Fundraising in the works for historic organ

Jacqueline Stephenson and Reverend Malcolm French, pictured with the iconic St Andrews Church organ.

St Andrews Church is working to raise funds for a massive project to restore the church’s 119-year-old organ, believed to be the first organ built in this country by a New Zealander.

The magnificent instrument still has some of the original 1880s pipes, and still belts out spectacular sound for those who attend the regular Sunday services or other events held inside the historic 1881 building.

“Not only is it a good quality instrument, you’re finding that there are fewer and fewer of these,” said the church vicar, Reverend Malcolm French. “As well as the aesthetic value it also has historic value.

The iconic organ has played a key role at the church over the last century, sounding out song to the many weddings, funerals and other events held there over the years, making it not just a special part of the church, but of Cambridge as well.

“I think it is an organ that is worth preserving, and it’s a good instrument,” said Reverend French.

The restoration is expected to cost around $32,000, and members of the church are already planning fundraising activities and events to help reach the target, including parishioner Jacqueline Stephenson.

“It’s a community thing too, not necessarily a parishioner thing,” she said. “The church is synonymous with Cambridge, everybody knows it. … New Zealand has such a limited amount of history, and really as a community we need to preserve it.”

Coordinator of Music Ministry at St Andrews Roz Robinson plays a favourite hymn.

A Givealittle page has been set up for the project, and those behind it are welcoming and encouraging input from the local community. Those who would like to contribute in any way can contact Jacqueline on stephensonjacqueline@hotmail.com.

Roz Robinson, coordinator of Music Ministry at St Andrews, who usually plays the organ, described it as a beautiful instrument. “It is quite lovely,” she said, “of course organs are quite expensive to maintain over time, but it’s worth it.”

To donate towards the cause, visit https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/st-andrews-church-organ-refurbishment#

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