lieblich Gedackt8'
Suabe Flute4'
Clarinet A.A.8'
Open Diapason16' (a)
Octave8' (a)
Swell to Great
Choir to Great
Swell to Choir
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Choir to Pedal
Swell Sub Octave

Article for Organ News – Feb 2018 – by John Hargraves:

On Thursday 8 the February 2018 amidst a throng of 500 mostly Pacific islanders, from Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands, Philippines and European, Val and I attended the dedication and opening of the new St Paul’s Trinity Pacific Presbyterian Church on its Fitzgerald Ave site, one block north of Ferry Rd. Designed by Christchurch architect Thom Craig the simple lines of the new church invited us in through lofty glass doors under an enormous fretted metal art screen covering virtually the whole east facing end, backlit through the large coloured glass atrium window.

Following speeches, a blessing and ribbon cutting the throng entered past offices and meeting rooms on each side, then through another set of double doors into the rear of the long church nave, at the far end of which stands centre stage the richly French-polished and waxed 3 manual 1905 Hill and Son organ salvaged from the Cashel St. church after a 2009 arson attempt almost destroyed it. Extensive repairs to the organ were in full swing in SIOC’s workshop in Timaru at the time of the Christchurch earthquakes which in February 2011 finally destroyed the elegant classical styled 1876 church, itself fully swathed in restoration scaffolding at the time.

The completed organ restoration funded by fire insurance was completed in 2012 and put into storage pending the new church build just completed. SIOC first restored this organ in 1991 after 86 years’ service in which it annually struggled to cope with the hot, dry Canterbury nor-westers. After considerable debate the now predominantly Pacific Island congregation decided to place the organ in the new church even though most of their music is accompanied by an amplified praise band and singing group.

This organ was always a fine sounding; handsome instrument with a strong voice and with the benefit of an ideal position in its new home, still speaks well in spite of the deliberately dry acoustic. As often happens at an opening service, the overcrowded room further attenuated the organ’s volume, though it still sounded creditable under the capable hands of guest organist Russell Kent. His quick thinking prevented a mid-service cipher from being a problem by immediately identifying and removing the offending stop from play. Russell (now organist emeritus at Oxford Terrace Baptist) learnt to play on this instrument from its titular organist Charles Martin FRCO over 60 years ago and still feels quite at home on it. He played along admirably with the band and gave two solos during the service, including an improvisation on “Be still my Soul” and a stirring Bach postlude at its conclusion.